you already know that a well-balanced diet is important for good health. Now that you’re pregnant, there’s nothing more important you can do than to nourish yourself and your baby with safe and nutritious foods.
But eating the right foods in the right amount can be easier said than done. How do you find time to fine-tune your diet when you’re working, squeezing in doctor’s appointments and taking weekend treks to every baby store within a 50-mile radius? And how do you cope when mysterious cravings arrive out of nowhere or you have an aversion to foods you’ve always loved?
Now, more than ever before, it’s time to get serious about nutrition and solve these dilemmas. “What you eat now will set the stage for your baby’s health for decades to come,” says Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., author of Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1998). Proper prenatal nutrition is essential for your baby’s brain and physical development.
“Eating the right amount of food helps promote the proper weight gain for the healthiest baby,” says Ward. (For information on weight gain and calorie needs, see “Baby-Building Basics” on page 92.) And since combining pregnancy munching with power lunching is not always easy, we’re here to help. Here’s your guide to eating in the real world, including ideas for healthful snacks; quick, delicious, nutrient-packed recipes for lunch and dinner; and advice on supplements (consult your health care provider for your specific needs).
You’re busy, you’re tired, you may even be a little overwhelmed. So, when faced with a crunch like this — how to get the best for you and your baby in these precious coming months — why not do what you do best? Cook up a simple, doable plan.
That’s what our “Baby-Building Basics” is designed to do. Just follow our 12 tried-and-true tips for healthful prenatal nutrition; then use our lunch, supper and snack suggestions and recipes to put them to use. You’ll never have to skip a meal, and you’ll get the valuable nutrients you and your baby need. There’s nothing quite so beautiful as a well-laid action plan, is there?
1) Choose food from all five food groups every day. According to the American Dietetic Association, moms-to-be need at least the following daily:
- 3 servings from the milk, yogurt and cheese group
- 6 ounces of animal protein or its equivalent from the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts group
- 3 servings from the fruit group
- 4 servings from the vegetable group
- 9 servings from the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group