The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
Read more »
pregnancy nutrition basics
Choose from all five food groups (grains; fruits; vegetables; milk products; and meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts) every day. Fifty percent to 60 percent of your total daily calories should be from carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent from fat, and 10 to 20 percent from protein. Include 25 to 30 grams of fiber in your diet every day. Use fats, oils and sweets sparingly. Drink at least 64 ounces of fluid daily (eight 8-ounce glasses), more if you’re active and during hot weather. Get healthful fats from foods such as nuts, olive oil and fish. Take a prenatal supplement, as prescribed by your doctor or midwife, that has approximately 100 to 150 percent of the daily value for a wide range of vitamins and minerals. What to Avoid: Don’t eat foods such as soft, unpasteurized cheeses (feta, brie, Camembert and Mexican-style cheeses), raw or undercooked meats, sushi, seafood and eggs, which may harbor the listeria bacterium. Avoid deli meats and hot dogs unless they are steaming hot. Also, don’t consume fish that may contain excessive mercury, such as king mackerel, shark, swordfish and tilefish; and limit shellfish and canned fish to 12 ounces a week. Avoid alcohol and switch to decaffeinated tea, cola and coffee.
5-day meal plan During your first trimester, you need about 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day (the same number of calories recommended for nonpregnant women). The following meal plan fulfills that calorie requirement and provides most vital nutrients, such as calcium, iron, fiber and folate. In your second and third trimesters, add two snacks per day from “Smart Snacks” (pg. 93) to get the additional 300 calories you need. Note: Recipes follow for dishes marked with an asterisk (*).
monday Breakfast 1 cup whole-grain cereal fortified with 100% folic acid and iron (such as Whole Grain Total) 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk 1 slice cinnamon bread, toasted 1 tablespoon peanut butter 1¼2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice Lunch 1 whole-wheat pita with 1¼2 cup hummus, 2 tomato slices, 4 cucumber slices and 2 romaine lettuce leaves 8 baby carrots 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk 1 apple 2 molasses cookies Dinner 11¼2 cups Sesame Noodles With Spinach* 4 ounces cooked salmon 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk 1¼2 cup mango sorbet Nutritional information per day: 2,031 calories, 28% fat (63 g), 55% carbohydrate (282 g), 17% protein (86 g), 29 g fiber, 36 mg iron, 2,620 mg calcium, 1,006 mcg folate.