There are lots of things to remember when you’re pregnant- take your prenatal vitamins, get enough rest, go to your doctor’s appointments, and most importantly, eating healthy. Making sure you are consuming the right foods is very important for you and the baby. I’m sure you’ve read the posts here and here on different recipes on meal ideas that are super healthy and delicious, but what if you wanted to come up with your own recipes? Here are a few things you need to know to help you get started, which come straight from the USDA’s MyPlate program:
Consume at least 7 ounces of grain each day
To make it simple to understand what one ounce of grain looks like, an ounce of grains is equal to one slice of bread, one small corn or flour tortilla, 1 cup of cold cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta. You will need to get at least half of your daily grains from whole grains (like whole wheat bread or brown rice). Whole grains contain the most fiber, vitamins, and nutrients- what you and baby really need.
Have at least 2 cups of fruit everyday
Try not to stick with just one or two different kinds of fruits. Be adventurous. Try berries, melons, apples, and tropical fruits. Choose fresh over frozen or canned whenever possible. Many prepackaged fruits are preserved in syrup or sugary liquid. As an added bonus, the fiber in fruit helps prevent two common side effects of pregnancy, hemorrhoids and constipation.
Have at least 3 cups of veggies per day
Fresh vegetables are a better choice than frozen, as frozen sometimes has added sodium and preservatives. But canned and frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh ones. To get the maximum nutrition out of your veggies, eat a variety of them because they each have different benefits that are good for you and baby. Broccoli is packed with folate, calcium, and B vitamins. Sweet potatoes provide vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. What are your faves?
Have about 6 ounces of meat and beans daily
Six ounces is equal to about two servings that are each the size of a deck of cards. Lean meat is best (chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef, etc.) and fish consumption should be limited to 12 ounces per week. More than that may expose your baby to harmful levels of mercury.
Consume 3 cups of dairy per day
One cup of dairy is equal to 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese, and 2 ounces of processed cheese. As a rule of thumb, dairy products are a great source of calcium and protein. And the low-fat kind gives you all the nutrients you need without the extra fat.
Have 6 teaspoons of oil everyday
The best sources of the oils you need are canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives. An avocado is a fruit but is a great oil because most of its calories come from fat.
Consume 266 bonus calories everyday
You can plan for 266 “extra calories” of which you are free to have anything you want. You can have a small bowl of ice cream, some sugar in your decaffeinated coffee or some chocolate. Go crazy…well, just a little bit.
Mommies, I want you and baby to be healthy and the way to great health is by choosing to eat the right things. I hope this helps you get started on the right path. Be sure you consult your doctor for the best advice for you and baby.
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