While you are pregnant, the food you eat gives you the nutrients you need to fuel your body’s activities and help your baby grow. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to give you and your growing baby the nutrition you both need. You also can get nutrients from pills containing vitamins and minerals (also known as supplements).
The Five Food Groups
1. Grains – Bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, and tortillas are all grains. Make one-half of them whole grains. Whole grains are those that have not been processed and include the whole grain kernel. They include oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and bulgur. Products made with these foods also count as whole grains. Look for the words “whole grain” on the product label.
2. Fruits – Fruits can be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. Juice that is 100% fruit juice also counts. Make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
3. Vegetables – Vegetables can be raw or cooked, frozen, canned, dried or 100% vegetable juice. Use dark, leafy greens to make salads.
4. Protein foods – Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds. Include a variety of proteins and choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry.
5. Dairy – Milk, and products made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, make up the dairy group. Make sure any dairy foods you eat are pasteurized. Choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) varieties.
Oils and fats are another part of healthy eating. Although they are not a food group, they do give you important nutrients. During pregnancy, the fats that you eat provide energy and help build many fetal organs and the placenta. Oils in food come mainly from plant sources, such as olive oil, nut oils, and grapeseed oil, and can be found in certain foods such as some fish, avocados, nuts, and olives. Most of the fats and oils in your diet should come from plant sources. Limit solid fats, such as those from animal sources. Solid fats also can be sound in processed foods.
Key Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals play important roles in all of our body functions. During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than a woman who is not pregnant. Taking a prenatal vitamin supplement can ensure that you are getting these extra amounts. a well-rounded diet should supply all of the other vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
Eating well during your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Start now on balancing healthy eating with maintaining a healthy weight to give your baby the best start in life. We are here to help you along the way! Contact us if you have any questions or t schedule an appointment.