Eating For Two - Step by Step Guide toHealthy Eating During Pregnancy

Easy Eating For Two

A Step by Step Guide to Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

 

The importance of our food choices during pregnancy can be the cause of much stress for many expectant mothers. For many pregnant women, the first (and sometimes subsequent) trimesters can mean nausea and even vomiting. These symptoms can make it hard to eat much. Pregnant women often also experience aversions to foods, making it hard to obtain the nutrients they need.

When you're bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information regarding what you should be eating to support your developing baby, along with the opinions of those around you, it can be tricky to know what exactly you should and should not eat!

The main consideration during pregnancy is to focus on eating a well balanced, whole foods diet and to avoid processed, packaged foods.

Following a whole foods diet can ensure adequate nutrient intake (vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, complete carbohydrates). A whole foods diet covers all of the pregnancy specific requirements such as vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, omega-3's etc. It also ensures adequate fiber intake which is important  as many pregnant women experience constipation.

During pregnancy a woman's body is tasked with sharing its resources (nutrients) with the growing baby. If we do not have adequate nutrient stores available, anything the baby needs will be leached from the mother's body. This can mean that after birth, the mother is left deficient, which can cause a variety of undesirable symptoms and may contribute to postpartum depression.

 

To keep your blood sugar balanced, snack regularly between meals and eat protein, complex carbohydrates and fat at each meal.

Snacks should include fresh veggies, nut butter, hummus, fresh fruit, brown rice cakes, nuts and seeds.

 

Below is my list of suggested food items and meals for each trimester. These foods have been recommended based on their ability to support your baby's growth and develop but also to support your body and it's specific needs during pregnancy and postpartum.

 

The First Trimester:

During the first trimester you may experience morning (or all day) sickness that can include nausea and vomiting. You may also experience aversions to many foods you're used to eating. This can make it hard to eat at all. Try eating things that are easy to digest such as toast, smoothies and soups. You may also experience fatigue and sometimes the thought of having to prepare a meal can be daunting. If this is the case for you, try batch cooking 2 large meals per week that you can re-heat throughout the week (ex. soup, stir-fry, large salads etc). Also try finding a healthy cafe or grocery store where you can assemble prepared foods like a salad bar. Another fantastic option (if in the budget) is to source out a local meal delivery service. 

The First Trimester Foods

  • fresh fruits (focus on seasonal fruits/avoid tropical fruits)
  • fresh vegetables
  • complete protein (beans, legumes, plant proteins and animal proteins)
  • calcium (broccoli, nuts/seeds, white beans, leafy greens)
  • whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats)
  • foods containing folate (dark leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, beans, asparagus)

Meal Ideas

  • smoothies
  • soups
  • stir-fry
  • frittata/omelette/quiche

Snack Ideas

  • mixed nuts/seeds (trail mix)
  • fresh vegetables with hummus
  • fresh fruit
  • nut butter of your choice on fruit/veg/brown rice cakes
  • cheese (white cheddar) and crackers (brown rice crackers)

 

The Second Trimester:

(consume an additional 300-350 calories during your second trimester)

During the second trimester your baby's teeth, bones and brain are developing rapidly. Because of this, consuming foods high in the following will support second trimester development.

  • foods containing calcium (broccoli, nuts/seeds, white beans, leafy greens)
  • foods containing magnesium (pumpkin seeds, spinach, chard, kefir, almonds)
  • foods containing vitamin D (eggs incl. yolk, fatty fish, salmon, beef liver)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, cod liver oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, avocado)

 

Meal Ideas

  • smoothies
  • soups
  • stir-fry
  • frittata/omelette/qiche
  • avocado and egg toast
  • stew (lentil or beef)
  • salads + protein (ex. kale salad with warm quinoa and cooked yams)
  • protein and veg (ex. chicken, quinoa and steamed spinach)

 


The Third Trimester:

(consume an additional 300-450 calories during your second trimester)

  • foods containing calcium (broccoli, nuts/seeds, white beans, leafy greens)
  • foods containing magnesium (pumpkin seeds, spinach, chard, kefir, almonds)
  • foods containing vitamin D (eggs incl. yolk, fatty fish, salmon, beef liver)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, cod liver oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, avocado)
  • foods containing iron (dark leafy greens, broccoli, lean beef, beans, peas)

 

Meal Ideas

  • smoothies
  • soups
  • stir-fry
  • frittata/omelette/quiche
  • avocado and egg toast
  • stew (lentil or beef)
  • salads + protein (ex. spinach and chicken salad topped with berries)
  • protein and veg (ex. salmon, brown rice and broccoli)

 

 

Foods to avoid during pregnancy:

  1. Fish high in mercury (king mackerel, swordfish)

Fish that is safe (2 serving per week):

  • shrimp
  • salmon
  • anchovies
  • trout
  • cod
  • light canned tuna
  • canned white tuna (only one serving per week)

 

  1. Raw or under cooked seafood or meat, poultry or eggs

 

  1. Some unpasteurized food items

(ex. soft cheese)

 

Gestational Diabetes

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during your pregnancy it is important to avoid processed foods and to eat protein with each meal.

Try to focus on keeping blood sugar balanced (protein, fat, complex carb) and focus on eating low glycemic index foods.

 

Food/Snack Ideas