A Fit And Healthy Pregnancy
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and baby. Keri Glassman, nutrition expert and published author, is sharing her tips for getting proper nutrition throughout pregnancy.
8 Tips for pregnancy nutrition
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Keep up the good work and maintain your healthy diet. Stick to whole foods like fresh produce, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains. These foods are lower in sodium and added junk, and higher in fiber and nutrients than processed foods. They will also help you reach the recommended intake for important nutrients. Just as when you are not pregnant, eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day will help keep blood sugar levels stable and maintain energy.
2. Eat breakfast
Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast. Starting each day out on the right foot will help you make better food choices throughout the day and maintain your energy levels.
3. Snack smart
Nutrient-dense snacks, eaten at the right times of day, can help anchor your health. The key to a great snack is getting the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and good fats. This balance of macronutrients will provide satiety, helping to hold you over so that you make better choices at your next meal.
Some great snack options include:
- Mixed nuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fat and fiber; make your own trail mix with raw nuts and dried fruit (no sugar added of course). Add a sweet fix with dark chocolate chips.
- Justin’s single-serve nut butters are an easy go-to. Pack one of these with a piece of fruit, and you’re all set. They even come in fun flavors such as chocolate hazelnut butter and maple almond butter.
- Kind Bars are just nuts and dried fruit in bar form. Easy for eating on the road. There are lots of flavors to choose from, such as Dark Chocolate Chili Almond (if you’re ready for that surprise heat at the end), Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt (if you’re grabbing one of these for breakfast), and Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt (if you simply can’t decide between sweet and salty).
- The Good Bean Dried Chick Peas offer a protein with a crunch... what more could you ask for? And in both sweet and savory flavors, they have all of your cravings covered.
- Vital Choice Pacific Individual Tuna Packets are great for a more hearty, meal-like take-along option. Opt for the no-salt added option to reduce your sodium intake.
- Popcorn Indiana’s FIT Popcorn is one of my absolute favorite snacks when it comes to a crunchy craving. The sea salt is perfectly salty, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the extra virgin olive oil, along with all of their other unique flavors are also quite delicious. Unlike many brands of popcorn, this one is made without any genetically modified ingredients. Nothing but clean, delicious popcorn.
4. Don’t eat for two
When pregnant, you need to eat a diet rich in nutrients like calcium and iron, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat pints of ice cream every day! In fact, you only need an extra 300 calories per day during the second and third trimester. Remember, nutrient density is the most important thing to consider.
5. Be active
As long as your doctor says it is safe, exercise regularly.
6. Do eat fish
Fish and shellfish are a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are used for development of the growing fetus’ brain. While there are some fish you should avoid due to high mercury levels, others can be consumed as part of a healthy diet. Low-mercury fish include shrimp, salmon, and chunk light tuna. Enjoy up to 12 ounces per week and fuel your baby’s brainpower!
If you’re not a fan of fish, be sure to get your dose of omega-3s with chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
7. Get your folate
This B vitamin is absolutely essential to any pregnancy and is particularly important during the first 2-3 weeks of pregnancy when it’s needed to develop the nervous system. Pregnant women need to consume 600 micrograms per day. Folate-rich food sources include lentils, spinach, romaine lettuce and asparagus.
8. Stay hydrated
It's important to get enough fluids. Aim for at least 8 cups of water throughout the day. You might need more if you’re exercising. And remember, of course, to avoid any alcoholic beverages.
About Keri Glassman
Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and Nutritious Life Meals, a gourmet, healthy, daily diet delivery program available in major markets in the United States. For years, Keri has been a leader in advancing a "whole person" approach to health and wellness. She has dedicated her career to creating services and promoting education through her Nutritious Life brand.