There’s a popular saying that pregnant women should eat significantly more food because she’s eating for two people (three in the case of twins). But more than just racking up the calories, it is equally or even more important to consider the types of foods consumed by pregnant women in different trimesters of pregnancy.
In the early onset of pregnancy, women usually suffer from morning sickness and cannot keep their food down. Some also have peculiar food cravings and this should be taken into careful consideration when feeding the expectant mother. It’s alright to give in to the cravings of foods even if they’re not very healthy but nutrition should be the most important factor overall throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Simple healthy meals that aren’t overly flavored and greasy are recommended for those suffering from morning sickness. Avoid too much junk and heavily processed food including any form of artificially sweetened drinks.
The food pyramid can still be observed but add more amounts of everything. If possible, eat a variety of foods to ensure adequate nutrition for both mother and baby. Depending on the weight of the mother and the stage of pregnancy, carbohydrates can range from six to 11 servings a day. Focus on whole grain cereal and breads rather than white. Fruits and vegetables have high levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber all of which are important. Try to serve dark green leafy vegetables and an assortment of organic fruits daily and keep things delicious and fresh rather than processed. Dairy products provide calcium and other minerals while meats ensure that protein requirements are accounted for.
Most doctors prescribe a variety of supplements but ask any alternative health advocate, vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist and they’ll say that the correct amounts of the correct foods are enough. Rather than fuss too much or get pressured about what to eat, it may be just better to go to the fresh produce section of the market and choose what’s in season.
When considering all of these tips in listing down your grocery list, it is also important to avoid certain foods such as coffee, alcohol and some types of fish. Even though these are high in omega 3 fatty acids, it is not worthwhile eating large amounts of deep sea fish such as swordfish and some types of mackerel as these usually have high levels of mercury that can cause birth defects.
Lastly, keep hydrated with pure refreshing water. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are good as well but not carbonated drinks that are just full of sugars, artificial colors and flavors and preservatives.