Getting the highest quality fuel to support your own health and energy also will nourish and support your baby’s growth and development.
What should your pregnancy plate look like?
The best way to make sure you’re eating the right amount of the right foods is to fill your mealtime plate like this:
- Half of your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- One quarter of your plate with whole grains.
- One quarter of your plate with lean protein.
- Include low-fat or fat-free dairy products and healthy fats as part of your meal.
Power up with vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of folate, vitamin C and fiber—all important during pregnancy. Aim for 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. Whole, fresh fruits and vegetables are best, but frozen or canned choices work well, too; just stay clear of added sugar and sodium. Be sure to wash fresh vegetables and fruits well before eating.
Graze on grains
Whole grains are an important source of iron, folic acid and fiber. Aim for 6 to 8 ounces of whole grains per day. Some choices include whole grain bread, whole grain cereal, brown rice and whole grain pasta.
Lean into proteins
Lean meats, poultry and fish are an important part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Other lean proteins include:
- Eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes.
- Cooked beans.
- Peanut butter.
- Low-fat cheeses.
Don’t dodge dairy
Dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein. Aim for 3 cups of low-fat dairy sources per day, including milk, yogurt and cheese. If you cannot consume dairy, ask your doctor about suitable substitutes.
To schedule an appointment for one-on-one nutritional counseling at ChristianaCare, call 302-623-3053.
Choose healthy fats
Fats are an important part of good nutrition. Focus primarily on monounsaturated fats:
- Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil.
- Pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts.
Polyunsaturated fats are good, too:
- Vegetable oils.
- Walnuts, pine nuts and seeds.
- Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna for Omega 3 essential fatty acids. (Avoid fish with high levels of mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.)
Food solutions for nausea
- Aim for small but frequent meals that include easily digestible foods like bananas, toast and crackers.
- Try ginger and peppermint teas and candies.
- Keep blood sugar levels balanced with lean proteins and complex carbohydrates such as whole grain toast with nut butter.
- Stay well-hydrated and consider flavored or carbonated water to quell nausea.
- Consult with your provider about Vitamin B6 supplements and Doxylamine (Unisom) as over-the-counter remedies.
Let the adventure begin by choosing your foods with care, supporting a healthy body and a healthy baby.