Pregnant: Healthy Dieting During Pregnancy

Congratulations! You're pregnant! Forget about the old wives' tale of "eating for two." Your idea of a healthy pregnancy is not gaining 70 pounds. Instead, you want a healthy baby, and adequate weight gain to support that baby without an ounce too much. Just follow these easy guidelines and you and your baby will be healthy and happy.

  • Add 300 calories to your typical daily intake to support the growth of your baby, your increased blood volume, the placenta and amniotic fluid. Here are two easy examples of nutrient-rich food choices that add up to 300 calories:
    --1 cup cold cereal with 1 cup of skim milk and a banana
    -- 2 ounces of turkey on 2 slices of whole grain bread topped with lettuce and tomato
  • It's not just the total calories you eat that matters but also the quality of those calories. A candy bar may have 300 calories, but you and your baby will be better off if you eat a sandwich instead. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar for the highest-quality calories.
  • Eat foods high in protein at least twice each day. Your developing baby requires additional protein for growth. Foods such as chicken, turkey, lean red meat, tofu, tempeh, cheese, milk, yogurt and legumes are excellent protein sources.
  • Take a prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement every day. Your needs for most vitamins and minerals increase when pregnant.
  • Go for bright colors when choosing fruits and vegetables: dark green (broccoli, kale, spinach), orange (carrots, peaches, oranges, winter squash, sweet potatoes) and red (tomatoes). Different colors identify different phytochemicals, essential components of a healthy diet.
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