If you’re concerned about what foods to eat to keep you and your baby healthy while you’re pregnant, that’s totally normal. Don’t worry — it’s easier than you think once you know which foods to prioritize.
Good nutrition during pregnancy can help ensure that your baby gets the best start possible. The meal plan is a balanced one that provides lots of:
- complex carbohydrates
- healthy types of fat
- vitamins and minerals
- fiber and fluids
A healthy pregnancy eating pattern contains much of the same balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as healthy eating patterns in general.
The difference is that you need higher amounts to compensate for all the work your body is doing and baby’s additional needs.
If you already have healthy eating habits, it shouldn’t be too hard to make slight adjustments to ensure a healthy pregnancy. And if you’re starting from scratch on healthy eating? Not to worry — there are lots of healthy and yummy options.
Even if you’re already packing an alphabet’s worth of vitamins and minerals into your daily meals, you might still worry that you’re not quite hitting the healthy pregnancy diet mark especially if your appetite hasn’t quite gotten up to speed yet.
Enter these nutritional superstars. When it comes to the best foods to eat when pregnant, try to reach for picks that pack plenty of nutrients into just a few bites and not much in the way of empty calories. This will help you and your baby get the vitamins and minerals you both need. (Though the occasional cookie or ice cream cone is just fine, so don’t.
Speaking of nutrients, while all are important right now, the best foods for pregnancy are high in vitamins and minerals that play a key role in supporting your baby’s growth and development, including:
- Folic acid. Getting at least 600 micrograms per day during pregnancy reduces the risk for neural tube defects.
- Iron. You need nearly twice as much iron during pregnancy, or 27 milligrams daily. The mineral is used to make more blood that carries oxygen to your baby.
- Calcium. Aim for 1,000 milligrams daily. Calcium is key to help your baby build strong bones, teeth, muscles and nerves.
- Vitamin D. It helps calcium do its job and keeps your immune system strong. You should get 600 IU daily.
- DHA. An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA plays a role in your baby’s brain and eye development. You need 200 to 300 milligrams per day.
- Iodine. The mineral promotes your baby’s brain and nervous system development. You should get 290 micrograms daily.
Keeping track of your nutritional needs during pregnancy can feel like a big job, but picking the right foods can help you cover more of your bases. So make an effort to keep these pregnancy superfoods on hand — and make them mainstays of your daily menus.