Pregnancy Diet Starter Guide: Nutrients for a Healthy Baby
Nourish your developing baby with healthy foods.
Pregnancy can be, by far, one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. When considering this new bundle of joy you are about to bring into the world, the thoughts of happiness abound. There are so many memories to be made, and the chance to guide a young life can be pretty exhilarating. But the truth is many new moms and moms-to-be have worries while pregnant. They wonder how much sleep they need to ensure their baby grows appropriately. They worry about what foods to eat for a healthy baby and so much more. And all of these worries are for good reason because it takes more than magic for a healthy baby to grow and prosper. So, the team at Tomasik Family Dental has tried to make things a bit easier with this pregnancy diet starter guide.
What is a pregnancy diet?
Though there is no magic formula for deciding what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy, the basic principles of nutrition become increasingly important. A healthy pregnancy diet will consist of plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. And most of what we need to consume during pregnancy is easy to come by in food, and if not in food, it is readily available as a nutritional supplement.
Key nutrients that should be in your pregnancy diet include:
- Folate and folic acid to help prevent congenital disabilities
- Calcium to strengthen bones
- Vitamin D to promote bone strength
- Protein to promote overall growth
- Iron to prevent iron deficiency or anemia
Be sure to talk to your doctor about how much to consume each day. You can easily find general guidelines on the internet, but your physician will be able to best guide you around the specifics of your pregnancy.
Get the critical nutrients for your pregnancy diet with food and supplements.
If you are looking for tips on eating well during pregnancy or if you want to know what foods to avoid during pregnancy, we have listed some specifics here. And you’ll be pleased to know that many of the healthy foods you eat each day are suitable for your growing baby too.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and kiwi, leafy green vegetables, peas, and dried beans are good sources of naturally occurring folate. Fortified cereals are also a great source.
The best way to get calcium is through dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, cream soups, and pudding. Healthy cheese options during pregnancy include cheddar, parmesan, and stilton, as well as cottage cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, paneer, halloumi, and goat cheese. However, you can also get calcium in green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, and greens), seafood, dried peas, and beans. Some juices and tofu are made with calcium too, so be sure to check the food nutrition label.
One of the best ways to get your vitamin D is with sun exposure. Five to ten minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week is sufficient. If getting out in the sun is problematic, you can also get vitamin D through fatty fish such as herring or salmon. Plus, salmon supports the central nervous system, eyes, and brain. Try fortified milk and orange juice too.
Get your daily dose of protein through lean meat, poultry, fish, and fully cooked eggs. Other great sources of protein include beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
Lean red meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of iron. Other options to get some iron into your diet include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans, and vegetables.
Foods to Avoid in Your Pregnancy Diet
There are some foods that are best to avoid during pregnancy as they could cause illness to you or your unborn baby. Specifically, keep these food items out of your pregnancy diet.
- Mold-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, chevre, and others with a similar rind as well as soft blue-veined cheeses such as Danish blue or gorgonzola
- Pâté, including vegetable pâtés
- Raw or partially cooked eggs and homemade mayonnaise
- Rare or otherwise undercooked meat
- Liver products such as liver pâté or liver sausage
- Supplements containing vitamin A
- Fish with higher levels of mercury as well as shark (flake), broadbill, marlin, and swordfish. Limit consumption of orange roughy and catfish too.
- Raw shellfish
- Prepackaged salads
- Rockmelon and bean sprouts
- Raw oysters, sashimi, sushi, ready-to-eat smoked seafood, and ready-to-eat cooked prawns
- Excess sugar or sweets
And remember, as a rule of thumb, the best foods to eat are freshly cooked or freshly prepared food. Further, always be sure that cooked foods are prepared to the proper internal temperature per the USDA.
Best Pregnancy Diet Snacks
Convenience is critical whether you are a mom-to-be on the go or just want to know what the best snacks are to eat during pregnancy. We all lead busy lives, and those lives will undoubtedly get more active once the new wee one arrives. So if you have been spending hours on the internet searching for food for a healthy baby and want a manageable list, we’ve got you covered. And to make things better, these snacks are suitable for your teeth and overall health too.
- Apple and cheddar cheese slices
- Scrambled or fried eggs on toast or an English muffin
- Greek yogurt parfait
- Fresh veggie sticks such as carrots or celery
- Guacamole and low-sodium tortilla chips
- Mashed avocado on crackers
- Cottage cheese, fresh fruit, and granola
Make a trip to the dentist part of your prenatal care.
Prenatal dental care is critical for you and your baby’s health. Not only can your dentist clean your teeth and handle procedures like cavity fillings before your baby is born, but we can also help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms you may be experiencing. So, whether you are looking for a dentist in Lakeway, Texas, or the best dentist in Bee Cave, now is the time to make an appointment.