5 Steps to Knowing What to Eat During Pregnancy

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If you are feeling uncertain about what to eat during pregnancy, you are not alone.  In fact, even with some of the incredibly detailed lists doctors rush to hand out to expectant mothers, many feel unsure of what to eat, how much to eat and why.  Here are 5 simple steps to get you on the right track.

Step One
Long before you get pregnant, especially if it is a planned pregnancy, you want to break poor habits and adopt a healthy way of eating.  You can find the guidelines for that change at our sister website – just look for the Diet Solution Program. 

While it is true that the suggestions made there should be simple common sense, for most people it is the first time they have ever seen proper nutritional guidelines spelled out so clearly.  You will learn what to eat during pregnancy, what to avoid, and why.

Step Two
Once you find out you are pregnant, your responsibility for eating properly increases.  While you may not be eating twice as much, you are certainly eating for two. 

Everything your baby needs is going to be coming from you, and making sure you get all your needed nutrients will involve actually paying attention to what you put on your plate and in your mouth.

Step Three
To supply your baby’s caloric needs you will have to increase your intake by about 200-300 calories.  That really isn’t much in the scheme of things.  How much is 300 calories?  I

n one day you can add an apple, a whole grain tortilla and about 2 extra ounces of lean protein.  On another day you could have your calories by eating an extra ounce of nuts, some berries and throw an egg in your morning oatmeal.  As you can see, it really isn’t a huge amount of food.

Step Four
Vary your foods.  One of the hardest things to do when you are already eating well is to make sure you get a good variety of foods as well.  It is good to vary foods because each food has a slightly different set of nutrients that it provides. 
Grass-fed beef will offer more iron while wild salmon provides lots of omega-3 fatty acids.  Shellfish give you zinc and B vitamins, whereas eggs provide choline.

By mixing things up you cover all your nutritional bases.

Step Five
Have fun with it.  The most important thing to keep in mind about what to eat during pregnancy is to enjoy yourself! 

For many women morning sickness can make the first trimester challenging.  By the third trimester you may feel like you spend most of your day heading to the bathroom or struggling with indigestion.  A little creativity can go a long way.

If you feel best after a bowl of oatmeal, there is no reason to keep it just for breakfast.  Mix in berries one time, nut butter another. 

Does the smell of fish cooking make you queasy?  Get your omega-3s from walnuts and stick to beef.  With a willing spirit and a little understanding from your partner you will make it through your pregnancy healthy, with a healthy baby and an intact waistline.

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