Eating well isn’t complicated and doesn’t need to be during pregnancy either! But it’s true that pregnant women need to eat for two (in quality, not quantity!), since everything babies need to grow comes from their mother.
If you follow these tips, you’ll see that eating healthy during pregnancy is simple!
1. Eat more while listening to your hunger signals
Since you’re also eating for the baby growing inside you, you will have higher energy needs. So yes, you need to eat a little more, but not a huge amount. Two or three extra portions per day are usually enough. For example, an extra apple, homemade muffin and glass of milk during the course of the day should do it.
Even while pregnant, listening to your hunger signals is the best way to know how much to eat at mealtimes. Don’t worry if you forget to eat more, because your stomach will let you know when to eat and when to stop. If you eat according to your hunger signals, your body should have all the energy it needs to gain sufficient weight during the pregnancy and to help your baby develop.
It’s normal and desirable to gain weight during pregnancy. You should never deprive yourself or go on a diet while pregnant. It could be harmful for your fetus. If you’re scared you’ll have trouble getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight, there are several tips that can help you lose weight after giving birth.
2. Eat regularly
Eating regularly means around every 3 to 4 hours. So plan on eating 3 meals a day, but also snacks. This will meet your eating-for-two needs without having to eat huge portions, which will also reduce the risk of nausea, vomiting and heartburn. Eating regularly can even give you more energy and prevent afternoon energy slumps!
3. Eat balanced meals
Making sure you eat a balanced plate of food will give you and your baby enough energy until the next meal. This will keep you in better health and will help baby develop properly.
4. Eat a varied diet, without certain foods
Each food, even in the same food group, has a unique taste and a different amount of vitamins and minerals. That’s why it’s important not to only eat carrots, but also broccoli, celery, tomatoes, peas, etc.
Baby can already taste some of the foods you eat while in the uterus. By varying your food, baby will start discovering flavours. This will have an influence on their food preferences before they’re even born!
Even if you eat a varied, balanced diet, it’s recommended that future moms take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement every day. This will provide all the essential elements needed for the fetus to grow, especially folic acid, iron and calcium.
Some foods should temporarily be set aside during pregnancy, however. Avoid raw animal products to prevent food-borne infections that could harm your baby. Always go with cooked animal products.
Consult our sheet to know what you can replace these foods with.
5. Enjoy your food
Even if pregnancy comes with certain inconveniences, continue to take pleasure in eating! Choose your meals based on your tastes and cravings, however strange they are! Since what mama eat is what baby eats, it’s a good time to try new things!
These eating tips can apply to the whole family, not just pregnant women. A baby’s arrival changes many things in their family’s life. Why not continue the good habits adopted during pregnancy after baby gets here?
Redaction : Fondation Olo
Scientific review : Mylène Duplessis Brochu, nutritionist, Dt.P., M.Sc.