Sample Menu for a Healthy Pregnancy
If there was ever an important time to eat healthy foods, pregnancy is it. Your baby relies on your intake of vitamins and minerals for proper growth and development so adding a variety of nutritious foods to your diet is healthy for both you and your little one. MayoClinic.com recommends eating plenty of low-fat dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats in order to ensure that you get exactly what you need for your baby and for yourself.
A night of sleeping leaves you with low body fuel and breakfast helps you replenish your energy, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Filling up on whole grains will boost your intake of fiber and adding fresh fruit will supply essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains also supply iron and B vitamins, two nutrients that you need additional levels of throughout your pregnancy. A bowl of whole grain breakfast cereal or oatmeal is a healthy choice for your morning meal. Sliced banana or berries will supply vitamin C and potassium. Skim milk is nutritious as well because it supplies calcium that your baby needs for her growing bones.
Your need for protein increases quite a bit while carrying a baby and your midday meal should be packed with this essential nutrient. Have a lean chicken or turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce and tomato as one healthy option. Beans are another protein-packed food that can be added to a salad or soup meal. Drink another glass of milk or eat an ounce of low-fat cheese to ensure that you get plenty of calcium as well. Fresh fruit and vegetables will supply fiber, vitamin C and other important nutrients.
Your last meal of the day should also contain protein, calcium, iron and vitamins. Grilled fish or chicken are nutritious foods that supply protein and iron. Adding a spinach salad will also boost your intake of iron, a nutrient you need more of throughout your pregnancy. Vegetables should be an essential part of your diet so add carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes or tomatoes to your dinner meal to ensure that you also get plenty of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin A. A healthy source of fiber is also a nutritious part of your meal. Couscous or brown rice are nutrient-rich options.
The snacks you eat throughout the day will supplement the nutrients you may not get from your meals. Protein-rich snacks will help give you energy. Nuts or whole grain toast with peanut butter are two nutritious snack ideas. Fresh fruit or vegetables are always healthy choices as well. Low-fat string cheese or cottage cheese will increase your intake of calcium.
- MayoClinic.com: Pregnancy Diet: Essential Nutrients When Your're Eating for Two
- "The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy"; Jonny Bowden and Allison Tannis; 2010