Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Healthy eating during pregnancy can be a challenge. Sometimes, your work and family life can make it hard for you to eat well. You might not have enough time or energy to make a home cooked meal every day. So, eating fast food, or snacking on junk food throughout the day may be your routine. On the other hand, you may have strong pregnancy food cravings for hamburgers, pizza, and other unhealthy meals. You are probably asking yourself, “How can I achieve healthy eating goals? How do I stay motivated to eat well?”
During your pregnant months, you must set healthy eating goals. The foods that you consume during pregnancy are your unborn baby’s only source of nutrients. Your baby’s growth and development will suffer if you don’t get the nutrients that you need. So, how can you stay motivated to eat well, and achieve your healthy eating goals?
- Stop eating fast food and unhealthy snacks. These foods are full of empty calories. They taste good, but they offer no nutritional benefit for you or your baby.
- Snack on nutritious foods throughout the day. Instead of eating a bag of chips, why not munch on a healthy apple, orange, or banana? Fresh fruit is always the best way to get your nutrients, but if you have a huge craving for chips, buy apple chips or banana chips instead.
- Every day, aim to eat foods from the five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Fruits and vegetables are best raw, but you can also enjoy them as drinks, such as V8 juice, delicious smoothies and shakes. To get whole grains into your diet, you may want to enjoy dry cereal as a snack, or make a sandwich for lunch on whole wheat bread. Protein is easy to get into your diet. You can make a sandwich with lean cuts of meat, or eat eggs for breakfast. You can also snack on nuts and seeds for your protein. Almond, cashews, mixed nuts, walnuts, and peanuts are wonderful sources of protein, and they make excellent snacks throughout the day. For a healthy dose of dairy, why not drink milk with each of your meals, or enjoy yogurt as your dessert?
Healthy eating goals are easily achieved when you can think of healthy snacks to enjoy during the day. Remember that it’s OK to splurge and enjoy a candy bar or a bag of chips occasionally, but the bulk of your diet should be healthy foods. To achieve your healthy eating goals, you need to also take a prenatal vitamin to fill in any gaps that your diet leaves out.