Double Down on Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Posted by Eric Peterson, M.D. on Feb 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Fancy strollers and the latest baby gadgets are great – if you can afford them. But in my opinion, the most important thing pregnant moms can do for their babies is to launch them on the road to a healthy diet, even before they are born. 

Paying attention to what you eat during pregnancy can help you feel better and more energetic, assuring you begin motherhood on the best foot. And your little bundle of joy will be one step ahead of the game with a healthier start to life.


Do’s for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy 

  • Add about 300 calories per day to your usual diet.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods. Include:
Four servings of dairy products.
Three servings of protein.
Two to four servings of fruit.
Four or more servings of vegetables.
Six to 11 servings of whole grains, including pasta, bread, rice.
  • Try to eat or drink 1,000 to 1,300 mg of calcium daily when you’re pregnant. If you have problems with milk, try cheese, yogurt or calcium-fortified foods.
  • Include lots of protein from meat, fish, beans and nuts.
  • Get as many nutrients from food as possible, including these daily:

Iron: 27 mg daily from foods such as meat, beans, cereals and cooked spinac

Iodine: 250 micrograms from dairy, potatoes or seafood.

Vitamin C: 70 mg from fruits and vegetables.

Folic acid: .4 mg daily from greens or beans.

  • Drink eight to 10 cups of water daily.
  • Talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins. 

Don’ts for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy 

  • Avoid alcohol completely.
  • Keep caffeine to less than 200 mg daily.
  • Limit fat intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.
  • Watch sugar, including hidden sources like cereal and juice.
  • Don’t eat high-mercury fish including swordfish, shark or mackerel.
  • Avoid sushi or raw or undercooked meat or fish.
  • Cut out soft cheese, including blue cheese, feta, Brie or Mexican soft cheese. Cream and cottage cheeses are OK.
  • Don’t starve yourself if you’re nauseated in the early stages of pregnancy. Try smoothies or small, more frequent meals with ample protein. 

Try not to beat yourself up too much if you slip and indulge in an extra cookie on rare occasions but strive to keep on track as much as possible. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any special diet situations, such as diabetes. 

What are your tips for pregnant moms who want to eat right?

Peterson_Eric.pngDr. Eric Peterson is a board-certified Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center. He’s a certified da Vinci® surgeon, offering minimally invasive surgery for gynecological procedures, such as laparoscopic hysterectomy. In addition, he performs Novasure, Ther​ma Choice and other laparoscopic procedures. 


Topics: healthy eating during pregnancy

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