Blog provided by Healthy Start.
Eating well during your pregnancy can be challenging. Some people experience nausea, changes in appetite and heartburn. The dietitians at Healthy Start compiled a list of 10 eating tips to help you during your pregnancy. If you would like to connect with Healthy Start and learn more about our pregnancy and new parent support, please call us at 204-949-5350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website at www.hsmm.ca for more information and great recipes.
Top 10 Eating Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
1. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day
Follow Canada’s Food Guide to help plan your meals. Cook more often. Look for recipes on: Canada.ca/FoodGuide, Unlockfood.ca or hsmm.ca
2. Eat regular meals
Aim for 3 meals a day with healthy snacks in-between. Eat meals with family or friends – it’s a great time to share and connect.
SNACK IDEAS: Roasted chickpeas, veggies and hummus, yogurt and fruit, piece of fruit, peanut butter on bread.
3. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
Try eating a vegetable or fruit with each meal or snack. These foods are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fresh, frozen or canned are all healthy options. Choose fruit instead of juice
IDEAS: Make a veggie pizza, add more veggies to sandwiches, snack on raw vegetables and dip, add vegetables to soups and casseroles, try apple slices with peanut butter, make a smoothie with frozen berries or mangos.
4. Eat beans, fish, meat, tofu, eggs, nuts and seeds
Aim to have one of these protein-rich foods at each meal. These foods also have iron, which helps to make healthy blood. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often, like black beans, lentils or chickpeas (canned or dried). Fish has omega-3 fatty acids which can help with baby’s brain and eye development, eat at least 2 servings (75 grams each) of cooked fish each week. Choose canned light tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp and sole more often as these fish are lower in mercury. Limit canned albacore tuna, fresh or frozen tuna, escolar, orange roughy, marlin, shark and swordfish as these fish are high in mercury
IDEAS: Bean dip, bean burritos, add beans to soup/salad/rice, beef & barley soup, tuna cakes, smoothie made with soft tofu, peanut butter on toast, trail mix with nuts and seeds, scrambled eggs.
5. Drink milk and eat cheese & yogurt
Drink 2 cups of milk a day. Calcium will help to build strong bones and teeth for baby and will protect your bones too. More calcium is needed if you are under 18 years old. If you do not drink cow’s milk, try fortified soy or plant beverages.
IDEAS: Make a yogurt smoothie, have cheddar cheese and crackers for a snack, make homemade pudding with milk, try cottage cheese with fruits and vegetables, make oatmeal or pancakes with milk, try homemade ranch dressing made with yogurt and milk.
Tip: If you crush the bones in canned salmon or sardines, you will get calcium!
6. Eat whole grain foods
Try barley, quinoa, oats, wild rice, whole wheat bread, whole-wheat pastaand brown rice more often
Whole grains give you energy and are high in fibre. Fibre helps to relieve constipation, which is common in pregnancy
IDEAS: Add barley and quinoa to soups, salads and stir-fries, add brown or wild rice to white rice for more fibre and a nutty flavour, start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, whole grain cereal or whole grain toast, add oats to your smoothie.
7. Make water your drink of choice
Aim to drink 9 cups of fluids each day to keep you hydrated and help prevent constipation. Limit drinks high in sugar, such as pop and juice. Winnipeg tap water is safe and has fluoride to keep teeth healthy.
IDEAS: Add lemon, orange, cucumber slices or mint to water to make it tasty, suck on ice cubes, carry a water bottle with you and keep a jug of water in the fridge, set a reminder to drink water throughout the day.
8. Limit or avoid caffeine
Coffee, black/green teas, cola drinks and energy drinks all have caffeine. Too much caffeine can affect baby’s growth. Drink less than 300 mg caffeine a day. 1 cup (250 ml) coffee = 150 mg caffeine.
IDEAS: Try decaffeinated coffee or safe herbal teas like peppermint or ginger
9. Get your daily vitamins
Choose a vitamin with 0.4mg (400mcg) folic acid and 16-20 mg iron. Take your prenatal vitamin every day with water. Some women find taking it before bed is easier on their stomach. Talk to your Doctor and Dietitian to find out if you need more iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium or vitamin D.
10. Be food safe
Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get food poisoning. Listeria is a kind of bacteria that can cause a foodborne illness called listeriosis, which can harm your baby. Some foods can be contaminated with Listeria – avoid these when pregnant.
AVOID: Deli meats and hot dogs (unless heated until steaming hot), raw fish (like in sushi), raw sprouts, undercooked meat and eggs, soft and semi-soft cheese (brie, feta, Havarti), smoked salmon (unless canned), unpasteurized milk or cheese.
Reference: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guide/resources/prenatal-nutrition.html. November 2019.