Healthy Eating 101: What to Eat while You’re Pregnant and Choosing Adoption
Choosing adoption does not change the way you should take care of yourself during pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of unhealthy eating habits. You’re almost guaranteed to experience strange food cravings and, at times, you might even feel like you need to eat twice as much, since the food and drink you ingest not only keeps you strong and healthy, but also nourishes your child. It’s true, you do need to eat more when you’re pregnant, but not as much as you might think, which is why it’s extremely important to consider your eating habits throughout your pregnancy
For some, eating healthy is a breeze, usually because they’ve already incorporated healthy foods into their diet. But eating healthy isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially if you weren’t necessarily a healthy eater prior to becoming pregnant like some people are. Though it’s OK to indulge every now and then -- you’re creating a new life for goodness sake! That’s a lot of work! -- it’s crucial for you to ensure you’re eating foods that are rich in essential nutrients to keep yourself strong and your child growing!
What to Eat during Pregnancy
Grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal and some of the healthier cereal options, are filled with carbohydrates and are your body’s main source of energy. Sometimes, pregnancy can make you feel especially tired or lethargic, which might stop you from keeping busy, exercising or doing other activities you enjoy. Grains also supply your body with the required amounts of fiber for digestion, as well as other key vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin B and iron. It’s important to include a variety of healthy whole grain options into your diet while you’re pregnant, as grains can often be bland or boring in taste!
Fruits and Vegetables
A variety of fruits and vegetables are a must during pregnancy! Fruits and veggies alike provide your body with key vitamins and minerals that are not only essential to your health during pregnancy, but also to your child’s. Fruits help your body by providing you with Vitamin C, which plays an important role in your body by helping you to absorb the iron that naturally occurs in dark, leafy green vegetables. These kinds of veggies are also rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for a strong immune system and good eyesight, and folate, a vitamin that helps your body to create new cells (especially red blood cells), aids in lung function and promotes your baby’s growth and overall health.
Lean meats, eggs, legumes or beans, nuts and some fish -- including but not limited to salmon, freshwater trout, tilapia and cod -- are an excellent source of protein for expecting women. Proteins are considered the building blocks of your body, making up a large portion of your skin, hair and nails, as well as your brain, muscle and tissue. You can also get a portion of your protein intake from low or nonfat dairy products. Incorporating healthy proteins in your diet, especially while pregnant, is important because they help fill you up and prevent you from overeating.
Dairy products, like cheese, milk and yogurt, are an excellent source of your regular dairy intake, and are another great way to incorporate a little extra protein into your pregnancy diet. A lot of dairy products are rich in calcium, as well as Vitamin D, which helps your body to better absorb the calcium needed to keep your teeth and bones strong. Calcium is especially important for pregnant women because your body and bones need to be able to support the weight of your changing body. Additionally, your baby’s tiny body will need a portion of your dairy intake for calcium and Vitamin D to help him or her grow strong little bones and, eventually, little teeth!
Fats and Oils
Like carbohydrates, fats and oils (the good ones!) provide you with an additional, concentrated source of energy, and energy, of course, is crucial when you’re pregnant. Remember, when you’re pregnant, you need extra energy to keep yourself active and your body strong in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Healthy fats, like those from avocados, nuts and seeds, evening primrose oil and even some fish, are also an important part of your baby’s overall health and brain development. Fats can be easy to overindulge on, so be mindful of the kinds of fats you’re ingesting and how much. Eating and drinking all foods and liquids in moderation -- specifically fats, oils and sugars -- is key!
For the Pregnant Vegetarians and Vegans out there…
When you’re pregnant, every food group plays a vital role in maintaining your health and well-being, as well as your baby’s. For the expecting vegetarians and vegans out there, this statement is no less true; however, it can often be more of a challenge for you to get in the required intake of proteins and dairies that are so essential to your health and your baby’s development.
With more and more people opting for vegetarianism and veganism, protein and dairy supplements are a wonderful option for pregnant vegetarians and vegans who require a regular intake of both of these important food groups in order to support their pregnancy. Expecting women who aren’t vegetarian or vegan, who are perhaps picky eaters, would also benefit from these kinds of supplements.
That being said, supplements can’t replace food all together. You and your baby need actual sustenance to be and stay healthy! Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or just a picky eater, it’s important for you to find foods you enjoy that are also highly nutritious for both you and your baby!
If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108