Pregnancy Nutrition & Recipes

Pregnancy Diet Recipes and Menus – Do’s And Don’ts

1. Junk Food War: Healthy Eating

It’s not new for you that some of the foods you crave during your pregnancy are not all that good for you and your baby. They just give you empty calories and extra pounds, without the nutritional benefits of healthier foods. You know, some nacho chips or a caramel candy bar here and there can be impossible to resist, but can’t you try to curb your cravings – try anrange instead of a doughnut.

Pregnancy Diet
Pregnancy Diet

– When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip. To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you’re 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it’s just a few days.

– Arm yourself with additional motivators. You can keep a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale.

– Follow any “cheat” meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you’ll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time.

– If you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find.

– You’re more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand – so make sure it’s not. You can restock your cupboard and fridge with fruits and nuts, cheese, almonds and vegetables, tuna, chicken or salmon. Do the same at work!

– Since stress is a huge trigger for cravings, learning to deal with it could potentially save you hundreds of calories a day. This will take some practice. You can try deep breathing or visualizing a serene scene on your own.

– If only candy bar will do, it’s a craving, not hunger. Recognize that and divert your mind -call someone, listen to music, run an errand, meditate or exercise.

2. Nutrition In Pregnancy – The Do’s And Don’ts

Nutrition and pregnancy refers to the nutrient intake, and dietary planning that is undertaken before, during and after pregnancy. All dietary advice relating to pregnancy-related nutrition is noted by Mary E. Barasi as one of the major factors in determining the future well-being of a child conceived, some factors of a diet are even noted to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality due to helping the supply of nutrients to the mother.

Not only have physical disorders been linked with poor nutrition before and during pregnancy, but neurological disorders and handicaps are a risk that is run by mothers who are malnourished, a condition which can also lead to the child becoming more susceptible to later degenerative disease.

It is known that good nutrition before pregnancy is important because of the amount of “resources” childbirth requires. The process of pre-pregnancy nutrition is a process of “building up” the immune system in preparation of pregnancy, and is known as being one of the major factors in determining the success rate of conceiving healthy children.

There are foods that may decrease your fertility such as high mercury fish, foods that contain trans fat, and consuming too much caffeine. High levels of mercury in the body can cause challenges with fertility and it can be harmful to the developing fetus. Some high mercury fish to avoid may include swordfish, mackerel, and shark. Trans fat can also be very harmful to fertility. The more trans fat in a woman’s diet, the higher her chances of developing ovulatory infertility. Trans fats are found in processed and fried foods that include packaged foods, french fries, donuts, and margarine. Too much caffeine, such as three or more cups a day, can lower fertility and increase the rate of miscarriage.

As with most situations, the most important factor in pre-pregnancy nutrition is ensuring that the mother is healthy and without any major factors which could worsen the chances of conceiving, factors such as anorexia or bulimia are thought to be direct links with infertility; the minimum body mass index for conceiving mothers being 20.8. Gaining weight restores fertility and a body fat content of at least 22% is necessary for normal ovulatory function and menstruation.

As with most diets, there are chances of over-supplementing, however, as general advice, both state and medical recommendations are that mothers follow instructions listed on particular vitamin packaging as to the correct or recommended daily allowance (RDA).

– Magnesium and zinc supplementation for the binding of hormones at their receptor sites.

– Folic acid supplementation, or dietary requirement of foods containing it for the regular growth of the follicle.

– Regular Vitamin D supplementation decreases the chances of deficiencies in adolescence. More importantly, it is known to reduce the likelihood of rickets with pelvic malformations which make normal delivery impossible.

– Regular Vitamin B12 supplementation, again is known to reduce the chances of infertility and ill health.

– Omega-3 fatty acids can increase blood flow to reproductive organs and may help regulate reproductive hormones. Consumption is also known to help prevent premature delivery and low birth weight. The best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish. Some other omega-3 fatty acids not found in fish can be found in foods such as flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and enriched eggs

It is advised for pregnant women to pay special attention to food hygiene during pregnancy in addition to avoiding certain foods in order to reduce the risk of exposure to substances that may be harmful to the developing fetus. This can include food pathogens and toxic food components, alcohol, and dietary supplements such as vitamin A.

Recommended nutrients during pregnancy

Nutrient Recommendation (Extra = Above RDA) Maximum/Total amount
Energy Increase by 200 kcal (840 kJ) per day in last trimester only. RDA
Proteins Extra 6 g per day 51 g per day
Thiamin Increase in line with energy; increase by 0.1 mg per day 0.9 mg per day
Riboflavin Needed for tissue growth; extra 0.3 mg per day 1.4 mg per day
Niacin Regular supplementation/diet of substance. No increase required. RDA
Folate Maintain plasma levels; extra 100 µg per day 300 µg per day
Vitamin C Replenish drained maternal stores; extra 120 mg per day 50 mg per day
Vitamin D Replenish plasma levels of vitamin 10 µg per day. RDA
Calcium Needs no increase RDA
Iron Extra 3 mg per day needed RDA
Magnesium, zinc, and copper Normal supplementation or consumption. RDA
Iodine Extra 100 µg per day. 250 µg per day

Proper nutrition is important after delivery to help the mother recover, and to provide enough food energy and nutrients for a woman to breastfeed her child. Women having serum ferritin <= 70 µg/L may need iron supplements to prevent iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy and postpartum.

3. Which Foods To Eat And Which To Avoid During Pregnancy

The main rule of healthy eating during pregnancy is having a balanced diet. This means your diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, grains and lots of hydrating fluids.

You really are eating for two! Pregnancy diet and nutrition is a lot more complicated than simply eating twice as much. Give your baby the best start in life with a pregnancy nutrition plan that meets both of your needs. Here you will find articles, expert Q&As and tools to inform you about diet, supplements and healthy lifestyle changes that can increase your chances of having a healthy, comfortable pregnancy and a healthy, happy baby.

– To ensure your diet is healthy it is important to eat a variety of foods during pregnancy. Make sure your diet includes: fruit and vegetables, potatoes, bread, pasta, lean meat, chicken, white fish, eggs, beans and lentils.

– During pregnancy, changes in hormones cause a woman’s immune system to become suppressed, so that it is harder to fight off infections. During pregnancy your defences against stomach bugs and food poisoning can be lower than usual so make sure you avoid: camembert, brie or chevre, all types of p?t?, raw or partially cooked eggs, raw fish, shellfish and raw meat, liver and liver products, deep sea fish –  shark, swordfish or marlin

– Caffeine and Alcohol. These two substances can turn up in unexpected places, like a liqueur-filled truffle or coffee ice cream. And be aware that chocolate is also high in caffeine, so watch that sweet tooth. Caffeine and alcohol actually prevent absorption of folic acid and iron – two essential nutrients during pregnancy – and pull calcium out of your bones, not to mention that they also directly affect the fetus and can have long-term developmental effects.

– Avoid Fats. Believe it or not, the average American diet is 37 percent fat. A healthy diet should be around 20 percent fat, even during pregnancy. To tell you the truth, you only need 5 percent fat in your diet to stay healthy. Believe me, you don’t have to worry about not getting enough fat either. Practically all foods have some fat. Fruits have 3 to 14 percent fat, grains have 3 to 10 percent fat, and even veggies have 1 to 10 percent fat. So you can’t avoid it. The good news is that your body does need some fat, and even a little cholesterol is important for your baby’s development.