Category Archives: Prenatal nutrition

Portion control

Minding quantity and quality of the food you eat during pregnancy is important. Calculating portions could be tricky if you don’t have a measuring cup at hand, however, you could use your own hand to measure food portions. Here you’ll find a list of equivalents in measurements and quantities.

Your hand will be the measurement instrument; you’ll get portions and even calculate calories! Your fist is equivalent to a cup so every food that needs this measurement will be one portion. This measurement is useful to calculate carbs such as rice and pasta. Likewise, it could be useful to estimate portions of fruits and vegetables.

If you open your hand you’ll be able to calculate meat portions. With your hand stretched open to focus on your fingertips. The tip of your thumb equals a teaspoon, which is useful for sugar and fats such as oil and butter. Two index fingers are equivalent to a portion of cheese, or processed meats such as ham.

Close your hand again. Every fistful is equivalent to an ounce. This is useful for nuts, grains, dry fruit, and chips. When it comes to bread and tortillas, you must remember that your hand is only useful for length, not thickness. Your portion should not exceed your hand and in the case of bread, it shouldn’t be thicker than your pinky finger.

Getting a hang of portions should be way easier now that you know measurements. Mind the packaging information when it comes to chips and precooked meals, or use small bowls to measure them.

When and how do I consume folic acid

The importance of consuming enough vitamin B9 (folic acid) is widely known. However, there’s little information as to when it’s appropriate to begin its consumption. Every good habit requires discipline, planning, and follow-up. Folic acid is no exception. When it comes to taking folic acid you should plan ahead, and start taking it months before getting pregnant so that when the baby needs the nutrients, the mother’s organism is prepared.

On the other hand, people who are already pregnant must begin taking folic acid as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! Several studies have shown that consuming it a few weeks before and after conception is key to the baby’s health since {his/her} nervous system starts developing very early in gestation.

Consumption of food that is rich in vitamin B9, such as cereals, veggies, green peas, beans, and citric fruits will benefit your baby’s development.

Hooray for Vitamin B!

Enjoy the benefits of what you eat! Foods that are rich in nutrients are key to your physical and mental health. Pregnancy is a very important stage in your life, and the food you eat is key for you and your baby’s health. The nutrients you eat before and after pregnancy are the roots for your baby’s growth and development. Whatever the food groups you eliminate or food you start eating could have repercussions on your baby’s development.

Food that is rich in folate is necessary for your baby’s development. Folate or folic acid plays an important role in the formation of new cells and the construction of your baby’s nervous system. Making sure to eat a diet that is rich in folate, and taking folic acid before and during the first trimester, could help prevent abnormalities in your baby such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

According to Harvard, this vitamin should be consumed in doses of 400 to 600 micrograms per day. However, you should be careful about thinking that the more folate the merrier: portion control is key to a good diet! Your B9 consumption should not exceed 1000 micrograms a day. It could be helpful to keep a registry of food that is rich in this vitamin, like cereals, leafy green vegetables, beans, and citric fruits.

The importance of folic acid

The consumption of folic acid is considered a must by doctors, is recommended by the media and widely known amongst women who are of age to procreate. Why is it so important? Folic acid is derived from vitamin B9, also known as folate. Three decades ago, it was discovered that babies with spina bifida had low levels of this vitamin, and ever since then, health experts have worked on spreading the word and promoting the consumption of vitamin B9 through pills, supplements, and food.

A lot of the products we consume nowadays have some folic acid. Ever since its purposefulness was found, folic acid has been added to products such as pasta, bread, and cereals. However, for people who are pregnant, eating these are insufficient, and may even be counterproductive.

There’s plenty of publications by Harvard where they recommend decreasing consumption of food that has added folic acid, and instead choosing natural food that is rich in vitamin B9. Some of these natural foods are:

1/2 cup of cooked lentils – 180 mg
1/2 cup of spinach – 132 mg
1/2 cup of black beans – 128 mg
1 1/2 oz of sunflower seeds – 101 mg
1/2 cup of cooked turnip greens – 85 mg
1/2 cup of cooked broccoli – 84 mg
1 cup of fresh orange juice – 74 mg
1 1/2 oz of nuts – 62 mg

Mind what you eat and make sure it nurtures you. Use your creativity and the basic foods we shared with you in order to create new and delicious recipes.

Nutrition: quality vs quantity

Quality comes before quantity. It’s very important to pay attention to your diet’s quality before and during pregnancy since the things you eat are directly linked to your body and to your baby’s development. Your baby grows with the nutrients that your body gives {him/her}, and forms an immune system that will help {him/her} thrive. When you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t drastically change the number of calories you ingest, but instead, make sure to eat higher quality foods.

According to the Health Department in Harvard, a healthy diet during gestation should focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and cereals. Keep eating lactose and proteins, but be mindful of the portions, like you would do on a normal diet. Fats and sugar, on the other hand, should be limited and preferably acquired through cereals, fruits, and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and almonds.

It’s also important to note that the number of calories you eat should be modified only until after your first trimester. During the second and third trimester, you only need to eat 300 extra calories a day, which is the equivalent of a glass of milk, two slices of bread, or a handful of almonds. During your third trimester, you may start to feel hungrier. As your baby grows {he/she} demands more nutrition and your body will need more sustenance to satisfy both of you.

Nutrition: 2 for 1

In order to take care of your health, you must be mindful of the things you eat. In this stage of your life, it’s key to pay extra attention to what you eat. Now, your eating habits no longer just affect you but they also affect your baby. Eating for two is not the same thing as getting enough nutrition for two. Before and during pregnancy, you’re the only resource for your baby’s development. Your eating habits are the very roots of your baby’s health so make sure that what you are eating is good for your organism. Harvard researchers state that during pregnancy, healthy nutrition is necessary for you and your baby’s health.

Your baby’s growth and nutrition is acquired and processed from the mother’s organism. Blood, cells, and nutrients are taken from the mother and transferred vía the umbilical cord for the baby’s development. Your nutrition during pregnancy is useful for compensating this resource loan that your baby takes in order to develop. Researchers state that your diet during gestation must be considered even before pregnancy since it gives the mom the necessary resources for her and her baby.

Through a healthy diet, you allow your baby to get the nutritional resources to fight diseases throughout his or her entire life. According to a research conducted by Harvard, when a mom has a healthy diet during pregnancy, it affects positively in her and her baby’s health, preventing them from having heart diseases, strokes, diabetes, asthma, and osteoporosis.

It’s not about eating twice as much; it’s about getting twice as many nutrients. Your body will need an adequate nutrition income to stay healthy. Therefore it’s important to eat more vitamins and minerals. Remember that a healthy mom equals a baby with better development conditions.

Nausea-proof habits

Is nausea keeping you from enjoying your food? Don’t worry! Feeling nauseous is completely normal during the first trimester since your body is changing and your hormones are adjusting. It’s at this stage that your hormonal levels of GCH and estrogen are working. Another reason for feeling nauseous is the increased pressure in your uterus. Finally, it can also be a consequence of eating habits; which is easily mended with a change of habits.

To avoid feeling nausea you can try the following tips:

• Portion control. Make sure you eat food that is rich in vitamins, and in small portions throughout the day

• Eat snacks. Make sure they are healthy and low in simple carbohydrates

• Eat crackers to minimize nausea. Sucking on ice could also be helpful

• Stay hydrated by constantly consuming liquids in small quantities. Avoid taking hurried gulps

• Avoid foods that are too smelly. If you still want to eat them, make sure to eat it when cold or lukewarm. Hot food tends to enhance the smell

• Keep your mouth clean. Brushing your teeth after every snack and meal will not only help your dental hygiene, but it will also help diminish nausea

If your sickness does not subside or you are in pain, don’t doubt to call your doctor!

Mindful eating: Identifying the best eating habits for you and your baby

Besides knowing all about what you should avoid eating during pregnancy, we want to share with you three of the best foods for you and your baby, since they have plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals.


Eggs provide a great amount of protein, and over 12 vitamins and minerals, making them essential for your pregnancy. Eggs are considered a high-quality protein, since they come from an animal, and are filled with amino acids, which will be helpful to your baby’s development. On the other hand, eggs contain a lot of choline (also known as vitamin B), which is helpful when your baby’s just beginning to develop his or her spine and brain. According to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, it’s ideal to consume around 450mg of choline during pregnancy.

Natural Yoghurt

Natural Yoghurt contains lots of calcium! Your baby will need it in order to have strong bones and teeth, along with a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. If you don’t eat enough calcium while you’re pregnant, your baby will end up taking it from your bones, which could take a toll on your health. Along with having the minerals that your body deems necessary, one of the greatest advantages of yogurt is that it’s very easy to digest and helps fight constipation.


Salmon is one of the most recommended meals during pregnancy since it has proteins, antioxidants, and most importantly, omega 3. In the last few years, it has been found that Omega 3 is helpful for your baby’s brain development, eye retinas, and nervous system. Eating a good amount of omega 3 will help reduce the risks of getting preeclampsia, post-partum depression, and will minimize the probability of early delivery.

Keep these habits up so your baby grows healthy and strong!