Eating when you are pregnant is not about eating double, but about eating well. The quality of the food you eat is important, since it can have an impact on your baby’s development, and their future health and habits.
What you eat is also what gives your baby the nutrients to grow, so we want to make sure you’re giving them the best quality materials to work with! As we mentioned before, it’s not just about quantity, but quality. Research has shown that the mother’s diet can influence a baby’s health into adulthood. If a baby is malnourished in the womb, this increases the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and high blood pressure when they grow up.
But there is also good news! Some studies suggest that the flavors of what you eat during pregnancy can get to the amniotic fluid, and your baby might be able to smell or taste some of those foods! Isn’t that amazing? This means they might get a taste for certain types of food if you eat them often. Take advantage of this and eat lots of nutritious foods so your baby can develop a liking for healthy eating, even before they’re born!
Eating healthy and staying active can also help you avoid complications like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, so healthy eating really it’s a win-win situation for you and your baby!
Think “variety”! Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet – the more color, the better! Get strength, vitamins and minerals from healthy proteins like lean meats, fish and dairy, and energy from whole grains, and healthy fats. Whenever you can, opt for fresh foods instead of packaged, and natural instead of processed.
The most important thing is to listen to your body, and to make sure that most of what you eat are nutritious foods and not just empty calories. At different points in your pregnancy, you might need to eat between 200 to 400 extra calories – but this varies as the pregnancy progresses, and it depends on each person. Instead of counting calories and focusing on the numbers on your scale, focus on the quality of your meals. Eat mindfully, be present at meals and enjoy every bite – if you eat slower, you give your body the chance to absorb nutrients better!
Of course, it is important to keep track of your weight, and not go to any extremes. Neither being underweight or overweight is healthy for your pregnancy, so talk to your doctor and make sure you are gaining weight in a proportional, healthy and safe way.
Getting a little bit of everything and giving priority to natural ingredients can make a huge difference in the way your baby develops and also in the way you feel. Remember, these next nine months are crucial, so get ready and eat with love and care. Your food choices make a difference!