Balanced meals for an expecting woman are crucial. Be sure to include the following when planning your meals:
Carbohydrates: Bulk up on the carbohydrates, says Molly Kimball, RD, dietitian and sports nutritionist for the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. "You'll need all your carbs for your own energy and that of your baby," she says. She also notes that pregnant women should eat a light, carb-filled snack every three to four hours and be sure to eat a bit before exercising to keep glucose going to the baby.
Calcium: Kimball recommends consuming 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium a day. To ensure your baby has strong bones and teeth, make sure there is enough milk and yogurt in your diet. Or, take a calcium supplement to keep your baby growing strong.
Protein: Consuming 60 grams of protein daily is what Kimball recommends. Chicken breasts, milk, and eggs are all good sources of protein and keep you and your unborn child nourished.
Fiber: "Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods can help minimize constipation caused by your elevated hormone levels," explains Kimball. Whole-grain products are key and include high-fiber breads, cereals, and tortillas.
Water: Don't forget the water! You may feel like you're guzzling nonstop, but drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day will keep you hydrated and feeling healthy, says Burris. You can always substitute a glass of water with a glass of fresh-squeezed juice. It will make for a sweet, yummy treat that will keep you from pining for the junk food aisle.
Vitamins: Taking a prenatal vitamin is also wise. Prenatals contain the majority of nutrients you and baby need over the coming months, particularly iron and folic acid.