Go Organic When You Can
Naturally grown vegetables and fruits along with naturally raised meat products provide delicious flavor and health benefits. Eating organic eliminates the risk of consuming pesticides, steroids, and antibiotics that could be potentially harmful to you and your baby. As always, be sure to cook meat thoroughly and only eat pasteurized dairy products, says Burris.
Foods Not Meant for Two
While eating healthy is generally good advice for expecting moms, there are some foods that carry with them potential hazards. And now that you are eating for baby, too, take into consideration these foods to avoid:
- Undercooked eggs: This includes foods that contain eggs with runny yolks in their ingredients, says Kimball. Foods like cookie dough, soufflé, and Caesar dressing are off limits when pregnant.
- Soft cheeses and deli meats: Cheese products such as brie, gorgonzola, and bleu are unpasteurized and can potentially carry Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that may contribute to miscarriage or stillbirth. Deli meats can also carry Listeria-causing bacteria, so fend off that craving for a sub sandwich until after your baby is born.
- Fish containing mercury: Fish such as swordfish and marlin should remain off limits during your pregnancy. Consuming red snapper, tuna, halibut, and bass once a week is fine, but more than that can also be toxic to your baby. And of course avoid uncooked fish, such as sushi, altogether while you're expecting.
Pregnancy is not the time to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but it is also not the time to eat with abandon. Planning healthy, balanced meals will help you remain energetic and feeling good as your pregnancy progresses. And most important of all, your developing baby will be getting the nutrients he needs to grow and get a great start in life. While you may not be eating for two in the amount you consume, your food choices are your baby's food choices, which is encouragement enough to eat right.