Preparing For Birth – Pregnancy Nutrition
during childbirth class there is always a question of “What should I eat?”. Pulling from the FDA pyramid plan for moms interactive website, the below information puts it into an easy perspective. I input information based on an average sized 30 year-old pregnant woman. On the site, you can put in your information to personalize it for age, weight, multiples, and more. You can also get menus to print out to make it extra simple to follow a solid plan. Below the chart, there is a complete listing of proteins to eat. I added this since women often get far too little protein (the FDA recommends a minimum of 60 grams per day though other schools of thought start at 80 grams per day).
Nutrition is the foundation of toward a healthy pregnancy and baby. Growing a new human being is not a simple task, so giving yourself the proper building blocks can make a big difference. I hope this helps sets you on a path of happy and healthful eating.
|1st Trimester||2nd Trimester||3rd Trimester|
|6 ounces||8 ounces||9 ounces||tips|
|2½ cups||3 cups||3½ cups||tips|
|2 cups||2 cups||2 cups||tips|
|3 cups||3 cups||3 cups||tips|
|5½ ounces||6½ ounces||6½ ounces||tips|
|Click the food groups above to learn more.|
|1 Make Half Your Grains Whole|
|Aim for at least this amount of whole grains per day.||3 ounces||4 ounces||4½ ounces|
|2 Vary Your Veggies|
|Aim for this much weekly.|
|Dark Green Vegetables||3 cups||3 cups||3 cups|
|Orange Vegetables||2 cups||2 cups||2½ cups|
|Dry Beans & Peas||3 cups||3 cups||3½ cups|
|Starchy Vegetables||3 cups||6 cups||7 cups|
|Other Vegetables||6½ cups||7 cups||8½ cups|
|Oils & Discretionary Calories|
|Aim for this amount of oils per day.||6 teaspoons||7 teaspoons||8 teaspoons|
|Limit your extras (extra fats & sugars) to this amount per day.||265 calories||360 calories||410 calories|
Physical activity is also important for health. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate level activity most days. Longer or more vigorous activity can provide greater health benefits. Click here to find out if you should talk with a health care provider before starting or increasing physical activity. Click here for more information about physical activity and health.
What foods are included in the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts (meat & beans) group?
Most meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry. (See Why is it important to include fish, nuts, and seeds?)
Some commonly eaten choices in the Meat and Beans group, with selection tips, are:
Dry beans and peas:
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
lima beans (mature)
tofu (bean curd made from soy beans)
Nuts & seeds*
Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry. If higher fat choices are made, such as regular ground beef (75 to 80% lean) or chicken with skin, the fat in the product counts as part of the discretionary calorie allowance. Click here for more details on discretionary calories.
If solid fat is added in cooking, such as frying chicken in shortening or frying eggs in butter or stick margarine, this also counts as part of the discretionary calorie allowance. Click here for more details on discretionary calories.
Select fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring, more often (See Why is it important to include fish, nuts, and seeds?).
Liver and other organ meats are high in cholesterol. Egg yolks are also high in cholesterol, but egg whites are cholesterol-free.
Processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake. Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __”, which mean that a sodium-containing solution has been added to the product.
Sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts (filberts) are the richest sources of vitamin E in this food group. To help meet vitamin E recommendations, make these your nut and seed choices more often.