Are you pregnant and looking for the right food to consume, to keep your baby well-nourished and grow healthily? Whether you're a first-timer or well familiar with pregnancy, you need to evaluate your diet for each pregnancy - because everything changes when you have a baby inside you.

It is important to understand when you’re pregnant what food to eat, what food to be consumed occasionally, and what food to limit or avoid completely - and make dietary adjustments based on it.

Recommended Nutrition to Consume During Pregnancy

Folic acid

Also known as folate, Folic Acid is a vitamin B that your body uses to generate new cells. It’s a crucial nutrient for pregnant women, especially during the early phases of pregnancy as it helps support the baby's brain and spine development.

The best way to get folic acid for pregnancy is through consuming healthy foods that naturally have folate, including breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, bread, spinach, edamame, okra, broccoli, avocado, orange juice, peanuts, chickpeas, and more.

Calcium

Calcium helps your developing baby build strong bones and teeth. What's more, calcium helps grow a healthy heart and heart rhythm, nerves, and muscles, and improves blood-clotting abilities.

Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, including low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and cheese. You can also get calcium from non-dairy foods like sardines, salmon, prawns, almonds, kale, and broccoli. There are also juices and cereals fortified with calcium.

Iron

When you're pregnant, your body produces more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. Thus, you'll need to double your iron intake, or you could develop iron deficiency anemia, making you more tired or even increasing the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression.

To make sure you consume enough iron, include good sources of vitamin C with meals containing iron-rich foods, for instance, orange juice, iron-fortified cereal, poultry, lean meat, fish, and dried beans.

Protein

Protein is critical for ensuring the proper growth of a baby's tissues and organs, including the brain and heart. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow. Meanwhile, it plays a vital role in the development of the immune system of both the mother and fetus.

Switch it up with seeds, nuts, nut butter, peas, tofu, eggs, fully cooked fish, lean beef, and chicken, which are all great sources of protein. You can also consume a high-quality, plant-based protein powder to boost your protein intake.

Recommended Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals which are essential for you and your growing baby. Aim for at least 5 portions of a variety of colours of fruit and vegetables a day. They not only can boost your mood but is also a good source of fiber, which helps prevent constipation, a common problem in pregnancy.

What is the easiest way to consume vegetables and fruits? All you need to do is order a pesticide-free veggie bundle, frozen dragon fruit chunk, or passion fruit pulp, then sit back, relax, and wait for them to be delivered right to your doorsteps.

Lean Meat & Protein

Protein builds new tissue for bones, muscles, and organs, so it is vital to help your baby grow. Lean beef, pork, and chicken are excellent sources of high-quality protein, especially when it comes to beef, and pork as they are rich in iron, choline, and vitamin B, allowing you to meet your nutrition needs during pregnancy. It’d be better if you can increase the variety of protein using different kinds of meat, for instance, pork chops, premium beef platter, and corn feed chicken to enrich your diet.

Plant-based sources of protein like baked beans, chickpeas, edamame, and tofu are also great for your diet. They are naturally low in fat, and also provide fibre, vitamins as well as minerals for you and your baby.

Whole Grains

Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries, and barley are packed with fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Try to replace white bread, pasta, and white rice with whole grains and you'll slowly feel the difference once you have them regularly.

You can also get a fair amount of protein by consuming some whole grains, like oats and quinoa. It's especially beneficial for pregnant women who lack vitamin B, fiber, and magnesium. Sometimes it’s not that easy to add whole grains to just any meal, so why not start your day with a mixed drink of super grains and plant protein or a Beta Glucan nutritional drink?

Dairy

Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are important in pregnancy because they are fantastic sources of calcium and protein, which help your baby's overall development, especially for the bones.

Choose low-fat varieties wherever possible, such as skimmed milk, low-fat and low-sugar yoghurt as well as reduced-fat cheese. You can also choose dairy alternatives such as soya milk, almond milk, or oat milk.

Foods to Limit / Avoid During Pregnancy

Caffeine

It is best to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy as too much caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage and put your baby at risk of being born smaller, according to a study found by the National Institutes of Health. If you really need your daily caffeine fix during your pregnancy, limit yourself to 200mg of caffeine a day - equivalent to 2 cups of regular coffee or tea.

Alcohol

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there's no safe amount of alcohol to consume at any point during pregnancy. Simply avoid drinking alcohol when pregnant as it can impact your baby’s brain development and increases your risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or miscarriage when it passes through the pregnant person's blood to the developing fetus.

High-mercury Fish

Seafood that has a high level of methylmercury like swordfish, shark, king mackerel, marlin, some types of tuna, and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Consuming high-mercury fish frequently will make the mercury accumulate in one's bloodstream and it can be passed on to your baby and damage its brain as well as the nervous system. However, you can still consume fully cooked fish like salmon, trout, etc. which are beneficial for your health.

Uncooked or raw seafood and meat

Eat cooked rather than raw or undercooked food like raw oysters, raw shellfish, sashimi, medium steak, etc., as it contains harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning. Other than that, you should also avoid smoked ready-to-eat seafood and cooked ready-to-eat prawns, which have a higher risk of listeria contamination. The safest way to enjoy seafood and meat is to choose fully cooked food like fully cooked eel or shrimp, fully cooked eggs, well-done steak, and so on.

Pregnancy FAQs

What diet is best for pregnancy?

In a day, you should consume 6-11 servings of bread and whole grains, 2-4 servings of fruit, 4 or more servings of vegetables, 4 servings of dairy products, and 3 servings of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or nuts).

Which Pregnancy Trimester Are You In?

● First trimester: From week 1 to the end of week 12
● Second trimester: From week 13 to the end of week 26
● Third trimester: From week 27 to the end of the pregnancy.

Each pregnancy trimester requires a different intake of nutrients for your and your baby’s health and growth! Follow us on Facebook & Instagram for more pregnancy diet & nutrition tips.

How much water should a pregnant woman drink every day?

8-12 cups.

Let's keep you and your baby safe and healthy by consuming nutritious meals by online ordering on Farm to Table and avoiding harmful foods to safeguard your child from health risks.

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