Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Or, perhaps you’re doing some smart pre-conception planning. Either way, this guide will help you make the right nutrition choices for you and your baby.
Healthy food choices provide your baby with nutrients necessary for optimal growth and development, and helps ensure a healthy pregnancy.
What to eat when pregnant
DO take a prenatal multivitamin that includes folate, calcium and iron, but be cautious of herbal supplements; including herbal teas, as some herbs can be unsafe during pregnancy.
DO consume at least 150 grams of cooked fish weekly. Choose fish that is low in contaminants such as mercury, but rich in omega 3s that aid in baby’s eye and brain development.
Examples of good options are: salmon, trout, herring, haddock, canned light tuna, pollock, sole, flounder, anchovy, char, hake, mullet, smelt, atlantic mackerel and lake white fish.
Vegan or non-fish options to get your omega 3s include: walnuts, ground flax, chia seeds, and canola oil. Limit flaxseed to no more than 4 tbsp or 2 tbsp flax oil per day.
DO increase your calorie intake by 300 to 400 calories per day in the second and third trimester to support baby’s growth and development.
What to limit or avoid when pregnant
AVOID alcohol, and enjoy caffeine in moderation (< 300mg caffeine per day; coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and some pop).
AVOID artificial sweeteners such as cyclamates and saccharin during pregnancy. Choose nutrient dense foods instead of artificially sweetened options.
LIMIT nitrate-rich food such as bacon, sausage and hot dogs.
AVOID foods that put you and baby at risk of food poisoning:
- Raw or unpasteurized dairy products, fruit juice or cider
- Ready-to-eat deli meats and ready-prepared meals, unless they are reheated until steaming hot (internal temperature of 74°C)
- Refrigerated pâtés, meat spreads and smoked seafood
- Raw sprouts
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and eggs
Morning sickness got you down?
- Eat small amounts, often
- Avoid rich, fried, fatty & spicy foods
- Stay well hydrated
- Take your prenatal supplement at a different time or with a snack
For a personalized consultation of your pregnancy nutrition needs, please book an appointment with your Copeman Registered Dietitian.