Add these choice foods to your diet to boost your pregnancy nutrition.
During pregnancy, healthy foods provide
the optimum mix of baby-building nutrients. Starting in the second trimester,
you'll need about 300 additional calories in your diet every day.
Here are some choice foods to add to your pregnancy diet, making those
extra calories count by providing a variety of nutrients that benefit you and
Why: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and soybeans supply fiber,
protein, iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.
Enjoy: In chili and soups, salads, and pasta dishes; as hummus with
whole-grain crackers or in roll-up sandwiches.
Why: Lean cuts of beef, such as top sirloin steak, pack protein,
vitamins B6, B12, and niacin as well as zinc and
iron in highly absorbable forms. Beef is also concentrated in choline, required
for brain development and peak cognitive powers.
Enjoy: Add lean ground beef to pasta sauces, use in tacos, as
burgers, in stir-fry dishes, and in chili.
Why: They're packed with carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber, and
fluid. The phytonutrients in berries are naturally occurring beneficial plant
compounds that protect cells from damage.
Enjoy: On top of whole-grain cereal, in smoothies made with yogurt
or milk, in pancakes, and in salads. Layer yogurt with berries and crunchy
whole-grain cereal for a dessert parfait.
Why: For the folate, fiber, calcium, lutein, zeaxanthin,
carotenoids to foster healthy vision, and potassium for fluid
balance and normal blood pressure. Broccoli also
contains the raw materials for vitamin A production in the body.
Enjoy: As part of pasta and stir-fry dishes, steamed and topped
with a smattering of olive oil, pureed and added to soups, or roasted: chop
broccoli into bite-sized pieces, coat lightly with olive oil and roast on a
baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until tender, about 15 minutes.
Why: Cheese supplies concentrated amounts of calcium, phosphorus,
and magnesium for your bones and
your baby's, plus vitamin B12 and protein (use reduced-fat varieties, such as
Cabot 50% Light Cheddar to save on calories, fat, and cholesterol).
Enjoy: As snacks with whole-grain crackers or fruit, sprinkled on
top of soups, in salads, sandwiches, and omelets.
Why: Eggs supply the gold-standard of protein because they provide
all of the amino acids you and your baby need to thrive. They also include more
than a dozen vitamins and minerals, such as choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Certain brands supply the omega-3 fats baby needs for brain development and
peak vision, so check the label.
Enjoy: In omelets and frittatas, in salads and sandwiches, in
homemade waffles, crepes, and whole-grain French toast, as snacks, hard-cooked,
Why: It's an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D
-- bone-building nutrients mother and child require every day. Milk also packs
protein, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
Enjoy: Plain or flavored, in smoothies made with fruit, over
whole-grain cereal and fruit, and in pudding. Prepare oatmeal in the microwave
with milk instead of water.