If you’re pregnant, chances are everyone’s trying to tell you how to eat.
Yes, ma, I know to be careful around my cravings. No, avoiding celery won’t help my baby develop refined musical tastes (okay, this isn’t a real myth, but we’ve all heard that one strange superstition).
When you’re eating for two, it can be a little tricky to navigate the food pyramid to make sure your baby develops healthily and you avoid side effects.
More protein is key
Add some more protein to your diet. The Dr. Gourmet website suggests eating 60 grams of protein per day when you’re expecting, so sizing up the amount of chicken in your salad is no longer something to be ashamed of. If you’re vegetarian, eggs and nuts are great ways to add an extra serving of protein into your day.
Add calcium to your days
If you want a child with good bone structure, adding more calcium is also important. This might get a little tricky for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan, but there are still sources of calcium out there for you. Oranges and almonds actually have a surprising amount of calcium. Remember, you can also always choose to take vitamin supplements, as long as you’re careful about how much you take in.
Be intentional about iodine
What some women might forget about, though, is keeping a healthy level of iodine in their bodies. No one ever told us about making sure to get our servings of iodine when we were growing up, but getting an average of 220 micrograms of iodine per day during your pregnancy will really help your baby’s brain and nervous system develop properly. It’s also found in dairy products, so knocking out your calcium diet would also take care of your iodine levels. If not, having a medium-sized baked potato with skin will do the trick.
Stock up on ginger
If morning sickness has got you down, have some ginger or B6 vitamins to get you through the day. Avoiding a food that makes you feel sick, and eating small, frequent meals might also help, as will eating a few crackers (or something with whole grains) before you get out of bed in the morning.
Remove fish from your diet
You’ve probably heard that you should avoid fish, but this ban applies to fish with high levels of mercury, which is toxic in large quantities to the human body. Low mercury choices, like shellfish and salmon are perfectly fine. In case you didn’t know, though, you should be keeping an eye on something else that many women consider an important part of the day: caffeine.
Limit coffee consumption
If you like to start your day off with a cup of coffee, be cautious about how much you consume. While experts believe that one or two cups of coffee won’t be bad (so you don’t fall asleep at work), you should think about other sources of caffeine, such as tea, sugary sodas and chocolate. It’s also something to worry about when breastfeeding, so be cautious!
Keep in mind, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s right for you during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor on how to stay happy and healthy, for two!