Now that you’re pregnant it’s time to adjust your daily caloric intake to your thrilling new situation. On average, your unborn child needs approximately 300 calories per day for his or her growth and development.
During the first three months, you may require very few additional calories unless you’re trying to compensate for being underweight. However, in the later stages of your pregnancy, your metabolic turnover will continually increase as your baby develops and you may end up needing more than 300 additional calories daily. All of this is what it means to “eat for two.”
In addition to the increase in your required daily calorie intake, your daily requirement for all of the vitamins and minerals crucial to life has changed, too. At this time it’s imperative that you meet your needs by eating a balanced diet or through sophisticated nutrient supplementation.
While “eating for two” does not necessarily mean significantly increasing your daily intake, there are foods that you should consume while you eat for two as well as foods that you should avoid.
Boost the Body with Lean Meats
Lean meats are high in iron, which boosts you and your baby’s red blood cell supply. Lean meats also stabilize your blood sugar, which inhibits urges to overeat. The iron in lean meats also supports nerve connections in the baby’s developing brain.
Examples of lean meat include:
-Skinless chicken or turkey
-Lean ground beef
-Low and nonfat dairy
Grilling, steaming, baking, broiling and poaching keeps the fat content in meats low and using seasonings such as thyme, sage and rosemary instead of salt and pepper also helps. If you are a vegetarian, stock up on high-iron foods such as tofu, lentils, dark leafy greens, quinoa and dried fruit.
Pass on Eggs
Raw eggs not properly taken care of may contain salmonella. While cooked eggs eliminate that risk, foods such as raw cookie dough, caesar salad dressing, eggnog or eggs prepared sunny-side up or soft scrambled are to be avoided.
Stock Up on Fruits and Vegetables
Indulge in fruits and vegetable to provide vitamin and fiber benefits while you eat for two, but always wash these foods before consuming to prevent E.coli and salmonella exposure. Washing these fruits are essential even if the skin is not eaten in order to avoid pulling toxins into the inside.
Avoid Certain Seafood
While seafood is high in protein, there is also the high risk of certain seafood containing amounts of mercury that are dangerous to a developing baby. Safe seafood includes pollock, salmon and anchovies, and seafood to avoid entirely are shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. Pay attention to fish advisories concerning polluted water, cook fish to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid refrigerated seafood to prevent exposure to viruses and bacteria in seafood.
Eat for Two with Oats
Oats contain a high content level of minerals such as iron, fiber and B vitamins. You and your baby can receive oats in the form of instant oatmeal, muesli (unboxed), oatmeal cookies and in oatmeal bread. Steel-cut oats soaked overnight and cooked in a saucepan or slow cooker is the most potent way to benefit from the powers of oats; add protein-rich nuts, spices such as ginger, dried fruit or unsweetened coconut to enhance flavor.
Stay Away from Unpasteurized Juice
While you may want to go organic as possible and purchase locally produced juices or cider, avoid these confections while you eat for two. These juices may be a delight, but it may also contain toxins and bacteria eliminated during pasteurization.
The pregnant body naturally absorbs whatever nutrients enter the body, so eating extra mostly means that you will gain unhealthy weight. You can avoid the common issue of fighting to lose the postnatal baby weight related to the misunderstood notion of eating for two by abiding by these simple guidelines. Your body, as well as your baby, will thank you!
Related Content: The Link Between Infant Brain Development and Maternal Iron Intake