Nutrition + Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Nutrition

The next 40 (or so) weeks of pregnancy are an exciting time. There are so many decisions to make and things to purchase for your new little one. You will be shopping for a crib, car seat, and stroller, but one of the best gifts you can give your baby is a healthy relationship with food.

Take a moment to think about your relationship with food. When you were growing up, was someone in your house always on the latest fad diet? Was food used as a reward or for comfort when you had a bad day? Did you believe that foods full of carbohydrates were bad?
One of the exciting realities of pregnancy is that you are someone's mother, and now you get to decide what you will feed your baby.

Studies show that children who grow up in a house surrounded by nutritious food choices develop a healthy relationship with food. They learn that food is used for fuel and when consumed in moderation, all foods can be enjoyed.

How to get started? Healthy eating begins in your cupboards, the refrigerator, and the freezer. Here are some suggestions to help stock your kitchen to have nutritious foods on hand for daily meals and snacks.

PANTRY

REDUCE or REMOVE:

  • High-fat Crackers & Chips
  • Sweets & Pastries
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Sweetened Fruit Drinks
  • Sweetened Cereal
  • Processed Breakfast Pastries

REPLACE WITH:

  • Whole-Grain Crackers, Graham Crackers, and Saltines
  • Whole-Grain Pretzels
  • Baked Chips or Parmesan Crisps
  • Nuts (unsalted)
  • Dried Fruit (limit to 2 tablespoons/serving)
  • Canned Beans (no salt added): black, garbanzo, pinto, white, red
  • Canned Fruits (packed in their own juice)
  • Air Popped Popcorn 
  • Whole-Grain Cereal (with 8 grams or less of added sugar/serving)
  • Oatmeal (100% whole grain oats)
  • No-Sugar Added Peanut Butter

TRY SOMETHING NEW:

  • Whole-Grain Pasta
  • Brown or Wild Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Dried Peas or Beans (great for soup)
  • Flavored Vinegar
  • Herbs, Spices

REFRIGERATOR

REDUCE or REMOVE:

  • Whole, Chocolate Milk & 2% Milk
  • Cured/Processed Meat
  • Soft Cheeses made with Unpasteurized Milk (such as feta, blue, and queso)
  • Bologna
  • Salami
  • Pastrami
  • Brats
  • Hot Dogs
  • Sushi
  • Smoked Seafood
  • Unpasteurized Milk, Juice and Eggs

REPLACE WITH:

  • Fat-Free (Skim) or Low-Fat (1%) Milk
  • Cheese (watch portions of whole milk cheese)
  • Limit Mayonnaise, Salad Dressing, Cream Cheese portion to the size of your thumb
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Fat-Free or Low-Fat Plain or Flavored Yogurt (skip the granola)
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Whole Eggs

TRY SOMETHING NEW:

  • Edamame
  • Fresh Basil to infuse Ice Water
  • Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas

FREEZER

REDUCE or REMOVE:

  • Ice Cream Treats & Sugary Popsicles
  • Deep Dish Pizza, Pizza with Sausage or Pepperoni
  • Fried Chicken
  • French Fries
  • Less than 90% Lean Ground Beef
  • Frozen Vegetables or Entrees in Cheese, Butter or Cream Sauce
  • Limit Entrees Containing more than 10 grams of fat/serving

REPLACE WITH:

  • Individually Wrapped Chicken Breasts (for quick and easy prep)
  • 90% Lean or greater Ground Beef
  • Thin Curst Vegetable Pizza
  • Frozen or Steam-in-the-Bag Vegetables

TRY SOMETHING NEW:

  • Frozen Chicken Strips
  • Frozen Fish (check out fish to avoid in our Pregnancy Myths post)
  • Frozen Fruit or Yogurt Bars (Keep added sugar at 9 grams or less per serving)
  • Whole Frozen Fruit

Pregnancy is a perfect opportunity to refresh your nutrition goals. Let your family's healthy eating habits begin with you.

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