Daily Food Guide During Pregnancy
The average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 45 pounds. You should not diet during pregnancy. It is best to follow the guidelines below. Because you need extra calories and nutrients to help your baby’s growth and development, you should have at least the number of servings shown.
Drink 6 to 8 cups of fluids (mainly water, but some juice is OK) daily.
- The amount of fat to less than 30% of your daily calories
- High-fat foods (butter, sour cream, salad dressing)
- Caffeine-containing beverages – coffee, tea, soda
- While awake, try to eat every three hours
- Enjoy healthy foods first and plan for an occasional treat.
- Drink plenty of water (6 to 8 cups daily). Limit soda, coffee, juice drinks, and other sweetened beverages.
- No more than 100 mg of caffeine daily (for example, one cup of coffee).
- Eat enough for a healthy weight gain, but you do not need to “eat for two.”
- 1. Healthy Protein:
- Protein (egg, chicken, turkey, fish)
- 2. Fish – Eat about 12 ounces, 2 average meals, per week of low-mercury seafood (shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish). If you are unable to eat fish, other sources of DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA) include walnuts, wheat germ, flaxseed oil, or a DHA supplement.
- 3. Healthy Fats:
- Olive and canola oil, fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines), avocados, nut butters, salad dressing, nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid trans fat or foods with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat (packaged and processed foods, fried foods, fast foods).
- Limit saturated fat (butter, lard, whole-milk dairy, sausage, and bacon).
- 4. Healthy Carbohydrates:
- Fruits and vegetables are healthy sources of carbohydrates. Eat them throughout the day. Try for five to nine servings per day. Choose whole fruit rather than juice whenever possible.
- Limited amounts of whole-grain products, including whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, seeded rye, barley, quinoa, wheat berries, bulgur, millet, and kasha. Limit refined carbohydrates (cookies, soda, instant rice, instant oatmeal).
Food Safety and Preparation:
When you’re pregnant, you’re at an increased risk for foodborne illness due to a weakened immune system.
- Wash your hands before and after food preparation.
- Cook well and properly handle meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. Eggs should be cooked until firm.
- Wash fruits and vegetables well.
- Unpasteurized brie, feta, camembert, blue cheese and all other unpasteurized soft cheeses
- Unpasteurized milk and juice
- Salads prepared outside of home (for example, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, seafood salad)
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood
- Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and fresh tuna (due to the high mercury content). Click below for a brochure: “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish & Shellfish”
- Canned albacore
- Soft Cheese (Feta, queso, blanco, queso fresco, Brie, Camembert)
- Refrigerated pate, meat spreads from a meat counter, or smoked seafood found in the refrigerated section of the store
- Herbal supplements
- Reheat hot dogs and deli meats until steaming hot (to prevent listeriosis)
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