I just finished my first trimester and the last thing I wanted to look at was a bunch of vegetables.
I was a starchy potato a day, sparkling water kind of gal who just wanted to finish a "meal" without running to the bathroom. The first three months of being with baby can definitely take a toll on your normal dietary habits, but hang in there! Once you develop the taste for a more normal and balanced diet (trust me, this will happen,) you will be able to morph into the healthy mom-to-be you indeed ought to be. Check out the food groups I've highlighted that will keep you and baby healthy and happy.
I highly recommend adding in these basics, but for even more information, grab Eating Expectantly: Practical Advice for Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy by Bridget Swinney, MS, RD. It gave me the complete picture of how to live a healthy life for my growing baby, and myself, by trimester. It helps that it is super easy to read as well as an incredibly informative one-stop-shop.
Baby & Me Basics:
- Leafy Greens: Always important to your health, these awesome super foods are bursting at the seams with healthful benefits. If you are a practicing vegetarian, greens like spinach are great sources of necessary iron for a mom-to-be as well. Toss them in a juice to have several servings in one sitting or add them to your lunch or dinner as a nutrient-dense side.
- Other Colorful Veggies: As a nutritionist, I have always taken stock in the color chart of my grocery cart. When in doubt, take a look down and you should see a diverse, vibrant representation of the rainbow! The more colors you have, the more varied vitamins and minerals you will be ingesting.
- Fresh Fruits: Apples, grapefruits, oranges, berries (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & raspberries,) and more colorful fruits are full of healthy antioxidants and great buffers for a lot super sugary foods you may be craving. Grab at least three servings per day and you will be on your way!
- Whole Grains, Lentils & Legumes: Fiber will help with one of the most frustrating symptoms of pregnancy- constipation. No one likes to chat bathroom problems, but it is a fact, pregnancy can take a toll on your toilet time. Adding fiber to your diet can help the cause - trust me!
- Lean, Clean Meats and Fish: You’ve heard it all before, so I won’t drill it into your head again in detail, but it is super important to stay away from nitrates, nitrites, hormones, and antibiotic-laden meats. These things are most commonly found in deli, processed meats, and barbeque. I recommend quizzing your butcher about the origin of your meats and asking if they would give it the pregnancy stamp of approval. When it comes to seafood, stick to fish with the lowest mercury levels, avoid refrigerated smoked fish and eat in moderation.
- Water and Sparkling Water (no sodium): Water is super important to all of your body’s control systems, so you need to stay hydrated to ensure high efficiency. After all, you probably feel less than efficient these days. Sparkling water was a savior to me during my highly nauseous first trimester; sipping on the bubbles really abated my need to run to the bathroom!
For more on living healthy, go to Ashley Pettit Living.