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Eating For Two

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We've all heard the old saying She's eating for two now. However, it doesn't mean eating twice the amount of food! Pregnancy diet and nutrition is extremely important, for the mother's health and the health of the baby. By following a balanced diet and making sure you're getting all of the nutrients you need, you'll enjoy a healthier pregnancy.

Many women mistakenly feel that because they are pregnant, they have free reign to eat as much of any foods as they like. Eating for two is not an excuse to eat huge portions of fatty foods, candies and baked goods. These foods are fine in moderation, but your focus should be on a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains and dairy products.

You'll need only about 300 extra calories during your pregnancy, and even fewer than that during your first trimester. You will need more of certain foods, as your dietary requirements increase once you're pregnant. You'll need to increase your intake of breads and cereals, up to nine servings per day. Have at least three servings of calcium, which is found in dairy products such as milk and yogurt. You can even get the calcium you need from skim milk, which has the same amount as whole milk.

Protein is essential to keep your body functioning, so have three servings per day. Lean meat, fish and eggs are all good sources of protein. If you're vegetarian or vegan, dried beans and nuts are good sources or protein.

A prenatal vitamin will make up for any deficiencies in your diet, and provide the extra vitamins and minerals that are required for pregnancy. There are many supplements available, and your physician can help you decide which one will be most beneficial for you.

There are some exceptions to the eating for two rules. If you are underweight, your doctor may recommend a diet that's higher in fat to get your weight up to a healthy level. Or, if you are a teenager your nutritional requirements will be much different, so your doctor will help you with a diet plan. Other factors include carrying multiples, or having diabetes, as different portions and nutrients are necessary to maintain optimal pregnancy health.

During pregnancy, it's best to have a diet composed mostly of healthy foods, but that doesn't mean you can't give into your craving for a chocolate bar, or have to skip dessert every night. By balancing a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, and foods rich in protein, iron and calcium with the occasional fatty snack or sweet, you'll still get all of the nutrition you need for your pregnancy.

 


 
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