A mother’s body is equipped by nature to be an excellent place for the baby where every nutrition is provided, with a best environment. This means that by the end of your pregnancy you will have a perfectly healthy baby, cuddly baby in your arms. Is there anything you can do to ensure safe and healthy development for your baby? Yes. Eating healthy during pregnancy is one best effort you can make to ensure you have a healthy baby. Is this only for the baby? No. Healthy eating habits during pregnancy is crucial for you to avoid pregnancy complications. It can also help you avoid many pregnancy symptoms like nausea, morning sickness, constipation and bloating etc. If you eat healthy while being pregnant, your postpartum recovery might be easier and faster. You can bounce back to your pre-pregnancy health sooner.
It is perfectly fine if you did not have healthy eating habits until now. Idea of thinking of changing your eating habits while pregnant is a big step. Altering eating habits and moving to healthy ones is not that difficult if you are committed. You always have healthy and yummy options for the tasty food you prefer. There are cheat days for everyone. Once in while indulging in a little bit of food pleasure is completely fine. You should not stress yourself over small stuff during pregnancy.
We are providing you a few tips to ensure healthy eating during these nine months of pregnancy. A few might help you, a few might not. Take whatever you need and suit you best. These tips help you nourish your body and your baby better during pregnancy.
15 Tips for Eating Healthy During Pregnancy
Eat mindfully is one of the healthy eating habits during pregnancy
Eating mindful is very important for each and individual. More importantly, during pregnancy every bite counts. Visualising the healthy food you eat during pregnancy to nourish your child helps develop mindfulness habits for you and the baby. Many times we watch something on TV or phones (checking notifications) while we eat. It distracts your mind and moves the focus away from eating and nourishing your body.
Eating with family is also a great way of bonding and developing these healthy eating habits as a family. If you are alone and bored, try to think of your child and talk to the baby as you eat and tell him or her about the food you are eating. A mother I know changed her eating habits completely after pregnancy and noticed her baby moving and kicking when she was eating certain foods. All this can be noticed only if you are being mindful.
Eat healthy foods and healthy calories
It is crucial to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Your pregnancy diet must comprise dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and dry fruits, fresh juices, grains and legumes. Enriching your diet with all the important nutrients that you and your body needs is the best tool you have to maintain a healthy pregnancy body. When you are eating healthy during pregnancy, you need not check every calorie and every food item. But it is essential to make sure whatever calories you are eating are healthy calories. Eating a fruit is always healthier than eating a sweet. The more healthy calories you eat, the healthier the baby.
Every bite you eat counts to eating healthy during pregnancy
Through these nine months every bite you eat counts. All the food you are eating is nourishing your body and your baby. In these 9 months you will have a huge number of snacks, meals, bites, make sure you can make most of them count as healthy. Eating healthy during is a lifestyle you are creating for yourself and more importantly for your baby.
If you eat healthy during your pregnancy, the babies tend to prefer healthy food once they start on solids. I developed healthy eating habits during pregnancy, my little one now prefers healthy over unhealthy most of the time. He gets his own cup when I make myself green tea or chamomile tea. He loves eating fresh vegetables and all kinds of fruits.
Select efficient foods while eating healthy during pregnancy
Being conscious of what you eat during pregnancy is crucial. Also, there are moms who are worried of excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Don’t worry. Selecting efficient foods, ones which fulfil your calorie intake and is light. Select air dried or shallow fried foods over deep fried foods. Select a fruit over a sweet. Eat yogurt when you feel like eating ice cream. Hence, selecting efficient foods help you in eating healthy and light during pregnancy.
If you are struggling to gain weight during pregnancy, it is a great idea to select foods rich in nutrients and calories. Eating dry fruits helps your body gain weight and keeps your baby healthy too.
Do no fast or starve yourself – Crucial principle in eating healthy while pregnant
Baby needs nourishment at regular intervals. Eating at regular intervals is one of the healthy eating habits during pregnancy. Even if you are not hungry your baby might be. Another benefit of eating at regular intervals helps minimize nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. It may also be a case that because of nausea and morning sickness you are unable to eat at all.
Check out our article that might help you “Best Morning sickness remedies”.
Start “Eating healthy” as a family routine
Eating healthy needs to be a lifestyle created for the entire family. Healthy eating habits during pregnancy are important for the mom and the baby. But imagine mom eating healthy food and others in the family eating unhealthy junk food. It might be a temptation to a pregnant mom or she might not like what she is eating. Developing a healthy eating habit as a family ensures that when the baby is born and starts eating on his own, he will develop that habit as well. This helps get children into a healthy eating habit from the beginning without much hassle. Healthy eating reduces a lot of health risks such as diabetes, blood pressure etc.
Reducing Sweet Intake is a crucial healthy eating habit during pregnancy
During pregnancy excess intake of sugar can lead to gestational diabetes and also excess weight gain. Sugar is empty calories. It makes you feel good for some time, but does not have any health benefits. There are many substitutes available for sugar in the market. Check with your nutritionist and doctor before you eat any kind of substitute for any foods.
Try this: Whenever you feel like eating a sweet, substitute it with an apple or any fruit. Fruits are naturally sweet, hence they might curb your craving for sugar. You can also drink healthy fruit juices, fresh coconut water.
Regular Intake of Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are just a sure shot way to ensure vital vitamins necessary for healthy growth of the baby are fulfilled. You might be thinking why can’t we get these nutrients and vitamins from food intake. We cannot calculate the nutrients exactly in the food we eat. It is a sure shot way of ensuring the lack of nutrients and vitamins in your body does not cause any disabilities or health problems in the baby. Hence it is important to take your prenatal vitamins regularly and better if taken at same time everyday.
Build healthy and strong lifestyle to support the healthy eating habits during pregnancy
Now only eating healthy is not enough to maintain a healthy pregnant body. A lot of effort goes into making a baby. So it is crucial to develop other healthy habits that support the healthy eating habits. Moderate exercises or walks regularly throughout the week help maintain healthy digestion and strengthen your body. Sitting all day without much movement to your body during pregnancy is unhealthy (unless prescribed by your doctor).
Read more about “Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy”
Eat organic and fresh foods
Fresh foods contain all the nutrients we know are necessary for the baby’s growth and you know the origin of where it came from and how it was grown. Foods grown locally and organically, supply fibers, calories and proteins. Locally grown fruits and vegetables ensure that it is the best food to eat at the right season.
It is important to eat fresh cooked healthy food regularly during pregnancy. Freshly cooked food helps maintain all the necessary health benefits for you and your baby. Hence, eating fresh, organic and healthy food while being pregnant is crucial.
Reduce junk food intake and processed foods for eating healthy during pregnancy
Junk food tastes yummy and provides instant gratification. Processed food does not grow naturally. As the name suggests it has been processed by the companies. There are a lot of chemicals, preservatives, additives, sugars, salts etc. That’s all there is to it. Junk food and processed food are in most ways unhealthy to a human body. Moreover, during pregnancy you are responsible for two lives. It is very important to eat more fresh foods and organic items than junk and unprocessed food. This helps you avoid many future health issues. It also helps you develop your baby’s health in the most natural way.
Drink lots of water and fresh fruit juices – Time it properly
It is very important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. There is a rise in body temperature naturally. Your body is struggling to develop a small life in your womb. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking water, fresh fruit juices, coconut water at regular intervals. You can also eat fruits and vegetables which are high in water content.
I have met a few moms who couldn’t keep any food down, but they have survived through the pregnancy by replenishing themselves with fluids.
So Keep Calm and Drink More Water!!!
Eat main meals at same time everyday to continue eating healthy during pregnancy
It is a great idea to eat at the same time regularly during pregnancy. Fix the time of your main meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks and nibbles here and there should be fine. When you eat at the same time every day it helps your body design a clock according to your intake. This helps you avoid nausea or morning sickness to some extent. This also helps you eat prenatal vitamins at the same time regularly.
Be grateful for the food that nourishes your body
It is food that nourishes our body by providing essential nutrients, vitamins and calories. It is food that produces energy and helps your body grow a human inside you. So we need to be grateful for the food we get and eat to nourish our body. How to be grateful? By being mindful. The healthy eating habits during pregnancy works beautifully when you eat the food mindfully. As explained in the previous point, by eating mindfully, you acknowledge the food going inside your body and nourishing your baby and you. Say Thank you to whichever spiritual entity you believe in. God, Nature, Universe everybody is taking care of you when you are taking care of the life inside you.
Thank you Universe. Don’t forget to be grateful for everything good in your life. Husband, Children, family, friends, food, home everything that brings a smile on your face deserves a Thank you.
Indulge in temptations, once in while when eating healthy while pregnant
When you are pregnant it is normal to have cravings. (I never had a craving throughout the nine months 🙁 ). But I have friends who had all sorts of cravings like ice creams, pickles, chats and what not. Here in India, elders ask us to eat a small bite of whatever that is we are craving for, as the craving comes from the baby. If we do not eat what we are craving for, babies might have some problems!! I do not know whether this is true or false. But while being pregnant it is generally “Everything for the Baby” . Indulgence once or twice a week is perfectly fine.
Pregnancy is a really amazing time where we are so receptive for advice and tips that ensure the baby’s perfect health. It is beautiful how a woman changes noticeably once she is pregnant. She develops healthy eating habits during pregnancy. She starts looking for what’s healthy for the baby and her. Enjoy this time with the best and optimal health by eating healthy during pregnancy. Keep your body and mind stress free. Listen to your body and intuition.
Happy Pregnancy! Enjoy Eating Healthy while Pregnant and Later too!