Folic acid during pregnancy
Folic acid, also known as folate, plays a huge role in helping your baby form his body tissues and cells, especially in his brain and spinal cord. By getting the appropriate amount of folic acid, you can help prevent your baby from developing serious neural tube defects.
Folic acid is especially important in the first few weeks of pregnancy, and should be taken via supplements throughout the first trimester.
You can also get extra folic acid by eating:
- leafy green vegetables
- bread and fortified cereals
Iron is an integral part of a proper diet during pregnancy. It is necessary to help increase the blood supply to your placenta during pregnancy. This will ensure that your baby gets the proper nutrition during her development.
Iron is found in:
- meats, including fish, poultry, and red meat
- dried fruits
- iron-fortified cereals
Calcium and Vitamin D
Your baby needs calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones and teeth, as well as healthy skin, muscles, and organs. Expectant moms need around 1000 to 1300mg of calcium daily, so you should be sure to consume extra calcium-rich foods or take a calcium supplement.
Calcium is found in:
- milk and milk products
- tofu and other soy beverages
Daily Pregnancy Diet
During your pregnancy, it might be helpful to follow a pregnancy diet that tells you exactly how much of each type of food you will need every day. A healthy pregnancy diet includes all four food groups.
Grains are those foods that contain mostly starches, and provide you with carbohydrates and natural sugars to keep your strong. Try to eat between 6 and 11 servings of grain every day for a healthy diet during pregnancy.
One serving of a grain product might include:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 cup of cooked pasta
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice
- 3/4 cup of cold cereal
2. Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin D, and iron. Try to eat at least 6 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
These could include:
- one piece of medium-sized fruit
- 1/2 cup of 100% fruit juice
- 1 cup of salad
- 1/2 cup of cooked or raw vegetables