When you are pregnant, your vitamin and mineral needs increase to meet both your needs and the needs of your growing fetus. It is important to follow a healthy, balanced diet to make sure you meet those needs. In addition to your increased nutrient needs, you also need to eat an extra 300 calories during your second and third trimesters.
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A balanced diet during pregnancy needs to include a variety of healthy foods from each food group. How much you need to eat depends on your caloric needs. Talk to your doctor about how many calories you need to eat each day. Your goal should be to eat enough calories to support a healthy weight gain. A 2,200-calorie diet during the second trimester can help most women reach their weight-gain goals. A balanced 2,200-calorie meal plan should include seven grain servings, 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, three servings of milk and 6 oz. of meat or beans. Divide your portions between three meals and one snack to keep your energy levels up.
A healthy pregnancy breakfast should include two servings of grain, one serving of fruit, 1 oz. of meat or beans and 1 cup of milk. A sample breakfast meal includes a 2 oz. toasted whole wheat bagel with 1 tsp. of margarine, a scrambled egg, 1 cup of cubed cantaloupe and 1 cup of nonfat milk. Pregnant women need 1,000 to 1,300 mg of calcium a day, and including a serving of dairy at most meals will help you meet those needs. Other food sources of calcium include salmon with the bones, tofu, spinach, broccoli, and fortified breads, cereals and juice.
Your lunch should include two servings of grain, 1 cup of vegetables, 1 cup of fruit, one serving of milk and 2 oz. of meat or beans. For lunch, you can have a roast beef sandwich made with 2 oz. of lean roast beef on two slices of whole wheat bread with 1 tsp. of mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Serve your lunch with 1 cup of baby carrots, a fresh orange and 1 cup of nonfat yogurt. Iron needs also are elevated during pregnancy: You need 27 mg a day. Good food sources include meat, beans, spinach and fortified breads and cereals.
Your dinner meal should include two servings of grain, 2 cups of vegetables and 3 oz. of meat or beans. A healthy sample dinner you can eat during your second trimester includes 3 oz. of grilled chicken with 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of spinach sauteed on garlic and olive oil and a garden salad with 1 tbsp. of salad dressing. Adequate intakes of folate can decrease your chances of having a baby with neural tube defects. Pregnant women need 600 micrograms of folate a day. Good food sources include fortified breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
A healthy snack should include one serving of grain and one serving of milk. A sample snack includes 1 cup of whole grain, ready-to-eat cereal with 1 cup of nonfat milk.