During pregnancy, it is essential that your diet be balanced, to avoid any deficiency for both the mother and the developing fetus. Do not believe the old fallacy of eating for two. Follow our pregnancy eating tips for a positive impact on the baby's health and for normal weight gain.
1. No food imbalance
Let's start with the main pregnancy diet advice! Vary your diet so you do not miss out on anything. Most dieticians recommend to consume on a daily basis:
- at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
- 3 to 4 dairy products
- starchy foods at every meal
- 1 to 2 times protein-rich products
2. No excessive eating
Pregnant women are advised to increase their daily ration by 150 kcal (first trimester) and 250 kcal (second and third trimester). High fiber foods such as whole grains (bread, pasta, rice) and fruits and vegetables are recommended. Some women are constipated, often in late pregnancy. A sufficient fiber intake (and good hydration) will help you avoid this problem.
Consume fat and sweets in moderation.
3. No deficiencies
Our other advice for a pregnancy diet concerns deficiencies.
Make sure you have sufficient daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Ask your doctor, if necessary, supplements (vitamin D and folic acid in particular). Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day: orange, grapes, strawberries, melons, broccoli, green peppers, tomatoes.
Eat and/or drink at least 4 servings a day of dairy products and calcium-rich foods, so you can get at least 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium/day throughout your pregnancy: milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, spinach, enriched cereals…
Take at least 3 servings a day of iron-rich foods. A daily intake of 27 to 30 mg of iron is needed (especially from the third quarter): fortified cereals, pulses (beans, lentils), oilseeds, fish, beef, lean meat, eggs. Remember that vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron hence the interest of consuming fruit and/or vegetables during the meal.
4. Other indispensable contributions
Here are the other nutritional contributions that we advise you not to neglect during pregnancy:
- folic acid especially before and at the very beginning of pregnancy: dark green leafy vegetables, veal, legumes, complete products, avocados… You need at least 400μg of folic acid per day for embryonic and fetal development.
- iodine: especially in seafood and iodized salt but in small quantities, for the development of the nervous system of the fetus. The recommended intake during pregnancy is 200μg/day.
- zinc: lean meat, whole grains, seafood, milk, vegetables and nuts. Essential for cell growth during pregnancy. The average intake required is 9mg/day. Some women (in pill form before pregnancy) will need 14mg/day or more.
- vitamin B12: fish (source of B12, calcium and omega-3 in oily fish) poultry, meat, vegetables, dairy products, eggs and whole grains.
- vitamin A: carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, squash, turnip tops, beet greens, apricots, unsweetened milk, butter, eggs and melons