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Eating for a Healthy Pregnancy

April 23, 2012

Maïla en quatre temps / Maïla in four steps

With pregnancy comes a complicated eating routine. Although your body is using more calories to grow a baby, cravings and aversions can keep you from getting the right kind of calories to keep you healthy and energized. And then there's the question of how much is too much: are you really eating for two, or is it more like one and a half? Since your diet is one of the most important aspects of your pregnancy, it's best to get some things sorted out right from the start. Learn what, when and how much to eat to keep your body strong and your baby developing well from the first month of pregnancy to delivery.

Eating for Two: Fact or Fiction?

Although you may be two separate people, your baby does not need the same amount of energy as a full grown, active person. This means that you should be wary of the amount you eat, limiting your intake to no more than 100 extra calories a day for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (first trimester) and somewhere around 300 extra calories a day through the second and third trimesters. Of course, this figure will change depending on your BMI (or body mass index) before you became pregnant, so it's best to speak with your doctor in order to personalize your menu plan for optimal health and growth.

What you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Nutrition during pregnancy should be balanced carefully, as your baby needs specific vitamins and minerals to develop properly. If you typically base your diet on one food group or type of meal, this is your chance to branch out and try new things — as long as you keep some helpful rules in mind, especially when it comes to food safety.

Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

There's no reason why your pregnancy diet shouldn't be varied, but do be careful to sidestep common culinary hazards. For one, keep your kitchen clean: change your dish towels daily, sanitize countertops after preparing food and keep an eye on expiry dates to prevent spoilage in the fridge. As for the food itself, keep a few basic rules in mind. First, avoid anything unpasteurized, which could carry the harmful Listeria bacteria and make you or your baby sick. Next, beware of hidden dangers, like raw egg whites in lemon meringue pie and Caesar salad, or unwashed vegetables in salad. As long as you adhere to simple food safety in the kitchen and prepare as much as you can yourself, you'll stay safe and healthy through your nine months!

Pull up the drawbridge, cue the statement about “inconclusive evidence'' – another pesky health warning is about to get in the way of making dosh….More at Pregnancy health warnings don't lead to abortion | Article | The Punch

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