"Eating for two" is a phrase pregnant women hear a lot. Those three little words can create big problems for some, according to nutrition experts, who say, on average, women should only add about 300 calories to their diet.
Heather Gauquie of Greenville is getting ready for her third child. For this pilates instructor, pregnancy is no time to rest on her fitness or nutrition laurels.
"I hype up my nutrition during my pregnancy because I know I'm caring for something growing in my belly," Gauquie says.
She makes sure to fill her belly, and those of her husband and two other children, with a good balanced diet.
Gauquie says she sneaks flax seed into her homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. She says you can't really taste it, but the flax seed adds important Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to an already healthy homemade dish.
Robin High, the Nutrition Program Director with the Pitt County Health Department, who says everyone, especially expectant moms, should aim for five servings and fruits and vegetables a day, but strive for nine servings. She also says, reach for the whole grains, which provide you with good nutrition, good energy and fiber.
Eating well for you as an individual is something Robin stresses you should talk about with your doctor. But we asked her about splurging on a common pregnancy craving for some women: chocolate.
"If you want that small piece of chocolate--dark chocolate is what we usually recommend to people if they're having a chocolate craving--have a small piece versus a whole candy bar."
We asked Robin to put together some basic tips for healthy nutrition during pregnancy. Again, she stresses you should always talk to your doctor about what is right for you, but says these are some good basic tips.
o Eat a variety from all of the food groups.
Grains-Aim for at least 6 servings per day. We encourage whole grains because not only do they provide energy, vitamins, and minerals, they give you more fiber. Try whole wheat bread or brown rice.
o Whole grain bread, tortilla, bagels, pita pockets
o Whole grain cereals
o Whole grain pasta
o Brown rice
o Bite size cereals in a bag for a snack
Fruits and Vegetables-Aim for 5-9 servings per day
o Pre-pack cut veggies in ziplock bags and keep them in the refrigerator.
o Keep fresh fruit on the kitchen table or on the counter-keeping healthy snacks close at hand makes it easier when you are busy
o Think about “out-of-the box” ways to include veggies such as in soups, pastas, quesadillas, or any sandwiches
Low-fat Dairy-Aim for 3 servings per day
o Low-fat Milk
o Low-fat Cheese
Lean Meats & Beans for healthy protein sources--Aim for at least 6 ounces per day (a 3 oz. serving is about the size of a deck of cards)
o Remember-beans are an excellent source of protein and also provide fiber
o Cooking techniques are very important too. Choose lean meats and then bake, broil, or grill them.
o Snack Smart!
o Try bananas or other whole fruit
o Low-fat milk
o Apple slices with peanut butter
o Cheese slice on whole wheat bread
o Veggies in a bag
o Healthy Cereal Mix
o Some women choose to eat mini meals
o These are just smaller meals eaten more frequently throughout the day.
o An example would be: Cold cereal, milk, banana OR English Muffin, Cheese, and apple slices
o Eating Out-Choose:
o Choose grilled chicken sandwich
o A child’s hamburger or cheeseburger
o Pizza topped with green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, or any favorite vegetable
o Baked Potato with vegetables and cheese topping
o Add a side salad or fruit with meals
o Choose water or low-fat milk as your beverage
o Food Safety
o Wash hands
o Wash Fruits and Vegetables
o Cook all meats and foods to recommended temperatures using a meat thermometer
Robin also recommends these websites: