We want to help you eat right during your pregnancy. Kristi Spence, a registered dietician with the Dairy Farmers of Utah, shares the top food picks for moms-to-be.
1.) Greek Yogurt
Packed with protein and extremely versatile, Greek yogurt is a great addition to meals, a great, portable stand-alone snack, or even a satisfying dessert. It is also high in calcium and goes well with lots of other nutrient-rich foods (add granola, fruit, or whole grain cereal).
Protein is especially important for mom and growing baby. Eggs are a great, easy source of protein packed with vitamins and minerals including choline, which is an important nutrient for brain development. Consider making a frittata for dinner, a quick fried egg sandwich for lunch, or scrambling an egg or two as an easy breakfast. Remember to beware of raw eggs and refrain from licking the cookie dough or cake batter spoon!
Thirst quenching and packed with vitamin C and fiber, oranges have been a staple of my pregnancy diet. They are portable, seem to sound good any time of day, and they not only help keep me hydrated, but they deliver vitamin C, a bit of calcium, and a decent amount of potassium.
Kale has received a lot of attention recently as a “superfood.” It is a great, versatile green that can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to main dishes. I like it as a pregnancy food because it is a great way to deliver a lot of key nutrients. Packed with vitamin K for healthy bones and a healthy gut, kale is also a great source of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for baby’s developing brain and eyes. Salmon is relatively low in mercury when compared to other sources of omega-3 rich fish, so moms can worry less about how often they can consume salmon. Try canned salmon in a pasta dish, on a salad, or in a sandwich. Not a fish fan? An omega-3 fatty acid supplement can help deliver the nutrients your body and your baby need.
Whole grains are a great source of dietary fiber. Many women experience increased constipation at various points during their pregnancy, and consuming lots of fluid in addition to a diet rich in whole grains may provide some relief. Fortified oatmeal is an excellent source of folic acid. Oatmeal is portable and readily available at fast food restaurants – Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and McDonalds all have oatmeal on the menu. During my pregnancy, I have had a considerable amount of work-related travel, and knowing that I had a healthy snack either with me or in the airport was a welcome relief!
Kristi Spence is a registered dietician and VP of Communications with the Dairy Farmers of Utah