Staying Healthy

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Have you been wondering how to make healthy food choices during pregnancy? Here are a few tips:

  • Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner: Don’t skip meals. You may also need to eat between meals if you are feeling hungry.
  • Choose a wide variety of foods that you enjoy: Eat foods from each of the food groups every day.    
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day: Eat salads, cooked, or raw vegetables with lunch and dinner. Snack on fruit.
  • Drink low-fat milk with your meals: Also eat foods made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, soy milk, and cottage cheese.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains. Try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread, and brown rice.
  • Choose a variety of protein foods. Choose seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.

What should I eat?

A healthy meal starts with making half your plate of fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100 percent juice. Include dark-green, red and orange vegetables; beans and peas; and starchy vegetables.

Do I need to drink water?

It’s important to drink water every day. You need extra fluids when you are pregnant. Let your thirst be your guide. Water is an important nutrient for the body, but everyone’s needs are different. Choose fluids such as water, low-fat milk, and other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks.  

Is weight gain important?

Yes! Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy is important for your baby to grow and be healthy. Not gaining enough weight during pregnancy increases the chances of having a baby born too early (before 37 weeks gestation) or a low birth weight baby (less than 5.5 pounds at birth).

How much weight should I gain?

The right weight gain depends on your weight when you became pregnant. If your weight was in the healthy range, you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Babies born to women who gain enough weight are healthier. Check with your doctor or WIC staff to see what weight gain is best for you.

May I exercise?

Yes! Staying active during pregnancy is good for your muscles, your heart, and your baby. It can help you relax and feel good. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Be active on a regular schedule and walk, swim, dance, do low-impact aerobics or ride a stationary bike. Listen to your body. If you are out of breath, you may be working too hard. Use caution with activities that require balance and coordination and remember to drink plenty of fluids.