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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

The ABC’s of Growing a Healthy Baby, Part 3

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The ABC's of Growing a Healthy Baby, Part 3

Continue making healthy choices for you and your baby. Start with these daily tips that take minimal effort.

Eat your fruits and vegetables

You will need to eat a variety of foods to get the needed nutrients for you and your unborn baby. Each day you should include at least 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits. Select whole grains: Make at least half or more of your grain choices a whole grain source.

Select foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fat and avoid trans-fats. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include foods such as salmon, walnuts or other nuts/seeds, flaxseed, canola oil and soybeans.

Drink water

You need extra fluids, especially water, throughout your pregnancy to assist your body in keeping up with the doubling of your blood volume. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water, and limit 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, or diet beverages to 0-1 serving per day. If you’re drinking enough water a day your urine will look almost-clear or very light yellow.

Eat more often

No matter how nauseous you feel, skipping a meal will make it worse. Also, when you skip meals, you set yourself up for being overly hungry which leads to poor food choices such as fast food. Eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals is what most expectant moms find to relieve the queasiness, stomach upsets and intestinal distress that are common during pregnancy.

Skip the fast food

Fast food can be very high in trans fatty acids, sodium and calories. The high sodium content can aggravate high blood pressure, a risk for you and your baby. Plus, you don’t want little junior having a taste for fast food.

So go ahead and hum the tune, you’ll be relieved in knowing that through supplying your fetus with good nutrition in the womb and in the first months of infancy you can be the forerunner of your child’s health including lower risks of having a birth defect or later in life of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Now that you know your A, B, C’s, won’t you follow them along with me?

Visit our Fruits and Vegetables and Meal and Snack Time Tips for more on healthy eating.

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About the Author

Picture of Megan Porter, RD, LD, CDE

Megan Porter, RD, LD, CDE

Megan is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in nutrition education, nutrition and health writing, and clinical nutrition. Megan is currently working in clinical nutrition as a diabetes educator at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Children's Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic.

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