Cravings, oh the cravings…..something sweet, something salty…generally that’s what’s triggered when it comes to pregnancy and food.  However, at this time, nutrition takes on a whole new level of importance.  Remember, you can control what vitamins and nutrients your getting, the baby can’t.  Remember that quality is what matters when it comes to the food you consume. 

Rule number one: Never skip breakfast.  It’s not a new rule.  It’s one that should already be followed.   By morning your body has already been without food for some time.   Use this time to replenish nutrients and vitamins.

Rule number two: Fruits and vegetables at least five servings daily.  They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Loaded with folic acid, which is imperative to brain development and helps prevent neural tube defects.  Vitamin C is important for forming collagen, which gives structure to connective tissue of the skin, bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels.  Also aids in the absorption of iron.  Also crucial in pregnancy as iron helps the muscles in both mother and baby develop.  Iron produces red blood cells which carries oxygen to you and your baby,  It also reduces the risk of preterm birth.  A good source for all is Orange juice. 

Rule number three: Carbs…that’s right carbs.  A crucial source of energy.  However, watch out for the carbohydrates your consuming.  There are two main types of carbs.  Simple and complex.  Simple are the “bad” carbs.  Avoid these.  They are sugar! Refined sugar.  Then complex carbs.  The “good” carbs.  These include brown rice, oatmeal, peas and beans, sources of fibre.  Avoid anything white, it generally means it’s been refined.

Rule number Four: Consume two to three serving everyday of dairy foods.  Milk, cheese and yogurt.  You calcium levels are going to deplete quickly.  Calcium helps the nervous, muscular and circulatory system stay healthy.  Your body will pull calcium from your bones and give it to your growing baby.  If there are lactose issues, you can always opt for calcium supplements.

Rule number five: Protein at every meal.   Your intake should be a minimum of 60 grams a day.   It is required for physical growth and cellular development of your baby.  It is also required for the placenta, amniotic tissues, and maternal tissues.  Excellent sources, are Greek yogurt, 18 grams per serving, get the vanilla though (the plain is awful).  Eggs, your body will use 100% of egg protein.  Lean meats such as chicken, fish and lean ground beef.

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