Diet & Nutrition in the 2nd Trimester
By now you’re probably feeling a lot better. Perhaps your nausea has dissipated and your appetite has returned. You may have a lot more energy and it’s likely that you’re feeling the glow of pregnancy. Now’s the time to enjoy the foods you love and crave.
The goal is to have a lot of variety with lots of colorful, healthy, nutrient dense foods to provide the essential nutrients you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy.
As much as possible, avoid fast food, junk foods and sodas, all of which contain a lot of sugar, contribute to constipation as well as too much weight gain.
Getting the Right Nutrients throughout Pregnancy
Vitamins are your friends: Look for one with DHA for the baby’s brain and eye development. Because it’s difficult to eat the 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended daily, plus find a way to get folic acid and DHA, prenatal viamins help you fill in any nutritional gaps.
Building muscle: Get at least three servings of protein per day. Good sources include:
- Lentils, beans and soybeans.
Nourishing Strong Bones and Teeth: Our bodies need calcium every day. Try to get at least 3 servings of calcium rich dairy per day, which will provide you with 1200-1500 mg of Calcium. Dairy has the added benefit of also being packed with protein. If you can’t reach the recommended amount with diet alone, or you have a lactose intolerance, then take calcium supplements. Good sources include:
- Cottage cheese
- Calcium fortified juice
- Green leafy vegetables.
If you’re lactose sensitive or have a lactose intolerance, see my article here (link here to the Lactose sensivitiy article ???)
Aim for lots of colors on your plate: To get 2 servings of fruits and 4 – 5 servings of vegetables each ay. Orange carrots and peppers, Red tomatoes, purple eggplant and fields of greens, broccoli and zucchini. It’s recommended that you make eating vegetables a priority to get the nutrients and fiber contained within.
Be careful with fruit juice: It’s high in sugar – even 100% juice. Limit your intake to 1 glass per day and opt for whole fruits with more fiber, which helps with any constipation. Whenever possible, skip the juice and instead have the whole piece of fruit.
Having more fruits and vegetables will also help prevent constipation
Carb-lover: Eat 6 to 9 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta per day. One serving isn’t a whole box of mac and cheese, unfortunately. It’s relatively small, equal to ½ cup of rice, beans or pasta or 1 slice of bread or a ½ of a flour tortilla. (link to blog post: What is a carb)
A little goes a long way with Fats and oils: Each serving = 1 level tablespoon of:
- Peanut butter
- ¼ of a small avocado.
4 servings of fats are recommended per day. That’s not much! Fats and oils will help you feel fuller and help you reduce the carbs you eat, and yet many of the foods we eat also contain some fat, so it’s good to limit these to prevent gaining too much weight.
Hydration is key! Pay close attention to your water consumption and aim for at least 8-12 glasses per day.
You can get a lot more tips and information from my Personal Guide to Pregnancy