The Baby Bump

Having a child changes a lot of things, including your (and your baby's) diet. If you are expecting an addition to the family, then it may put a tiny bump in your everyday eating habits. No matter how healthy you think you are, there are probably things you will have to change. It might be beneficial to make a list of all the things you can and cannot eat and put it somewhere, like your refrigerator or iPhone, so you can remember until it becomes routine.

There are no magic recipes or foods for your pregnancy diet. But what you can do is focus on the things that are essential for the baby's overall health and growth. The key elements in your diet should be folate and folic acid, calcium, protein, and iron.

Folate and Folic Acid:
Basically, folate is a vitamin B that helps prevent birth defects. If you are not getting enough, then it makes you more susceptible to pre-term delivery. An expecting mommy should have about 1,000 micrograms a day. So try our Toasted Chevre Salad for the spinach, Four Bean Salad for the beans, Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Lemon Sauce for the asparagus, or our Asian Citrus Salad for the oranges.

Toasted Chevre Salad

Four Bean Salad

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Lemon Sauce

Asian Citrus Salad

It's super critical for you and your baby to have strong bones and teeth. So try having 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. If there is not enough calcium in your diet, then the baby will take what it needs from your body, which is obviously not good for you in the long run. Foods that contain a good amount of calcium are yogurt, milk, cheese, juice, and spinach. Take a look at our delicious Berry Parfait, Kiwi Honeydew Smoothie, or our Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes.

Berry Parfait

Kiwi Honeydew Smoothie

Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes

Protein is also key for babies' growth. You should have at least 71 grams a day. Lean meats, poultry, certain types of fish, and eggs are all great sources of protein. And for those of you who prefer veggies, you can try dried beans, peas, tofu, dairy products, and even peanut butter. Check out our Citrus Ginger Chicken, FunnySpoon's Turkey Chili, or our Sesame Teriyaki Noodles.

Citrus Ginger Chicken

FunnySpoon's Turkey Chili

Sesame Teriyaki Noodles

Iron is awesome for preventing anemia and making sure more oxygen is carried to all your tissues. Also, your blood volume actually doubles during pregnancy to make up for all the changes going on. If you do not get enough then it can leave you feeling tired and open you up to more infections. It also increases the risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight. Try getting at least 27 milligrams a day. Iron is found in lean red meats, poultry, and fish. But for you veggie-eaters out there, try iron-enriched cereals, nuts, and dried fruits. Look at recipes like our Clean-Out-the-Fridge Veggie Soup, Oriental Coleslaw, Mediterranean Pita, or Marc's Cheater Lentil Soup.

Clean-Out-the-Fridge Veggie Soup

Oriental Coleslaw

Mediterranean Pita

Marc's Cheater Lentil Soup

Note: Iron found in animal products are the easiest for the body to absorb, but you can also pair them with a drink or food that is high in vitamin C, like orange or tomato juice or strawberries.

As you can see, eating the right foods can make a huge difference in you and your baby's health. So add sliced fruit to your breakfast cereal, chop up some extra veggies for your favorite dish, and when you're craving something sweet, opt for some low-fat yogurt instead of ice cream ... because every mommy wants only the best when they are expecting!

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