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Eat Well For Two

Are you an expectant mother or know of one that is worried about what they should or shouldn't be eating while pregnant? While we all love the excuse that we are "eating for two" according to the American Dietetic Association women only need to increase their daily caloric intake by 300 calories! Most importantly you need to watch what you are eating not just the serving size.

If you are already have a well balanced diet you won't have to go through any dramatic changes. However, if you find yourself leaving the green beans on your plate and opting for a piece of cake rather than fruit for dessert now is the time to change! You know that a balanced diet is good for you and your baby but maybe you need specifics to help you understand exactly how each element of your diet will benefit your baby.

Fruits & Vegetables
Recommended Daily Intake: 7 servings combined

Fruits and Vegetables are a great way to get your daily fiber and some essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits and veggies containing Vitamin C will encourage healthy tissue growth like gums for your baby. It also allows you to heal quicker and take in iron which helps avoid giving birth to an anemic baby. Vitamin A in dark green vegetables also contains vital nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy.

Whole Grains
Recommended Daily Intake: 6-9 servings

Whole grains are rich in folic acid. Even without knowing it you have probably been getting plenty of this in your cereal every day. Folic acid has been shown to prevent birth defects in babies. Eating other grains like breads, rice, and pastas are all great sources of folic acid. Make sure you are picking out whole grain cereals and breads to ensure high folic acid content.

Recommended daily intake: 4 servings

Try sticking to low-fat or non-fat versions of milk and other dairy products. The calcium in dairy products helps your baby develop strong teeth and muscles. Maybe drinking a few extra glasses of milk each week will prevent a broken bone in the future! Pregnant woman need 1,000 mg of calcium a day. This can come from green leafy vegetables as well as dairy products, dried beans, and peas.

Recommended Daily Intake: 2-3 servings of cooked meats or 60 grams of protein a day.

Proteins are extremely important for your baby. They build muscle, tissue, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Cooked lean meats, fish, and poultry are all great sources of protein, along with nuts and eggs. Most women don't have any problems getting the amount of protein they need each day, but if you don't each much meat you may want to pay attention to how much protein you are actually getting. Don't eat uncooked meat or fish. Doing so is dangerous for you and your baby while you are pregnant.

As always check with your physician about specific changes to your diet once you are pregnant. Not all recommendations work the same for everyone. Eating right while pregnant is not only important for your growing baby but for you as well. A healthy mom is a happy mom!