Nutrition is essential to maintain healthy body function, and now more than ever, nutrition is essential to assist your growing baby. Stock your home with healthy fresh foods, remember, what is stored in your pantry is what your family and future children will eat.
From as early as a few months old, your baby will be watching what you consume!
Know your produce - Choose foods which are in season and therefore good value for money, stay local! Prepare and cook the majority of foods yourself, thus knowing and controlling the ingredients.
Vitamins and minerals are needed in greater amounts in pregnancy and the easiest way to address these needs is through a balanced diet.
Folic acid is important for growth and development pre-pregnancy and in the first trimester. A daily supplement of folic acid is recommended from before conception until at least the end of the first trimester (at least 400micrograms/day). A small number of women (including those with a family history of neural tube defects and those on certain medications) require a higher dose of folic acid (5mg /day).
Iodine is critical for your baby’s brain development and most of us have a diet deficient in iodine. Make sure that you used iodised salt when cooking and that your prenatal vitamin supplement includes iodine.
Iron needs are greatly increased in pregnancy, as the baby will be laying down its stores for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding places great demand upon your iron stores. Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, and leafy green vegetables. Taking your iron supplement with orange juice is a good idea because the vitamin C in the OJ assists with the absorption of iron.
Calcium is essential for the growth and development of the baby’s bones, particularly in the second trimester. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yoghurt, almonds, soft bones in tinned tuna and salmon and leafy green vegetables. If you are consuming less than one glass of milk per day you should check with your health care provider whether it would be appropriate for you to take a calcium supplement.
Prior to starting any supplements discuss this with your health care provider, as some can be harmful to your baby.