And so it begins, where every life decision you make is somehow going to affect your child. It’s never more evident than what you put into your body while pregnant, which is why you gotta eat well, mama! Sure, giving into a craving or two is totes normal and we fully approve a spontaneous Taco Bell drive-through moment or a 16 Handles run (Captain Crunch toppings FTW). HOWEVER, consider yourself the vitamin + mineral channel by which your babe is going to flourish! Not to mention that loading up on sugar + unhealthy foods will only increase your chance of gestational diabetes later in your pregnancy. Bonus: your kids are more likely to like what you liked while pregnant, so load up on anything you’d like them to eat outside the womb! Here are some suggestions:
- Legumes: We said it the French way ‘cause we fancy like that. Hit up those beans ala lentils, peas, chickpeas, soybeans and even peanuts as a source of plant-based fiber, protein, iron, folate and calcium.
- Sweet potatoes: These lil lovelies are chock full of beta-carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial in cell growth for babe. Need we say more?
- Salmon: The superfood of superfoods, salmon’s not only awesome for you, but it’s exactly what you want your toddler ordering at a restaurant so you can bask in your holier-than-thou mama moment. It’s rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids (which help build your babe’s eyes + brains) and is a natural source of vitamin D for bone + immune building strength. Bonus points for its low mercury level.
- Avocados: Let’s hear it for Instagram’s favorite food. Avocados are high in fiber, B vitamins like folate, vitamin K, E + C, as well as potassium, copper and mono-saturated fatty acids, ie healthy fats that aid in babe’s skin, brain and tissue development. So go ahead, order that side of guac, ‘cause you extra!
- Dark (Leafy) Greens: No sh*t, right? We’ve been told to eat our greens since WE were fetuses. But spinach, kale, chard and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins like A,C + K, plenty of nutrients as well as folic acid. So eat your salads, stir-fry it up or douse in garlic and olive oil, Italiano style. It’s all good!
- Eggs: The incredible egg contains more than a dozen vitamins + minerals, not to mention it’s a great source of protein, which aid in cell growth for your + babe. It also contains choline, which helps baby’s brain + spinal cord development. Mama loves an omelet.
- Greek Yogurt: Fage it UP ‘cause greek yogurt contains more calcium than any other dairy product, plus probiotic bacteria, which supports digestion. It’s also got high levels of phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium + zinc. Dairy in general contains two types of rockstar proteins, casein + whey. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may be able to tolerate probiotic yogurt. If you’re dairy-free, check in with your healthcare provider on alternative ways to get these benefits.