Healthy foods for you


Feeling great! Naturally you want to make sure your baby is healthy. And you want to feel good while you’re pregnant!

The right foods When you eat the right foods, you will give your baby what she needs to grow and develop.These healthy foods also will give you energy and help you feel better during your pregnancy.

Weight gain How much weight should you gain? This depends on how much you weighed before you got pregnant.

If you were at a healthy weight before pregnancy, you should gain 25-35 pounds. Overweight women should gain less than that, and underweight women need to gain a little more.

Not all pregnant women are the same. Your doctor will talk to you about how much weight you should gain.

Eating for two? Many pregnant women think they should eat twice as much as they did before. But that’s not healthy. You should eat just a little more, such as an extra half a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of low-fat milk.

Every day The most important thing is for your food to be healthy food! WIC suggests you eat foods from each food group every day. Eat different kinds of fruits and vegetables, protein foods, dairy, and whole grains. Read more here>>

Healthy foods on your plate Healthy eating while you’re pregnant is almost the same as healthy eating when you’re not pregnant. Fill half your plate with colorful vegetables and fruits. Fill the rest of your plate with protein foods and foods made from whole grains. Choose about the same amount of protein foods and whole grain foods. Read more about a healthy plate here>>

Fruits and vegetables It’s healthy to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. Try these and others:
• Green–green leafy lettuce, mustard greens, broccoli, bell peppers, and kiwis
• Red –red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon
• Yellow/Orange–carrots, squash, cantaloupe, oranges, and mangoes
• Blue—blueberries and purple cabbage

Protein foods Here are some good choices for protein foods: chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, beans, nuts, eggs, and tofu. If you choose fish, be sure it has very little mercury. Good choices are: salmon, tilapia, shrimp, light tuna, cod, and catfish. Bad choices are: shark, tile fish, swordfish, and king mackerel, because they have more mercury than other fish.

Whole grains The healthiest breads, rice and cereals are made from whole grain. You can tell if a food is “whole grain” by reading the list of ingredients on the box or package. The first item on the list should have the word “whole” in front of it (for example whole wheat, whole oats, whole rye). Brown rice is much better than white rice.

Dairy Choose dairy products that are low in fat or fat-free. Low-fat or nonfat milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheeses are healthy for you. Remember that yogurt is best if there’s only a little added sugar or no added sugar. You can add fresh fruit if you want it to be sweeter.

Oils When you cook with oil, choose some of these healthy oils: olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.

When you’re thirsty Water is the best drink when you’re thirsty. One cup of coffee each day is probably fine, but ask your doctor if coffee is healthy for you.

A little juice is OK (6-8 ounces per day). Juice has a lot of sugar, so if you drink a lot of juice, you may gain too much weight. Soda, Kool-Aid, punch and other sugary drinks are bad choices because they’re mostly sugar.

Foods to avoid You need to avoid certain foods. These foods are not healthy for you when you’re pregnant:
• Alcohol. Even a little alcohol during pregnancy can hurt your baby.

• Unpasteurized soft cheeses. Some examples are unpasteurized feta, brie, queso blanco, queso fresco, panela, asadero, and blue cheeses. Read more about unpasteurized cheeses here>>

• Smoked seafood and fish that has a lot of mercury. Some examples are shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tile fish. If you choose albacore tuna, don’t eat more than 6 ounces in a week. Read more about fish here>>

• Raw or undercooked fish, raw or undercooked shellfish, and sushi.

• Raw or undercooked eggs, and raw or undercooked meat. If you choose hot dogs or deli meats, cook them until they are steaming hot. These processed meats aren’t healthy choices because they may lead to cancer later in life, so eat them only once in awhile if you like them a lot.

• Raw sprouts

• Unpasteurized fruit juice or vegetable juice. Look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

Prenatal vitamins A prenatal vitamin is a vitamin for pregnant women. Even when you eat many healthy foods, you may still not get everything you need. A prenatal vitamin will give you any extra vitamins you need. Ask your doctor about the best prenatal vitamin for you. You will need to take it every day.

Discomfort You may feel uncomfortable. Here are some tips:

If you have morning sickness,
• eat 5 to 6 small meals and snacks during the day. Don’t go too long without eating.
• drink water or other beverages between your meals, not during your meals.
• don’t eat greasy and spicy foods.
• avoid strong smells that may upset your stomach.

If you have heartburn,
• eat 5 to 6 small meals and snacks during the day.
• don’t eat greasy and spicy foods
• drink water or other beverages between your meals, not during your meals.

If your stomach is upset,
• take your prenatal vitamin before bedtime.
• take this vitamin when you’re eating.
• ask your doctor if it’s OK to cut the pills in half and take each half at a different time of day.
• ask your doctor if you can try a different type of vitamin.

If you’re having a hard time going to the bathroom,
• eat foods that have plenty of fiber. Some examples are whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, apples, mangoes, prunes, corn, broccoli, and cauliflower.
• drink plenty of water.
• get plenty of exercise. Exercise is good for pregnant women!

Try these tips for feeling comfortable when you’re pregnant>>

Are you a WIC mom? If you’re a WIC participant, your WIC educator will meet with you one-on-one a few times during your pregnancy to answer your questions about staying healthy. She will also talk to you about breastfeeding.

We offer group sessions for pregnant women to help them learn more about how to feed their new babies. If you are a pregnant WIC mom, you will attend group sessions at some of your visits.