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10 Secrets for Growing a Healthy Baby

  1. Get plenty of folacin (folic acid). Your body's requirement for folacin doubles during pregnancy. Get the folacin you need by eating at least two cups of green vegetables every day: broccoli, spinach, peas, cooked greens, asparagus, brussel sprouts or green beans. Also oranges and orange juice are good, as well as navy beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, etc.

  2. Get plenty of calcium. Pregnant and lactating women need four eight-ounce glasses of milk or yogurt per day. One ounce of cheese can be substituted for each eight-ounce glass of milk if desired. (Look for low-fat cheeses). Be sure to choose low-fat milks, preferably skim, 1/2 percent or 1 percent.

  3. Get plenty of protein. If you're sticking with the second recommendation for four servings of milk per day, then your protein needs are one-third taken care of. So all you need is about four to seven ounces of cooked chicken, fish, beef or pork. This would be about two ounces at lunch, (two ounces or one-quarter cup canned tuna or two slices of lunch meat), and three to five ounces at dinner, (a piece of lean, trimmed meat the size of a deck of cards). Most Americans eat far more than this every day.

  4. Take it easy on fats. Keeping your fat intake down to 50 to 70 grams per day, will go a long way in preventing excess weight gain and helping you get more nutrition from all the other foods you eat in its place. Remember, Americans easily eat over 100 grams of fat per day, and every five grams equals a teaspoon of lard or shortening!

  5. Take it easy on sugars. Enjoy just a small serving of cakes, pies or cookies only one to three times per week. When eating for two, extra calories need to come with extra vitamins and minerals, which sweets do not have.

  6. Try to choose two to four portions of fresh fruits each day and a glass of juice.

  7. Choose several servings of whole grain breads, cereals, crackers and/or pasta at every meal.

  8. Absolutely NO ALCOHOL. Fetal alcohol syndrome is very serious. There is no safe limit.

  9. Limit caffeine. Studies suggest that up to two cups of a caffeine-containing beverage is acceptable during pregnancy (although less is probably better).

  10. Eat smaller more frequent meals. Many pregnant women find that they prefer three small meals, with three small snacks, instead of the three large meals that we customarily eat. And, take your pre-natal vitamin/mineral supplement if prescribed, for good nutrition insurance. Enjoy!