Grains in your pregnancy diet

Grains in your pregnancy diet

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Why grains are so important

Grains (including whole wheat, oats, barley, corn, and rice, to name a few) are packed with nutrients such as iron, selenium, and magnesium. They're also especially good sources of the B vitamins (including B1, B2, folic acid, and niacin) your growing baby needs for just about every part of his body. Grains supply energy for your baby's development and help the placenta grow.

Be sure to look for "whole grains," like whole wheat bread and brown rice, for example. These contain the most vitamins and nutrients. Most whole grains have plenty of fiber, too. The recommended amount of fiber during pregnancy is 28 grams a day, which helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.

Government guidelines recommend that you make at least half the grains you eat each day whole grains. Products labeled "refined" or "enriched" aren't as beneficial to you or your baby.

A note on shopping for whole grains: Many products now carry a label stating how many grams of whole grains it contains, and some have a whole grain stamp. If you don't see a label or a stamp, check the ingredients label. Whole grains are listed first.

Some good grain choices

Here are some good grain options. Each is equal to one serving:

  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat, oatmeal, or barley cereal
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat whole grain cereal
  • 1.25-inch-square piece of cornbread
  • 1/2 whole wheat raisin or plain bagel
  • One slice of whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 whole grain hamburger or hot dog bun
  • 1/2 whole grain English muffin
  • 1/2 whole wheat pita pocket (6 inches across)
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or wild rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked grain, such as millet, bulgur, or barley
  • Two rice cakes
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat noodles or pasta
  • One corn or whole wheat tortilla (6 inches across)
  • One whole grain waffle or pancake (4 1/2 inches across)
  • 3 cups popcorn

Easy ways to add more grains to your daily diet

  • Try a variety of grains for your morning cereal. Millet, oatmeal, and wheat all make good hot breakfasts.
  • Substitute air-popped popcorn or whole grain crackers for chips.
  • Experiment with whole grain noodles and pastas. Japanese soba noodles, for example, are made from buckwheat.
  • Add cooked barley or another whole grain to quick breads, pancake or waffle batter, and soups. You can also shape them into patties and fry or bake them.
  • Use leftover whole grains to make side salads. Simply add chopped veggies and a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Replace some of the flour in your baked goods with whole grain flour, such as whole wheat, teff, triticale, spelt, or rye.

Watch the video: The Importance of Good Nutrition during Pregnancy Part 1 (July 2022).


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