Babies often get a good head start on growing,
well before most women learn that they are
pregnant. The food choices you make before
and during pregnancy affect how well a baby
forms and grows. Those choices also help a
vitamins, minerals and fibre, especially
If you are eating a healthy diet and are taking
grains you have not tried before like buckwheat,
a multivitamin with folic acid before you
become pregnant, you will have helped your
Now is a great time to make positive changes
in your eating habits for both you and your
partner. This will not only give you good
vitamin D and protein. If you don't like or can't
health before you conceive, but create healthy
drink milk, lactose free milk or fortified soy
beverages are a good alternative. Other milk
products like cheese and yogurt can be enjoyed,
too. Choose low-fat milk products more often.
Following Canada’s Food Guide will help you
(If you are allergic to milk products consult a
and your baby get the nutrients you need. For
dietitian for alternative sources of calcium).
each statement below about Canada’s Food
Do you eat 2 servings of meat and alternatives
Guide, check the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box that applies
Meat and alternatives provide you with iron,
zinc, vitamin B12 and protein. Choose leanmeats and poultry as well as meat alternatives
Try to include foods from at least 3 of the 4
like beans and lentils prepared with little or no
food groups at meals and food from at least
added fat or salt. Include at least two servings
2 food groups for snacks to be sure you are
of fish each week. Good choices are salmon,
eating a variety of foods throughout the day.
sardines and trout. (Vegetarians, who do not eat
eggs or milk products, may need to consult a
dietician to ensure that they are getting enoughiron, vitamin B-12 and protein.)
Vegetables and fruit will give you important
vitamins, minerals and fibre. Choose dark green
and orange vegetables and fruit more often.
Try to choose vegetables and fruit prepared
Healthy fats like canola, olive and soybean oil
with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.
are needed for the body to use certain vitamins.
Use a small amount (2 - 3 tablespoons or 30 - 45ml per day) when cooking or in salad dressings.
Avoid unhealthy fats like butter, hard margarine,lard and shortening.
Do you limit the amount of high-fat, sweet or
This is the time to eat a well-balanced diet
according to Canada's Food Guide. Use this
space to write down changes that you would
Foods like cakes, donuts, granola bars, ice
cream, French fries, chips and beverages likesoda, sports drinks and fruit flavoured drinks do
not have the nutrition you need. Limit thesefoods and beverages.
I'd like to eat two more servings of
I'll cut up some vegetables like carrots,
celery, broccoli and cauliflower and store them
It is important to drink enough fluids every day
in the fridge so they are ready to use for eating
to prevent dehydration. Make water one of your
choices. You can also drink two cups of low-fatmilk per day. Follow your thirst to guide how
much water to drink. In hot weather and when
you are more active, you will need to drink more.
Many beverages contain caffeine. While planninga pregnancy and during pregnancy it is best tolimit caffeine to 300mg per day which means no
more than two 8 oz cups of coffee. Too much
caffeine can cause your future baby to be bornunderweight. Caffeine also causes irritability,
headaches and difficulty sleeping. Coffee, tea,green tea, and regular colas are sources of
caffeine. Energy drinks may have even morecaffeine than coffee and include herbs that
FOR HELP CLOSE TO HOME CONTACT:
Call EatRight Ontario to speak with a registered dietitian 1-877-510-510-2
Registered Dietitian at the local public health unit, hospital or community health centre:
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP): www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/prog-ini/cpnp-pcnp
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php
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