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Eating For a Healthy Baby

Dr. Poonam V. Khiraya

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Vitamin C
You and your baby need vitamin C for tissue repair, wound healing and various other metabolic processes. Your baby needs it for proper growth and for the development of strong bones and teeth.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient which the body can’t store. So a fresh supply is needed everyday. Vitamin C rich foods are best eaten fresh and uncooked.

Calcium Foods
Growing children need plenty of calcium for strong bones and teeth. So growing foetuses on their way to becoming growing children need enough calcium. Calcium is also vital for muscle, heart and nerve development, blood clotting and enzyme activity.

Green Leafy Vegetables
Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene is vital for cell growth, healthy skin, bones and eyes. The green leaves and yellow ones also deliver doses of essential vitamin E, riboflavin, folic acid. These are rich in fibre which relieve constipation.

Other Fruits and Vegetables
Two servings daily or more to get the recommended allowance of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C.

You need at least two other types of fruits or vegetables daily, for extra fibre, vitamins and minerals. Many of these are rich in potassium and magnesium both of which are important to good pregnancy health.

Whole Grains and Legumes
Whole grain like whole wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, millet, etc. and legumes, dried peas, cholle, rajmah, are packed with nutrients, particularly vitamin B which is needed for just about every part of your developing baby's body. These concentrated complex carbohydrates are also rich in trace minerals such as zinc, selenium and magnesium which have been shown to be very significant in pregnancy. Starchy foods also help reduce morning sickness.

Iron Rich Food
Since large amounts of iron are essential for the developing blood supply of the foetus and for your own expanding blood supply, eating foods rich in vitamin C at the same meals with iron rich foods will increase the absorption of the minerals by the body.

You are not only eating for two, you are also drinking for two. As body fluids increase during pregnancy, so does your need for fluid intake. Extra fluids also help to keep your skin soft, lessen the constipation. Be sure to get at least 8 cups a day.

High Fat Foods
According to NIN guidelines no more than 20-30 % of an adult's calories should come from fat. There is no harm in having a couple of extra green leafies or vitamin C foods or calcium food but excess fat servings could spell excess weight.

Keeping fat intake in moderation is good. But don't eliminate all fat from your diet as it is dangerous. Fat is vital to your developing baby, the essential fatty acids in them are very essential for you and your baby.

Salty foods
A moderate amount of sodium is needed to maintain adequate fluid level. Very large quantities of salt and very salty foods are not good because it contributes to water retention and are linked with high blood pressure.

So try to take a nutritionally well balanced diet. Well balanced diet is essential to guarantee your baby not just good health but excellent health with every bite of good food that you put in your mouth.

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