September 05, 2019
Getting in Your Daily Servings of Fruits and Vegetables During Pregnancy
By: Cara Terreri, LCCE, CD(DONA) | 0 Comments
After decades (centuries, even!) of research on nutrition, eating fruits and vegetables is still the best way to get the nutrients your body needs. In pregnancy, those nutrients serve many purposes: provide energy, promote healthy digestion, boost immunity, fight disease, maintain/improve body and brain function, provide the the foundation for your baby's growth and development, and prevent birth defects.
Most of us know about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in pregnancy. What's less clear, however, is how much is needed and what exactly to eat. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that only around 9% of Americans get the recommended amount of daily vegetables and only 12% eat the recommended daily amount of fruit. If you're outside of those small percentages of people, you could probably benefit from some nutritional guidelines for getting in the recommended fruits and veggies during pregnancy.
We want to give you quick and easy, go-to suggestions for eating fruit and vegetables. In pregnancy, experts recommend you eat 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 - 3 cups of vegetables every day. Let's look at what that means.
Daily Fruit Serving Ideas During Pregnancy (2 cups)
Smoothie - Eating a fruit or fruit and veggie smoothie will take care of half or all of your fruit intake for the day. Throwing in a cup of spinach is a great way to get in veggies.
- 1 apple = 1 cup
- 1 banana = 1 cup
- 1 cup of grapes
- 1 cup of applesauce
- 8 large strawberries = 1 cup
- 1 cup (8oz) 100% fruit juice - Eating full fruit provides more fiber, but fruit juice still provides some benefits
- 1 cup cut up cantaloupe, watermelon, or pineapple
Daily Vegetable Serving Ideas During Pregnancy (2.5-3 cups)
- 12 baby carrots = 1 cup - pair with your favorite dip, like hummus or ranch
- 1 cup raw, cut veggies like peppers, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, or broccoli
- 10 cherry tomatoes = 1/2 cup
- Salad - 2 cups of leafy greens = 1 cup of vegetable serving
- 1-2 cups of steamed veggies, plain or with your favorite sauce (frozen vegetable are equally nutritious!)
- Tomato sauce paired with your favorite pasta = about 1/2 cup
- Veggie-loaded pizza = 1/2 cup
- Veggie puree soup = 1 cup
- Green smoothie = 1-2 cups
- Vegetable spaghetti - Use zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots to make "noodles"; pair with your favorite tomato sauce for additional veggies = 1 - 1.5 cups
Eating more fruits and vegetables may mean that you have to make some purposeful changes to your diet, but it doesn't have to be overly difficult or complicated. These simple suggestions can help you meet your daily goals.
TagsPregnancy Nutrition Vegetables Nutrition During Pregnancy