Healthy Eating for Moms-to-Be

Living Healthy Chicago
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There’s no arguing that expectant moms have a lot on their plates preparing for baby. Certified nutrition coach Ashley Pettit says all moms-t0-be should make sure they’re taking time to prepare what’s on their actual plates in order to stay healthy and help their growing babies. Here’s her breakdown of important vitamins and nutrients:

  • Folate: Helps prevent neural tube defects as well as serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal chord. Aim for 800 micrograms a day
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Helps build bone strength for mom and baby
  • Protein: Helps with growth and development for mom and baby
  • Fiber: Helps combat common issues like constipation and digestion
  • Iron: Your need for iron doubles while you’re pregnant. If women don’t get enough, they risk becoming overly fatigued and are at risk for infection

Check out Ashely’s guide for a well-rounded day in the life of an expectant mother. And remember, you need an extra 200-300 calories per day in a well-balanced diet.


“You want vegetables, you want fruit, you want protein,” Ashley says. “Most important: get those whole grains in for fiber … helps with digestion.”

  • 1 slice whole grain toast with 4 slices of avocado mashed on top with a dash of Herbamere salt-free seasoning
  • 3 egg whites, 1 egg scramble with 1 cup grilled red, yellow and orange bell pepper slices, onion and mushrooms. Serve with 1 tablespoon fresh salsa.
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries


“You know you hear about protein for muscles, right?” Ashley says. “Well he or she is putting on muscle mass, believe it or not. So she needs to get as strong as you need to get.”

  • 3 oz. wild sockeye salmon baked with simple dijon mustard, lemon and olive oil on top (make sure it’s not farm-raised)
  • Kale caesar salad: cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup homemade lemon-quinoa salad, 2 cups tuscan kale (hand-shredded), and 2 tablespoons egg-free caesar dressing
  • Grilled peach slices for dessert


“It’s always good to end with some folate in asparagus,” Ashley says. “Follic acid helps prevent birth defects so you really, really want to have that.”

For more recipes, check out Ashley’s website,


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