12 Steps to Healthier Babies

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In ensuring your baby’s health, one must actually start during pregnancy. A diet with the proper combination of body-building food, energy food, and essential vitamins and minerals plus sufficient exercise will positively affect the development of the baby.

The following are 12 easy steps for a healthy baby, healthy mommy, and healthy family:

Increase your folate intake even prior to pregnancy. Folic acid is important to the baby’s early development because it aids in the reproduction and division of the cells, prevents neurological disorders, and fosters brain development. The lack of folic acid could lead to neutral tube defects in the fetus. Legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of folate.

Get enough sunshine and Vitamin D. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium and mothers need to stock up on it to prevent tooth enamel problems in the future. Enough sun exposure is also needed for vitamin conversion in the body.

Feed in fish for the baby’s brain. Critical to fetal brain and eye development are DHA and arachidonic acid (ARA). Expectant moms are encouraged to eat more eggs and cold-water fish rich in omega-3, which are converted to DHA in the body.

Increase milk intake during the third trimester. Intense fetal growth occurs during this period and lack of calcium could lead to impaired fetal skeletal growth.

Take in enough iron to prevent labor difficulties. Inadequate maternal iron doesn’t directly harm the growing fetus, but can lead to labor difficulties. Prevent anemia by taking iron alone or as part of a multivitamin.

Have healthier snack for diabetics. To prevent gestational diabetes, avoid too many sweets and munch on smaller meals instead. Also, do some exercise to steady blood sugar.

Go, grow, and glow. Eat a well-balanced diet by combining all the go, grow, and glow foods. Simply divide your plate into three portions: 1/2 for grains and cereals, 1/4 for vegetables and fruits and 1/4 for protein foods.

Avoid vitamin overdose. Excessive amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E and B6 may actually harm the mother and the growing baby. Choose a multivitamin supplement with NO more than 100% recommended daily allowance (RDA) for each individual mineral and vitamin.

Say NO to alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol directly reaches the fetus and nicotine can impair fetal growth so it’s best to avoid both altogether.

Stay away from stress and pollution. Stress encourages the build-up of toxin, while pollutants like radiation, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), air pollution, and heavy metals could lead to birth defects.

Avoid raw foods. Pregnant women should not eat raw sprouts, raw milk products, unpasteurized juices, raw or undercooked meat, eggs and shellfish.

Increase carbohydrate intake if exercising. Increase carbo intake to compensate for the increased use of glucose. The lack of glucose makes a mother prone to hypoglycemia and could limit fetal access to nutrients.

Always remember that you are what you eat. And what you are, your baby will become. So if you are pregnant, make sure to eat the right kind of foods for the next nine months of your life.