Iron-rich foods help your growing baby make red blood cells. Foods that are high in iron can also protect you from conditions such as anemia, which may cause low birthweight or prematurity. To get enough iron, you can start by keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy choices like these:
- Lean beef, pork, chicken, and turkey
- Beans, like red kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lima beans or lentils
- Iron-fortified cereals
- Pumpkin, squash or sesame seeds
- Dried apricots
- Wheat germ
- Cooked, iron-enriched egg noodles
Try preparing meals with these ingredients ahead of time so it’s easy to grab them, especially when you’re busy.
Getting other nutrients is important too. Most types of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins will help your baby develop and keep you nourished. Some people find that it’s useful to eat vegetables along with a protein-packed dip like hummus or peanut butter. This might help you feel fuller for longer.
Check out other articles on healthy foods to eat as well as recipes from Kaiser Permanente for ideas on meals to make. If you have any questions about which foods to eat, your clinician can help you determine what’s best for you and your baby’s health.