Adapting and maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is important to the development of your baby.

During your 40 weeks, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. A diet that lacks these key nutrients may negatively affect your child’s development.

Poor eating habits can also lead to excess weight gain during pregnancy, which can also increase the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications.

Thus, choosing to eat healthy, nutritious foods during your pregnancy can help to ensure the health of your baby.

Dairy products are a great source of protein and calcium, both things a growing fetus needs. Dairy products contain two types of high quality proteins; casein and whey. Dairy is also the best dietary source for calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and a variety of B-vitamins.

Legumes, which includes peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts, are an excellent source for fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium.

Sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that the body converts into vitamin A, which is essential for growth.

Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, but also a great source of choline, which is essential for brain development and health.

Avocados may be trendy, but they are a super-food because they are high in fiber, B-vitamins (including folate), vitamin K, potassium, coper, and vitamins E and C.

It’s also great to add foods fortified with folic acid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required the addition of 140 mcg of folic acid per 100 grams of grain product to cereals, breads, pastas, and other foods labeled “enriched.”

Other foods that are rich in folate include citrus fruits, leafy greens, and broccoli.

Along with these items, make sure you’re eating breakfast every day. You and the baby need the energy and nutrient kick to start the day.

Drink plenty of water. If need be, throw in some cucumbers or oranges to mix things up. Naturally flavored waters are fine, but be sure to skip any with sweeteners and added sugars.

And finally, you don’t have to avoid the sweet stuff. Indulging a little bit now and then can help you keep from overindulging your sweet tooth. A small scoop of ice cream or a couple of pieces of chocolate after a day of healthy choices is perfectly fine.