‘Eat This, Not That’: Essential Food Guide for Moms-to-Be

Here’s what expectant moms should be eating in each trimester.

ByABC News
May 18, 2016, 7:11 AM

— -- Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief women’s health correspondent, teamed up with Dave Zinczenko for the new book, “Eat This, Not That When You're Expecting” to offer expectant mothers a guide on what to eat for each trimester of their pregnancies.

Ashton is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist who recently earned her master’s degree in clinical nutrition from Columbia University. In an appearance on “GMA” today she said her nutrition expertise would allow her to write a book from a position of authority on both subjects – pregnancy and nutrition.

Zinczenko is the author of the “Eat This, Not That!” series that focuses on helping people eat healthier.

Several pregnant women appeared in the “GMA” Times Square studio today with questions for Ashton. The doctor also offered the following advice for what the women should eat in each trimester of their pregnancies:
First Trimester
Ashton said this is the time to lay the groundwork for a diet that will give pregnant women energy and feed their babies.
Eat This: Lean meats, fish, beans and whole grains. Moms-to-be should also take prenatal vitamins and can try lemon and ginger to help with morning sickness.
Not That: Avoid rich, fatty foods and sugary beverages.
Second Trimester
Just because an expectant mother is starting to show, it doesn’t mean she needs to actually eat for two. This trimester is crucial for healthy weight gain, so moms-to-be should add 300 to 400 calories per day to support the baby’s growth, Ashton said.
Eat This: Load up on anti-inflammatory Omega-3s, such as walnuts, chia seeds, grass-fed meat, eggs and wild rice. To relieve heartburn, try some of the “craving crushers” listed in the book, such as chicken spinach salad with apple Dijon vinaigrette. The dressing will provide a hit of acid without the heartburn.
Not That: Salty, oily, acidic foods. Avoid coffee, too, as it can cause heartburn (limit it to two cups per day). Avoid elaborate ice cream concoctions, such as peanut butter cup ice cream. Some brands have trans fats, which can hurt the baby.
Third Trimester
It’s time to add another 100 calories to your daily intake.
Eat This: Get more calcium – from milk (cow, almond or soy), almonds, dark leafy greens. Calcium is crucial for the development of the baby’s skeletal system. Add bananas to your diet; the potassium can help fight back cramps and swollen legs. Also, drinks lots of water. Believe it or not, drinking more water can help fight water retention.
Not That: Avoid salty foods, which can make swollen legs worse. For moms-to-be who want to eat junk food, pick the right brands. Studies show that an expectant mother’s intake may cause her child to have a predilection for unhealthy eating when he or she grows up, Ashton said.


Have the Baby, Keep the Body

By Dr. Jennifer Ashton

“I’m a terrible mother,” one of my patients told me last year. “And I haven’t even had the baby yet!” Confused, I asked her to explain. “It’s about food,” she admitted. “After every bite, I worry about whether or not it’s good for baby. And then I feel worse, because I worry whether it’s good for me. I’m eating for two but don’t want to look and feel like it!”