Nutrition is one of the biggest documented facts that affects teens ability to have a healthy pregnancy. According to a nutrition reference for pregnant teenagers produced by the University of Minnesota, pregnant teens unsurprisingly have many of the same challenges with eating as any other teen. This includes habits such as frequent snacking especially on high fat and salt foods, skipping breakfast, being too busy to eat and worrying about their body and weight.
Strategies To Have A Healthier Teenage Pregnancy Through Nutrition
Pregnant teens have very specific nutritional needs which we talked about in the post Nutrition Facts You Must Know To Have A Healthy Pregnancy As A Teenager. Below are some strategies and ideas to help pregnant teenagers have a healthier pregnancy through their nutrition choices.
Snacks For Health
There are many teenagers (heck there are many adults) who do not sit down to a regular routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks will help these pregnant teens fill the nutritional gap. Most teenagers tend to snack on what is on hand, so having a variety of healthy snacks that can help her stay on track. Here are some ideas for healthy portable snacks that will help your teen keep going through her day.
- Apples and string cheese
- Fresh fruit or veggies- any portable variety!
- Homemade trail mix– I love a mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts (when not in a nut free environment), dried cranberries and raisins.
- Yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt for more protein
- Air popped popcorn
- Low sugar granola bars
- Fruit cups packed in water
- Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Many teenagers develop the habit of skipping breakfast and the facts show that teenagers dealing with pregnancy need that breakfast even more. If you add in nausea or extra fatigue from teenage pregnancy, you may see a teen that is even more likely to skip breakfast. Talk about the importance of eating a healthy breakfast for both her health and that of the baby. Help her to make smart choices about breakfast. If nausea is an issue, do not be afraid to go outside the box for breakfast options. Here are a few quick ideas to help teen moms boost their daily calcium, protein, and vitamin intake. Fresh fruit can round out any of these breakfasts.
- Toaster waffles with nut butter or low sugar jams
- High fiber cereal with low sugar yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs and string cheese
- Scrambled eggs and cheese wrapped in a wheat tortilla
- Cold Pizza (Especially with grilled chicken and veggie toppings!)
- Leftovers from dinner
- Chicken salad sandwich
Related: The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy: Examining the Results of 12 Studies
Fluids Keep Everything Moving
According to the Huffington Post, one in four teens drinks a soda daily, and 16 percent of teens drink a sports drink serving daily. While milk, water, and juice are topping the beverage choices, I noticed that a large percentage of soda beverages were consumed at home which is why family support is important. The facts are that even with teenage pregnancy, gestational diabetes is becoming more of a concern.
Help teens understand that now more than ever the drinks they choose are affecting their health. Choose water, milk or the occasional fruit juice. Encourage use of a water bottle throughout the day. Not only will it improve overall health, it facts show can help keep both extra baby weight and blood sugar at healthy levels for pregnant teenagers.
Readers, what other strategies should teenagers use when pregnant for a healthier pregnancy?
Image Credit: Ted Fu
15 thoughts on “3 Strategies To Have A Healthier Teenage Pregnancy Through Nutrition”
I agree nutrition plays a major role in a healthy & successful pregnancy which most teens do not care at all as they just step in to the modern sodas & soft drinks. Taking fruits or regular intake of fresh fruit juices makes a huge difference indeed.
I don’t like the idea of teenager being pregnant. Their focus and priority should be education. Having said that I think it is extremely important that they stay healthy and you have made great points.
Eating healthy while you are pregnant is so important. These are great strategies for a healthier pregnancy. I had cravings for fresh fruit when i was pregnant.
I can see how pregant teen might not have the best nutrition do to them still in fact being teens and not having the best eating habits. This is a great post!
I think it is important to watch your health, diet, and exercise regardless of age while pregnant. However I am sure a lot of that monitoring falls on the parents especially when a teen in involved.
I hate to think about all those teen girls who are not being offered health foods. This just makes me sad.
When I was a pregnant teen I had $100 for food to live on a month, I’m shocked my baby was born super healthy and as big as he was. It’s so so so important to make sure you eat healthy, and keep it up.
I can see nutrition being an issue if the don’t have the funds to shop for healthy food. These are some great ideas!
Those snacks are great for teens, however I really hope my daughter doesn’t end up pregnant!
Pregnancies should be monitored closely no matter the age. This is a great, informative post, thank you.
This is a great post – I wouldn’t know where to start on keeping healthy during pregnancy at anytime.
Calcium and protein are so important any time someone is pregnant. I think I lived off cheese during my second pregnancy. I imagine calcium is especially important during teenage pregnancies since they use more of it anyway.
I agree with Robin about teenagers having babies. It is important, though, for all women to eat well and stay healthy during their pregnancy.
It is sad to hear of teens getting pregnant when they should be living thier childhood, but I would sugeesting eating a clean diet. The more food they prepare the healthier it is.
While I hate to hear about teens getting pregnant, I think they should all be educated on how to stay healthy during the pregnancy.