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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act establishes strong nutrition policies for child nutrition programs.

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Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

This easy to read “survival guide” outlines essential information for people diagnosed with Celiac disease.

A Healthy Start to Reduce Childhood Obesity

A Healthy Start to Reducing Childhood Obesity

A mother's food and nutrition choices before and during pregnancy can greatly contribute to the future health of her children—women living a healthy lifestyle deliver children with fewer birth defects and chronic health problems. So what makes a lifestyle "healthy?" For pregnant women, key habits include eating a variety of foods, ensuring adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, gaining a sufficient amount of weight, participating in physical activity, and avoiding harmful substances. 

Once the baby has arrived, it is important that newborns receive optimal nutrition from the beginning. Studies have proven that breast-feeding provides many pluses to both baby and mother—in terms of health benefits and financial savings. In addition to eating right from birth, developing fitness habits at an early age is also important. Active young children are better prepared for life than those who spend childhood sedentary in front of a television or video game screen. 

Eating Right during Pregnancy

Moms-to-be need a variety of foods from all the MyPlate food groups to get the nutrition needed for a healthy pregnancyA prenatal multi-vitamin/mineral supplement may be recommended by your doctor or registered dietitian to ensure that you get enough iron, folic acid and other nutrients. Safe food practices are important, too, since pregnant women are at higher risk of foodborne illnesses. Pregnant women need a balanced diet including: whole grains,  fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and healthful fats.

Healthy Weight Gain during Pregnancy

While pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, women should not use their expanding bellies as an excuse to eat more than is necessary. The amount of food a woman needs during pregnancy depends on a number of things including your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy, the rate at which you gain weight, age and appetite. 

Many women start off pregnancy overweight or obese; many gain more weight than is healthy during their pregnancy. Research shows the risk of problems during pregnancy and delivery is lowest when weight gain is kept within a healthy range. Obesity during pregnancy is risky for both mother and child.

Breast-feeding Benefits

For optimal nutrition for your infant, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months to provide optimal nutrition and health protection, and breast-feeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age. 

In addition to providing the best nutrition, breast feeding reduces your baby’s risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity and hypertension. Breast feeding also provides mom with benefits including aiding weight loss after delivery, and reducing risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Reviewed December 2012