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Eating for Two in the Third Trimester

You’re in the home stretch, Mama! But eating may have lost its appeal now that Mini Me is taking over your belly. Here’s how to chow down comfortably and make sure you and baby get the nutrition you both need.

Think lots of little meals.

"The irony is that you feel like eating less at this point—especially if you’re getting heartburn—but your calorie needs have gone up because your baby is growing so rapidly," says Elizabeth Ward, R.D., author of Expect The Best: Your Guide To Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy. The solution: eat smaller meals more frequently. "For instance, you might have half your lunch at noon," says Ward, "then eat the rest at one thirty."

Keep it healthy.

"Some women think it doesn’t matter what they eat during the third trimester since they’ll lose the weight after they have the baby, but there’s more to it than that," says nutritionist Elisa Zied, R.D., author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips. For one, healthy picks including fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy items and protein-packed eats like chicken are more key than ever now for fueling your baby's development. Another perk, adds Zied: "Downing nutritious food will help your body recover more quickly after giving birth." Yeah, baby!

Have a big bedtime snack.

It's more insurance you're getting quality calories--and it'll stave off 3 a.m. hunger pangs (save those middle-of-night wakeups for the newborn phase). Ward recommends a satisfying protein-carb combo, such as a small bowl of cereal with milk, half a whole wheat English muffin topped with cottage cheese, or a hard-boiled egg and a piece of toast. Enjoy!

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