New Book from the Academy Helps Parents Make the Best Food and Lifestyle Choices for Their Baby

March 30, 2017

CHICAGO – From preconception to post-delivery, a new book from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward provides first-time and experienced parents with the latest advice on how good nutrition and other lifestyle habits can help them have the healthiest baby possible.

As the second edition of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy explains, it's easy to get confused by what you hear and read about healthy habits when you're preparing for pregnancy, or when you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

"It's comforting to know that following a balanced eating plan, along with engaging in other positive behaviors, can support your baby's well-being at birth and for years to come," says Ward, who is also a mother of three.

Expect the Best highlights what pregnant moms and future parents need to know to plan for and attend to proper nutrition and physical activity in their childbearing years. This latest edition features updates from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and recommendations on topics including:

  • The healthiest lifestyle to maximize fertility in women and men
  • How much weight to gain during pregnancy and how to safely shed pregnancy pounds after delivery
  • Important vitamins and minerals and how to include them in your eating plan
  • What and how much physical activity is best before, during and after pregnancy
  • Keeping food safe and what foods to avoid during pregnancy
  • What to eat when breastfeeding.

Expect the Best also includes easy-to-follow meal plans and an expanded recipe chapter with more than 60 simple, delicious and nutritious recipes, including vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options.

"Ultimately, you'll make up your own mind about what to eat before and during pregnancy and after delivery," Ward says. "Expect the Best will be there to inspire – and gently guide – you on your journey with reliable and realistic information.

Expect the Best is available for $16.95 from the Academy's website.


All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at