Eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much! A good diet during pregnancy is not just better for you but better for your unborn baby. Making the right food choices for your baby’s well-being and development as well as your own is all part of a fit and healthy pregnancy.This is a time when it’s more important than ever to make the right choices, eating a range of healthy, nutritious foods. Opt for whole, fresh foods and as much variety as possible. Cut back on refined and processed foods, sugary snacks and big fat fry ups and do yourself and your baby a favour by eating lots of fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat and fish, wholegrain bread and vitamin and mineral packed grains, seeds and pulses.
Healthy eating during pregnancy doesn’t need to be complicated, here are some easy for an easy to follow guidelines for your pregnancy nutrition!
1. Every meal should include a portion of energy giving carbs. Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, chapattis, breakfast cereals or yams all provide energy for you, and for your baby. Opt for wholemeal, wholegrain or high fibre versions whenever possible.
2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Aiming for ‘five a day’ is even more important for a healthy pregnancy. Make sure you include a wide variety and go for ‘the rainbow’ – choosing different increases the range of vitamins and minerals. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced into delicious drinks and smoothies all counts.
3. Don’t miss out on protein -aim for 2 moderate portions each day. Include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. These foods are also great sources of iron.
4. Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast provides a vital boost to energy and nutrient levels, so make sure you get every day off to a great start for you and your baby.
5. Eat plenty of dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurts. Dairy foods are a major source of calcium, important for the mother’s and baby’s teeth and bones. Choose low fat varieties when you can.
6. Make snacks nutritious. Too many indulgent snacks will pile on the pounds but you may find snacking helps ward off nausea in the first trimester. Healthier snack choices include: fresh or dried fruit; low-fat yoghurts or milk drinks; bread sticks, vegetable sticks and dips; breakfast cereals; fruit smoothies or maybe a slice of malt loaf. Check out our energy boosting snacks that will help you to maintain a normal pregnancy weight gain.
7. Aim for two portions of fish each week, including at least one portion of oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines or pilchards. These are so important for your baby’s healthy brain development.
8. Get active and try to maintain a healthy weight. The average pregnancy weight gain is 10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs. Gaining too much weight is not good for your health and blood pressure. Being active not only helps to moderate weight gain, but also prepares the body for birth.
9. Drink plenty of water and other fluids. You dehydrate more quickly than normal when you’re pregnant – drinking plenty of water and other fluids is important, especially when exercising or if the weather is hot. 10. Don’t be tempted into eating for two. You don’t actually need extra calories during pregnancy until the third trimester when the baby grows rapidly and even then your need for extra calories does not increase by a great deal, only 200-300 calories a day equivalent to a single sandwich (without the mayo!), or a small jacket potato with 30g of cheese.