Health on a Plate

…because what you put on your plate matters

What to eat when you’re pregnant

When you’re pregnant, it’s crucial that you eat the right diet to provide the essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fats for both you and your baby.

This means upping your intake of wholesome, nutrient-rich foods:

  • vegetables – especially the leafy green ones!
  • fruits
  • whole grains – i.e. brown pasta and rice as well as bread
  • legumes – lentils, chick peas, beans and peas
  • nuts and seeds
  • non-vegetarian sources of lean protein: fish, eggs, lean meats and low fat dairy (in moderation)

Snacking is key!

When you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat little and often to keep up energy levels and avoid indigestion.

The best snacks combine protein with carbohydrates but needn’t be complicated:

  • carrot sticks and hummus
  • cottage cheese on oat cake with pear
  • small can of baked beans with slice of wholemeal toast
  • porridge with dried apricots and ground brazil nuts
  • lentil soup
  • apple, walnuts and matchbox size piece of goat’s cheese

Other good habits

Pregnancy is a great time to experiment with new foods and establish good habits for when the baby arrives. Why not try whole grains such as millet, amaranth, brown rice and quinoa? Vegetarians and meat eaters alike would benefit from the addition of lentils, chick peas, edamame (soy) beans and nut butters to their diet.

You also need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water (approx 2L) every day. You can combine this with herbal teas such as peppermint, liquorice, fennel or ginger (which is also great for morning sickness). Avoid alcohol, black tea and coffee – even decaf – as much as you can.

Adequate rest and exercise are crucial too, in order to combat stress, varicose veins, constipation and many of the other complications of pregnancy. Walking, yoga, pilates and swimming are all ideal. It’s worth checking your local sports centre/gym for a prenatal class.

More information on your nutrient needs during pregnancy

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2012 by in Resources.

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