You might be craving pickles and chips, or loving the smell of roast potatoes but unable to stomach them? you might have a secret desire for squeezy cheese or be sneaking downstairs to nibble an onion in the middle of the night? pregnancy does very strange things to your appetite!
Pregnancy is not the time to diet, but neither do you have to ?eat for two?. Finding a healthy balance is the key to a healthy pregnancy and to help you do this, here are our top tips for eating well while you are expecting. It is important you get enough of the major food groups and take care when preparing and choosing foods.
Fruit and Vegetables
These provide your body with nutrients and vitamins and help to prevent constipation, which can be an issue in pregnancy, especially for those who require iron supplements. Aim for at least five portions a day of fruits and veggies ? they can be fresh, frozen or tinned, cooked or raw. Try adding colour to your meals by always aiming for three different colours of fruit and vegetables in each meal ? it’s a fun challenge and it ensures you get a wide range of nutrients. More colour = more goodness.
Pregnancy is not the time to avoid carbs; you need them for energy, nutrition and fibre. Aim to get plenty of whole foods, so choose wholemeal bread, brown pasta and brown rice rather than the more processed white versions. If you suffer from morning sickness and want a lighter carb, try couscous, Quinoa or lighter breads. You don?t need piles of carbohydrates, especially if you are getting fibre from fruit and vegetable sources.
RELATED: Eating for Two? by Sarah Keogh
Whether you get it from meat, fish, eggs or beans and pulses, protein is essential during pregnancy for your baby’s healthy growth. It is especially important to be careful you are getting enough protein when you are a vegetarian or vegan. Ensure all meat is cooked fully, with absolutely no pink remaining, and avoid raw eggs completely. Some women go off the idea of meat when they are pregnant, but it is essential you get your protein from another source if this is the case.
Fats and Sugars
Fat and sugar can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Pregnancy is a good time to cut out some of the fat in your diet, and by cutting down on your consumption of sugar you can cut the risk of gestational diabetes.
Make sure all produce is washed well before use, including fruit and vegetables.
Avoid anything containing raw eggs, for example homemade mayonnaise.
Cook all meat well, avoid rare meat and shellfish.
Avoid soft cheeses.
Avoid all unpasteurised dairy products.
Avoid seafood high in mercury such as swordfish and marlin, limit tuna and make sure all fish is thoroughly cooked.
Avoid refrigerated meat pastes and pates.
If in doubt, ask your doctor or midwife about your diet. They will be able to give you the latest and most up-to-date information on healthy eating in pregnancy.