We all know healthy eating during pregnancy is important – after all your baby is relying on you for their nutrition. There’s loads of advice out there about what to eat or not eat when you’re pregnant but it can easily become quite confusing.
Here’s our 7 simple tips to eating healthily for two:
Tip 1: Eat little and often
Morning sickness can be made worse by low blood sugar levels, so keep on nibbling and definitely don’t skip breakfast! Also if you’re experiencing indigestion or heart burn eating little and often will help.
Tip 2: Eat whole foods
Try to avoid anything that is processed. If you don’t recognise the ingredients, don’t eat it! Think fresh fruit and vegetables (organic if budget allows) in a rainbow of colours; a variety of grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat; lean meats and fish; seeds and nuts. Variety is key so mix it up!
Tip 3: Choose iron-rich foods
It’s fairly common to have low iron levels when you’re pregnant because your body is making lots of extra blood, but this can leave you feeling really tired. Give your body a boost with iron-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables like spinach, seeds and nuts like pepitas, almonds and cashews, legumes like lentils and kidney beans, dried apricots, wheatgerm, beef and lamb – and our favourite – dark chocolate!
Tip 4: Consume extra (good) calories
Most women feel hungrier during pregnancy and need to consume extra calories (particularly during the third trimester). But we want those calories to be good calories (particularly protein) not empty calories, like biscuits. Depending on a number of variables, you’ll need anywhere between 200 – 500 extra calories a day. To give you an idea, 350 calories is roughly the equivalent of a tuna sandwich, 2 scrambled eggs, baked potato, homemade soup, chicken salad or a bowl of yogurt and muesli.
Tip 5: Curb sweet cravings
They say if you crave sweet things you’re having a girl and if you crave salty foods you’re having a boy! Either way, we want to limit sweet, fatty foods as much as possible. Opt for a piece of fruit instead or brush your teeth straight after eating – you’ll be amazed at how that instantly curbs your sweet cravings.
Tip 6: Stay well hydrated
In the first and second trimester, aim to drink about 1.5 litres of water (approx. 8 glasses) per day. In the third trimester, you want to up that to around 9-10 glasses (cue even more toilet breaks!)
Tip 7: Avoid unsafe foods
Nobody wants a bout of food poisoning but it is especially important to be mindful of food that are at higher higher risk those foods may contain harmful bacteria such as listeria or salmonella. Bookmark this handy reference guide of foods to avoid from the NSW Food Authority
Be mindful of the type of fish that you eat while pregnant as some fish have high mercury levels which can be passed through the placenta to your baby. Shark (flake), swordfish, marlin and ling should be limited to once a fortnight.