What can you eat when you’re pregnant? 9 Sep
Being pregnant can be tough, so knowing what you can and can’t eat will help alleviate some of that stress! We have some info to help you understand what to eat to stay healthy and help keep your baby healthy too.
One of the myths around eating while pregnant is ‘eating for two’; there is no special diet or the fact that you need to eat more because you have a baby, it’s all down to eating healthy food. Make sure you have three meals a day with 2-3 snacks a day; try not to go 12 hours without eating. If you have a healthy breakfast every day, too, then you are less likely to snack on foods high in sugar and fat.
Starchy carbohydrates are essential in your diet as these give the baby energy and it can help to stop you from feeling sick, so try and include them in every meal. It is good to choose wholegrain or higher fibred foods that contain less sugar, salt and fat. These foods can also help with constipation, so it is vital to include this in your diet. Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, juice etc. these give the baby lots of vitamins and nutrients that they need.
For the baby’s growth and brain development, you need to include some protein in your diet. Nutritious sources of protein include beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, tofu, and so much more! You should try and have at least two portions a day of protein a day, but only have oily fish 1-2 times a week. For dairy, try to have 3 portions a day. Other foods that contain calcium are spinach, almonds and dried fruit.
Oils and spreads take in small amounts; try and have unsaturated oils and low-fat spreads as these are a lot healthier. You need to keep hydrated when pregnant as your baby is surrounded by water; try and have eight glasses of water a day!
Some women might start thinking that you need to take supplements as soon as you are pregnant; this isn’t the case. The only supplements you need are folic acid, which helps keep the baby healthy, and vitamin D that helps with the baby’s bones and teeth. Make sure that you don’t take any supplements containing traces of vitamin A or any food with this vitamin in, such as liver.
You should also avoid drinking alcohol and smoking (please see link below for our Cheshire Change Hub Smoking Cessation programme). Other things you should try and avoid are some soft cheeses and raw/partially cooked egg and meat; you can find out more about what foods not to have and supplements for pregnancy on the NHS website.
Some quick healthy snacks that you can have are:
- Salad veg, e.g. sticks of celery, carrot and cucumber
- Hummus with veg or wholemeal pitta
- Dried fruit
These are just a few simple ideas that you can adapt for your diet!