A healthy diet is always important, but during pregnancy you are eating for both you and your baby so it’s critical that you remain healthy. Eating poorly during pregnancy can have a long term impact on your baby’s health growing up. So that being said, what foods should you be eating during pregnancy?
If you eat healthily already you won’t need to go onto a special diet during pregnancy, but it’s important to get the right nutrients for you and your baby through a balanced diet. Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself hungrier than usual, but even if you are expecting twins you won’t need to eat for two. It is also important to note that weight gain during pregnancy is normal, so don’t be alarmed by this.
Eating schedules differ between moms, however, it is generally recommended that you eat smaller amounts more frequently when pregnant, especially if you are struggling with morning sickness.
What to eat when you’re expecting
Fruit and veggies are your friend during pregnancy. Providing much needed vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Protein is another important nutrient, and you should try to include it in your diet everyday as it helps your baby grow strong. Sources of protein include nuts, beans, pulses, eggs, lean meat and fish. However, raw, cured and uncooked meat are all risky to consume during pregnancy as they can cause toxoplasmosis.
Another important source of energy is carbohydrates, specifically whole grains. They contain vitamin B, fibre and iron, which are all important for the baby’s growth and staying healthy. These include oatmeal, wholewheat pasta and bread, potatoes and maize. If you are suffering from morning sickness, these blander foods fill you and can be eaten little and often.
Foods that are rich in calcium should also be eaten regularly. Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt are all options containing calcium as well as protein and vitamin D. That being said, some cheeses (such as soft cheese like brie) should be avoided as they can contain harmful (although rare) listeria bacteria.
What foods should be avoided during pregnancy
There are certain foods that you should take care to avoid during pregnancy. As mentioned, rare meats and certain cheeses should be avoided. Liver and raw fish (i.e sushi) are also on the to-avoid list. Consuming too much caffeine can also affect the baby negatively. Coffee is the obvious drink to avoid, but be aware that soft drinks, green tea, certain energy drinks and chocolate all contain caffeine.