Healthy eating during pregnancy
We all know that eating healthily is good for us but it's never been more important now that you're pregnant. Even if you didn't follow a particularly healthy diet before, you can still enjoy a healthier pregnancy from now on, by making a few positive changes to your eating habits.
What kinds of foods should I be eating?
During pregnancy your unborn child gets all the nutrients they need to grow and develop from you. So, to ensure that you and your child stay healthy and strong during this exciting period, it is important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Mumsworld Food Pyramid
Our food pyramid can be used as a helpful guideline for working out whether you are eating enough of the different food groups that make up a healthy diet.
Level 1: Rice, noodles, bread, other cereals and cereal products
8 to 12 servings
Level 2: Fruits and vegetables
3 to 5 servings
Level 3: Fish, poultry, meat and legumes (eg. soya bean and its products, mungbeans, red beans and dhal)
2 to 3 servings
Level 4: Fats, oils, sugar and salt
Level 5: Milk and dairy products (excluding condensed milk, butter and cream)
1 to 2 servings
Top tips for a healthy diet
• Choose a variety of foods from each of the different food groups to make sure you're getting a good balance.
• Ask your doctor about extra supplements if you're worried you're not eating from a particular food group.
• Have three regular meals and two to three light snacks a day.
• Include generous helpings of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and beans to increase your fibre intake.
• Drink water regularly – at least eight glasses a day.
• Include other drinks in your diet such as low-fat milk, fresh fruit juices and soup.
• Eat one portion of oily fish and one portion of white fish each week (but avoid shark, swordfish and marlin).
• Use vegetable oils such as corn, olive and sunflower oil in your cooking, but use them sparingly.
• Limit your intake of processed and preserved foods as they usually contain high levels of salt.
• Reduce your caffeine intake to no more than four cups a day.
• Limit your intake of sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits, fats, oils, and sugar. These all provide extra calories but not much of the nutritional value that you and your child need. Over-indulging now means it will be harder to regain your pre-pregnancy figure afterwards, so try to resist dipping into the biscuit tin too often!