A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow, and will keep you fit and well.
You will probably find that you are more hungry than usual, but you do not need to ‘eat for two’ – even if you are expecting twins or triplets. Have a healthy breakfast every day because this can help you to avoid snacking on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
Eating healthily often means just changing the amounts of different foods you eat so that your diet is varied, rather than cutting out all your favorites. Should you develop gestational diabetes, you will need to closely monitor your diet and your doctor or midwife will give you further advice. Eating a variety of foods will help your baby to get the range of nutrients that it needs to develop and be healthy. These include:
– Fruit and vegetables: try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day to provide the vitamins and minerals your baby needs.
– Starchy foods (carbohydrates): such as bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and noodles. Try to eat wholemeal versions to give you a sustained release of energy, if you can.
– Protein: foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, pulses and nuts. Protein provides the building blocks for your baby to grow.
– Dairy products: includes milk, cheese and yoghurt.
– Try to only eat a small amount of foods that are high in sugar or fat.
You don’t need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. You should also avoid certain foods in pregnancy because they might make you ill or harm your baby. Make sure you know the important facts about which foods you should avoid or take extra care with when you’re pregnant. Foods to avoid are:
– Some types of cheese i.e soft cheese with a rind or a mould such as Brie, Stilton and Goats cheese.
– Raw or partially cooked eggs
– Raw or undercooked meat
– Supplements containing vitamin A
– Some types of fish
– Raw shellfish
– Cold cured meats
– Unpasteurised milk
– Foods with soil on them
– Please see foods to avoid in pregnancy for more information.