What’s a healthy diet in pregnancy?
It’s important to eat a variety of foods during pregnancy, to ensure your nutritional needs and those of your baby are met.
You don’t really need to ‘eat for two’ while pregnant, but in the second and third trimesters, you will need a bit extra to keep up with your baby’s growth. This is about 2 serves of grains/day and an extra serve of lean meat or alternative. This would mean, for example, an extra wholegrain sandwich with egg or tuna, a small bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, (not an extra bowl of ice-cream..)
Healthy weight gain in pregnancy is 11.5-16 kg, if you are normal weight, or 5-11.5kg, if you are overweight.
A healthy diet while pregnant should consist of per day:
- Whole grains: 8 serves 1 serve = 1 slice bread, ½ cup cooked porridge, rice, pasta
- Protein: Lean meat, legumes 3 ½ serves 1 serve= 65g red meat, 80 g chicken, 100g fish, 1 cup legumes, 30 g nuts
- Vegetables: 5 serves 1 serve = ½ cup cooked vegetables, 1 cup salad greens, ½ medium potato
- Fruit: 2 serves 1 serve = 1 medium fruit (apple, banana), 2 small fruits (plum, kiwi)
- Calcium: 2 ½ serves 1 serve= 250 ml milk, 250 ml soy milk with added 100mg calcium/100ml, 2 slices hard cheese, 200g yoghurt
- Iron: 27mg, check your levels, you may need a supplement
Limit foods high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt, as these are kilojoule dense (i.e. fattening!) and nutrient poor.
Limit your exposure to Listeria prone foods, see Listeria fact sheet.
Practise careful food hygiene, particularly when traveling, to limit your risk of “food poisoning”, as Salmonella in particular is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Salmonella is found in raw eggs and undercooked meat and poultry.