Pregnancy vitamin advice
What to eat while pregnant
Want a healthy pregnancy? Read our easy tips for pregnancy diet, how to enjoy your prenatal vitamins and what to eat while pregnant!
If you eat a normal, healthy diet you won't need to make big changes when you're pregnant. With only a few exceptions, most of the additional healthy pregnancy needs can be met by eating a well-balanced and varied diet. Aim to include each day:
- Plenty of protein – ideally a serving of meat, fish, cheese or egg (free range if possible – we prefer happy chickens!). Don't forget vegetable proteins too - such as nuts, beans, lentils, quinoa or tofu
- Plenty of carbohydrates – which can be found in cereal, breads, pasta and savoury biscuits (note the word savoury here – we're not suggesting a packet of custard creams!). It's better if you choose wholegrains such as wholewheat bread and pasta or brown rice. And don't forget millet, oats, rye, spelt, barley corn, quinoa and buckwheat
- At least five to six portions of fruit and vegetables – go for the ‘rainbow' with fruit and veg of many colours. Try for a good spread of dark green, leafy vegetables, root vegetables and plenty of fruit
- Include calcium rich foods. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt and fromage frais are the obvious choice but don't forget, calcium can be found in green leafy vegetables, small fish with bones (such as sardines), tofu, beans, nuts and seeds
- Greens, potatoes, chickpeas, wholegrains, sweetcorn, broccoli and soya milk all contain essential folic acid – try and eat two servings a day during the first trimester
- And stay hydrated – we would recommend six to eight medium glasses of filtered or mineral water!
The digestive system in pregnant women changes and is fantastic at achieving the best possible maternal and child nutrition, gearing up to become more efficient at absorbing certain nutrients. You won't need to boost your calorie intake until the third trimester and then only by around 300 extra calories a day.
Research has shown that following a calorie controlled diet and reducing the amount of weight gain during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of complications whilst loading on the pounds can cause serious health problems.
Remember, 'Eating for two' doesn't mean you should eat twice as much food!