With a baby on board, eating a balanced diet becomes even more important. Here are several types of food to work into your pregnancy meals to help get the nutrients you need
1. Green vegetables
Broccoli, peas, spring greens and spinach have plenty of folate to help your baby’s development, plus other nutrients like iron.
2. Nuts and seeds
A handful of these make a healthy, energy-boosting snack during pregnancy. They’re packed with a variety of nutrients including essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and iron.
3. Hard cheeses
These are a great source of calcium for your baby’s developing bones and teeth. You should aim for 2-3 portions of dairy per day – 30g of cheese counts as one portion.
4. Lean red meat
This is one way to get iron and protein. Other good sources of iron are fortified breakfast cereals, wholegrain bread, eggs and pulses.
5. Baked beans
Surprisingly, these cupboard staples are full of fibre, protein and iron. Three heaped tablespoons even counts towards your 5-a-day.
6. Wholegrain breakfast cereals
Start the day with a bowl of sugar-free wholegrain cereal for a good source of fibre to keep your digestive system on track. Semi-skimmed milk is also a good source of iodine.
Eggs are a convenient source of protein. Avoid partially-cooked eggs, unless they are printed with the Red Lion standard. If unsure of the source, always cook thoroughly.
8. Oily fish
Oily fish has most of the omega-3 LCP fatty acids your baby needs but you should avoid eating more than two portions a week.
And a few to keep clear of…
Here are some foods you should avoid while you’re pregnant. Find a full list of foods to avoid and what to look out for here.
- Raw seafood: Always eat cooked rather than raw shellfish, including prawns, mussels and lobster. Cold pre-cooked prawns are fine.
- Certain fish: Avoid shark, swordfish and marlin in pregnancy.
- Pâté: Avoid all pâté including vegetarian ones as they may still contain listeria, which is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious infection.
- Unpasteurised soft cheese: These include cheeses with a white rind like brie and camembert.These are only safe to eat during pregnancy if they’ve been cooked.
- Undercooked meat: Avoid raw or undercooked meat, like steak tartare and beef carpaccio.
- Caffeine: You should limit your caffeine intake to 200mg a day. Swap some of your usual cups of tea or coffee for decaf versions, herbal teas or hot water and lemon instead.
You can read more tips and advice at smababy.co.uk