Eating healthy when you're pregnant can be difficult: You have crazy cravings as well as an even crazier schedule. But eating right is important for your growing baby, so check out our meal plan for various nutritious, dietician-approved meals that you'll love.
It is crucial that you eat a varied diet while pregnant based on a range of foods in the five food groups. The Australian Help guide to Healthy Eating recommendations below try to ensure that a mother and baby’s energy and nutrient requirements are met.
During pregnancy your nutrient requirements increase to aid your health and the needs of the growing baby. Particular attention should be given to the following nutrients:
Throughout pregnancy and especially during the third trimester, your baby needs calcium to construct healthy bones. Fortunately, during pregnancy you absorb calcium more proficiently from your diet, so your growing baby’s needs are met. Strategies for calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding are thus the same as for non-pregnant women (1000mg each day).
Calcium is an essential nutrient during pregnancy because it helps your baby's teeth and bones form, and also supports healthy muscles and nerves. Dairy products are among your top selections for calcium. A bowl of whole-grain breakfast cereal with low-fat milk is a healthy method to add calcium to your breakfast. A carton of yogurt with chopped nuts and fresh fruit is another calcium-rich breakfast. A glass of fortified orange juice is full of calcium and also supplies ascorbic acid, a nutrient that helps kids immune system develop.
Proteins are essential for the proper development of your unborn baby. This nutrient is particularly important throughout the second and third trimesters when your baby is growing so rapidly. A hard-boiled or scrambled egg is really a healthy way to add protein for your breakfast. Make an omelet with low-fat cheddar cheese for any breakfast that contains even more protein. A bowl of cottage cheese with fresh fruit or a whole-grain waffle with peanut butter each offers a good amount of protein too.
One of the major benefits of eating fruit for breakfast is the amount of fiber you receive. Fiber helps keep you full so you have more energy throughout the morning. It may also help prevent constipation, which is a common complaint among most women that are pregnant. A serving of fruit supplies folate, ascorbic acid and potassium as well. Add banana slices to some bowl of cereal or stir fresh blueberries right into a bowl of oatmeal. Top an amount of yogurt or cottage cheese with peach slices or chopped pineapple. Puree fresh berries and plain yogurt with 100 % orange juice to make a quick and nutritious smoothie rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
Your needs for iron increase significantly during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters once the amount of blood in your body increases and also to meet the needs of your placenta and the growing baby. To prevent iron deficiency it is important to eat lots of iron rich foods. Steak is one of the richest sources of iron. Chicken, pork and fish contain moderate levels. Smaller levels of iron can also be found in legumes, leafy green vegetables and iron fortified cereals. Meat offers the most readily absorbed type of iron but eating foods rich in vitamin C (e.g. tomatoes and oranges) can help your body absorb iron from plant sources.