5 tips for healthy eating in pregnancy
A healthy, nutritious diet is important from the earliest days of pregnancy. Get useful tips for great eating habits when pregnant.
Look after yourself and your baby by getting into great eating habits from the earliest days of your pregnancy. Here are our five top tips for healthy eating during pregnancy.
1. Can’t face food? Don’t panic
If the idea of preparing and eating a meal sends you running from the kitchen in the early days of pregnancy, don’t stress. Morning sickness can come in waves throughout the day, and can put you off your food. The good news? For the vast majority, morning sickness dissipates at about the 12 week mark.
Even if morning sickness puts you off your food during the first weeks or months, your baby will be just fine. In fact, the sickness can be caused by high hormone levels in your blood – a sign that the pregnancy is going well.
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
Fruit and veg are packed with nutrients that both you and your baby need. You should aim to eat a variety of colours – this gives you a wider mix of nutrients and vitamins.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend you try to consume five servings of vegetables and/or legumes (one serve equals half a cup of cooked green vegetables, or one cup of leafy greens) and two servings of fruit (one serve equals a medium apple or banana, or two small stone fruit) each day.
3. Keep taking folic acid
You should keep taking a daily folic acid supplement until you enter the fourth month of pregnancy. Folate aids in the healthy development of the baby’s spinal cord and brain in these early months.
4. Drink lots of fluids
It is important to drink plenty of water during pregnancy, to support the increased amount of blood flowing through your veins. Keep a water bottle by your side throughout the day, and sip on it regularly. To help with calcium intake, drinking milk is a good idea, too.
Try to limit your intake of tea and coffee. While small amounts of caffeine are safe, excessive amounts (over 200mg a day) may increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth. And remember, when it comes to alcohol, the safest option is not to drink at all.
5. Don’t eat twice as much. Eat twice as well!
‘Eating for two’ is not necessary. Instead, focus on choosing healthy, nutritious foods that give you and your baby the extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need. Avoid highly processed, packaged foods – these foods are higher in calories and saturated fats, and may leave you with extra weight to deal with after your baby arrives.