Knowing what to eat during pregnancy is often confusing, especially when your appetite can be hugely impacted by the changes affecting your body. Some days you may feel ravenous, while on others the thought of any food touching your lips will be enough to evoke waves of nausea!
There is no need to adopt a specific pregnancy diet but the foods you eat should be varied and balanced, containing all the pregnancy nutrients that you and your baby need to thrive. Here are some ideal foods to eat during pregnancy, along with some pregnancy meal plan suggestions to try in your pregnancy diet!
Fruit and Vegetables
The 5 a day mantra is just as important for pregnancy nutrition because fresh fruit and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, nutrients, and fibres to contribute to your pregnancy diet. Pack 5 portions of fruit and vegetables into your pregnancy meal plan every day, they can be fresh, tinned, juiced, or frozen. Add lots of colour to your plate as this variety will support your pregnancy nutrition.
Sources of Protein
Protein helps strengthen bones, muscles, and organs which is important for your baby’s development and your pregnancy diet. Protein-rich foods to eat during pregnancy include lean meats and fish (always ensure everything is thoroughly cooked through), beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, and cooked eggs.
Add energy to your pregnancy diet with starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. These foods are rich with fibre which is important for pregnancy nutrition as it supports your digestion while helping you release energy slowly which will reduce spikes in your blood sugars, and help you feel full for longer. The best starchy foods to eat during pregnancy are wholemeal or wholegrain varieties – try sweet potatoes which are also rich in beta carotene and vitamin A to support your baby’s development.
Don’t Forget the Dairy
Dairy is an important source of calcium for your pregnancy diet as it helps to strengthen bone and teeth development. Sources of dairy in your pregnancy meal plan include milk, cheese, and yoghurt. Choose low-fat versions where possible, and make sure all dairy products consumed are pasteurised.
When choosing non-dairy alternatives such as soy-based milk and yoghurt, look for unsweetened varieties.
Pregnancy Meal Plan Suggestions
We have incorporated some of the pregnancy food suggestions above into some ideas for a pregnancy meal plan.
Fresh fruit salad of orange, sliced banana and berries, low fat yoghurt, sprinkled with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Try this recipe for Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats in your pregnancy meal plan.
Bran flakes sprinkled with berries and nuts.
Wholemeal pitta or tortilla wrap with Tuna mayo and green salad.
This recipe for Chicken, Sweetcorn and Noodle Soup is great for your Pregnancy Diet.
Herby Omelette with sweet potato wedges and salad.
Chicken Pasta Pesto (with lean chicken and wholemeal pasta).
Baked Sweet Potato with grated cheese, baked beans and coleslaw.
Try this Turkey Chilli con Carne with brown rice or jacket potato in your pregnancy meal plan.
Pick any of these options to help support a healthy pregnancy diet that will support your pregnancy nutrition.
For more advice on supporting your health at home, visit the Kinetik Health Blog.