It’s so important to eat well during your pregnancy for two reasons – 1) your baby, the one we always put first naturally and 2) the most likely the person put second is you! If you are not eating well, you will find that baby takes everything from you and your energy levels will be rock bottom plus you may suffer from more ailments such as heartburn, constipation and tiredness.
So there are a few types of food which are important to increase your quantities of eating – the Pregnancy Daily Dozen – 4 categories by 3 portions of each is an easy way to remember these.
Protein– 3 servings daily. For example 2 eggs, one chicken breast, a darn of salmon – lentils / beans and hummus are all excellent sources also
Calcium – 3 servings which can include obvious choices like cheddar cheese but try cottage cheese, natural yoghurt with fruit and calcium can also be found in rocket leaves!
Vitamin C – It can’t be stored in the body so you need a fresh supply each day! E.g 6 strawberries, one kiwi, one tomato, red peppers and oranges all have high Vitamin C content
Vegetables –(green leafy & coloured) – 3 servings daily. Provide Vitamin A and Beta Carotene vital for cell growth, healthy skin, bones and eyes. Try to have an array of vegetables throughout the week.
Not forgetting iron – which can be increased through food instead of taking a supplement unless large quantities are needed:
Increase consumption of green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach & broccoli) dried fruits (apricots, raisins, prunes) beans, lentils, chickpeas (hummus) and ensure you have some mince, steak or lamb once a week if you can stomach it.
Consuming foods with Vitamin C will help absorb iron from your food. Seeds such as pumpkin seeds and nuts are also packed with iron so have these to snack on throughout the day.
Here is a typical menu for the day:
Porridge made with almond or low fat fortified milk. Try blueberries and cinnamon or honey with linseeds. Alternatively eggs are nutritious, combine them with brown toast and perhaps a grilled tomato.
Try to eat protein at this meal and make it a larger meal but not one which will make you sluggish (pasta). One chicken breast with salad and rice/ quinoa or an omelette with some added peppers, grated cheese and tomatoes or lentil soup with an open brown bread sandwich (chicken, ham, turkey) and salad
Snack on nuts & fruit (almonds/ walnuts and dried cranberries or apricots) or have a smoothie (almond/soya milk or frozen yoghurt) with berries
Increase your vegetable intake by preparing a salad with spinach or broccoli with some salmon/ sea bass or a stir fry is a great way of getting a few vegetables in one go. Chicken or chick pea curry (great for leftovers) or a chilli con carne if you are craving something spicy
· Snacking on Nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts) and raisins, dried cranberries or apricots will keep energy levels up.
· Try oat cakes with nut butter such as almond butter – great to eat a carbohydrate with a protein source (nut butter, slice of ham)
· Have a hot water and lemon every morning to cleanse and rehydrate your body.
· Fish! Eat as much as you can. 2-3 portions a week. It is full of Omega 3 & 6 and very little fat. Choose salmon, fresh mackerel or another oily fish once a week if possible.
For more information please contact: