The fetus gets all the nourishment it needs to grow from what you eat, so it is important to maintain a good diet throughout pregnancy. To achieve a healthy balance diet you need to eat foods containing reasonable amounts of starchy carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins each day.
Starchy carbohydrate are found in bread, cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes; they provide energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, peas, and lentils supply protein and minerals. Milk and dairy products such as hard cheese and yogurt will give you vitamins, and calcium. Fresh fruit and vegetables and well-washed salads are good sources of minerals and vitamins. Folic acid can be found, with other vitamins, in green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, bread, and rice.
If you are a vegetarian, you will need to increase your milk intake to at least 600 ml/1 pint a day of either pasteurized milk or fortified soya milk, or the equivalent in cheese, yogurt, and dairy products.
Vegans will need to discuss their diet with a qualified dietitian as they could be deficient in calcium, iron, and vitamin B12, which is found in foods of animal origin. Try to avoid eating sugary snacks and fizzy drinks and keep “junk” food down to a minimum. Cut down on your caffeine intake from drinks like tea, coffee, chocolate and cola; try drinking bottled water and diluted fruit juices as alternatives.
- Eat plenty of fruit when pregnant as it is a good source of minerals and vitamins.
- Cut down on your caffeine levels and drink more diluted fruit juices.
- A grain salad will give you plenty of fibre.
- Vegetables are important in your pregnancy diet as they are low in fat ad contain minerals, vitamins and folic acid in leafy varieties.
- Use olive and sunflower oils for cooking
Although you need extra energy during pregnancy to meet the needs of the developing the fetus, and to store fat ready for breast-feeding later, you are not likely to need special energy foods. If you were an acceptable weight for your build before pregnancy, the only extra calories you should need are during the last three months when you eat around 200 extra calories a day. However, if you were overweight or underweight your weight gain will need monitoring, and a special diet may be necessary. Ask a professional for advice.