Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Pregnant Women
by Natalie Von Bertouch
- Palmer's Brand Partner
- Accredited Practicing Dietitian
- Leadership & Wellness Guest Speaker
- Former Australian Netball Captain
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Bring on eating for two, right?! Well, not quite.
It’s a common misconception that expectant mums need to drastically increase their calorie intake. In fact, you only need around an extra 300 calories a day during the second and third trimesters which is the equivalent of ½ slice of bread spread with thick peanut butter and a tub of yoghurt.
Whilst you don’t need a whole heap of extra calories, pregnant women do need more protein, iron, iodine, calcium and folate. There is no special diet in pregnancy but it is important to focus on eating more variety to help meet these extra nutrient needs.
The food you eat during pregnancy can have a big impact on both you and your baby’s health. Eating well can provide the fuel your baby needs for healthy growth and development. Try to limit sometimes foods and drinks that are high in salt, saturated fat and sugar - chips, biscuits, sugary drinks, chocolate and the like. These foods provide little nutrients and displace important whole foods that are full of goodness.
Weight gain during pregnancy is essential for you and your growing baby but it is important to not gain too much weight. Excessive weight gain is unhealthy for you and your baby, and research has shown that mothers who gain excess weight are unlikely to lose it later. A well balanced diet will help keep you on track.
For those of you wracked with morning sickness, or all day sickness as it should be called, don’t fret there are some things that can help. Having an empty stomach or being overfull can make sickness worse so try to eat small frequent meals. Before bed place a dry biscuit on your bedside table to have in the morning before you get up, this can be helpful if nausea is worst in the morning. Avoid fatty, oily and spicy foods as these may not sit well in your stomach. And remember to sip water regularly to avoid dehydration. The most important thing is to make the most of the times you are feeling well by having a nourishing meal with lots of variety.
1. Include a rainbow of colourful fruits and veggies in your diet every day.
2. Choose wholegrain breads and cereals, and choose extra serves of foods from this food group to meet your increased nutritional requirements.
3. Choose foods high in iron like lean red meat, tofu, chicken and dark leafy green veggies.
4. Drink plenty of water. This is great to keep you well hydrated and when combined with a high fibre diet can help prevent one of pregnancy’s common complaints – constipation!
5. Eat plenty of foods high in calcium such as cheese, yoghurt and milk.
6. Include omega 3s and healthy fats such as salmon, nuts and oils.
7. Choose fish 1-3 times a week as it is high in iodine. Some fish are high in mercury and need to be limited. Flake/shark, swordfish, marlin and broadbill should be limited to one serve a fortnight.
8. Avoiding alcohol is the safest option.
9. Protect yourself from food-borne illness like salmonella and listeria which can be harmful to baby. For information on what foods to avoid head to: https://thewomens.r.worldssl.net/images/uploads/fact-sheets/Food-safety-...
10. Small amounts of caffeine are considered safe in pregnancy. The recommended limit is 200mg caffeine per day. This would be equivalent to around 1 cup of strong espresso style coffee, 3 cups of instant coffee, 4 cups of medium strength tea, 4 cups of cocoa or hot chocolate or 4 cans of cola.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 green apple, grated
½ cup mixed seeds/nuts
¼ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp natural Greek yoghurt
Fruit of choice to serve and decorate
1. Combine all ingredients well in a mixing bowl.
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.
3. Serve with an additional dollop of yoghurt and fruit of your choice (I love fresh berries).
4. Top with honey.