Diet and pregnancy: Good food guide

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Nutrition: Health

Heather Welford, writing on the BBC web site, noted that there are lots of half-truths about what you can and can't eat during pregnancy. She suggested that whether you fancy eating coal or choc-ice and chips, try not to let worries about eating safely spoil your pregnancy. Some of the potential hazards outlined here only rarely lead to anything that could affect your baby. Nevertheless, eating well can help you stay fit and in good condition for the birth, and maintain your energy levels. If you're the sort of person who only feels comfortable when following the 'rules', you can find them here.

Eat regularly, depending on your hunger, and choose from a range of foods to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. Your daily diet should include:
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and dark green vegetables, which contain ample amounts of much needed folic acid
  • Carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, grains, potatoes and cereals
  • Lean meat or fish, especially oily fish which has high levels of essential fatty acids - however, be aware that some types of fish should be avoided and others limited.
  • Milk and other dairy produce such as yogurt and cheese - choose lower fat options where possible
  • Eggs, beans, pulses and lentils are also part of a healthy diet, but you don't have to eat these every day.
Research indicates that mothers who eat fish once a week are less likely to give birth prematurely. Oily fish eaten in pregnancy also helps with children's eyesight. However, when you're pregnant have no more than two portions of oily fish a week. Oily fish includes fresh tuna (notcanned tuna, which does not count as oily fish), mackerel, sardines and trout. Avoid eating shark, swordfish and marlin, and limit the amount of tuna to no more than two tuna steaks a week or four medium-size cans of tuna a week. This is because of the levels of mercury in these fish.

Keep up fluid levels, with regular glasses of water or diluted fruit or vegetable juices through the day. This will help keep you well-hydrated, which can prevent tiredness and headaches, and helps bladder and kidney health by ensuring regular visits to the restroom. These may be useful ideas to those of you who may be pregnant. They sound good to even those of us who are no longer pregnant!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.