Daily Food Guide For Pregnancy

Daily Food Guide For Pregnancy

Author -  Emily Hope

When you’re pregnant, you need to pay extra attention to your nutrition. After all, what you eat influences not only on your own health but also that of your unborn baby. Nutrition can affect a developing foetus for a lifetime, and every mother wants their child to get the best possible start in life. Plus, of course, with good nutrition you can enjoy your pregnancy and have more energy to prepare for your exciting arrival!

The Ministry of Health have put together a set of recommendations for daily food intake during pregnancy1. Below, we make these easy for you to understand, and make it simple to eat right for you & your unborn baby.

Fruit & Vegetables

Choose at least 2 serves of fruit & 4 serves of veggies each day
1 serve = 1 medium sized fruit or vegetable, ½ cup canned or cooked fruit or vegetables, ½ cup salad
• Add sliced or stewed fruit to your breakfast cereal or porridge.
• When you’re shopping, pick out 14 pieces of fruit for yourself for the week. Aim to eat 2 pieces each day.
• Add salad to wholegrain sandwiches, along with cheese and meat or egg fillings.
• Nibble on vegetables sticks and a freshly made salsa before dinner.
• Aim to fill 50% of your dinner plate with non-starchy vegetables and/or salad.

Breads & Cereals

Choose at least 6 serves each day
1 serve = 1 cup cereal, 1 slice bread, 1 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 bread roll, ½ cup porridge
• Poached eggs on wholegrain toast make a nutritious, high-protein breakfast.
• Try making your own Bircher muesli for breakfast. Soak Bircher muesli in reduced-fat milk overnight, and then simply top with yoghurt and fruit before eating.
• Try a slice of fruit toast as a filling bite between meals.
• Fill ¼ of your plate with wholegrain bread, rice or pasta at lunch and dinner time.
• Try cooking a new grain such as Quinoa instead of rice or couscous. Quinoa is high in protein and equally delicious!

Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes

Choose at least 2 serves each day
1 serve = ¾ cup canned beans, mince or casserole, 2 slices meat, 1 egg, 100g steak, 1 fillet fish
• Enjoy at least 2 serves of fish each week. Focus on fish like tarakihi, blue cod, flounder and canned tuna (but limit albacore tuna).
• Baked beans and a poached egg on toast makes for quick, easy meal when your energy levels are low.
• Carry a handful of unsalted nuts in your bag as a nutritious snack when you’re out and about.
• Remember to keep up your intake of lean red meat such as beef and lamb, which are both high in Iron and Vitamin B12 for energy. Try marinated steak served with freshly made potato salad.
• Instead of salt, season lean meat with fresh herbs and spices. Try garlic, ginger, parsley, coriander, paprika and chilli flakes

Milk & Milk Products

Choose at least 3 servings each day
1 serve = 1 glass milk, 1 pottle yoghurt or 2 slices cheese
• Swap full-fat milk for reduced fat milk – it contains more protein and calcium.
• Top cereal with yoghurt in the morning, or have a pottle of yoghurt as a snack.
• Add cubes of haloumi cheese to salads. Try a salad with rocket, pear, walnuts and cubed haloumi, plus a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
• Enjoy a glass of reduced-fat milk with breakfast if you’re having something simple like marmite on toast
• Choose reduced-fat ice cream over regular ice cream, and enjoy as an occasional treat after dinner

Sample day that ticks the boxes

Breakfast: 1 cup Bircher muesli topped with natural yoghurt and berries
Snack: 1 slice of fruit toast topped with jam
Lunch: 2 wholemeal pita breads filled with lean chicken and salad, peach
Snack: 1 pottle yogurt + 1 Tablespoon LSA
Dinner: Baked flounder with quinoa, and a rocket, haloumi, pear and walnut salad
Supper: 1 small slice of home-made banana loaf

(1) Ministry of Health. Eating for Healthy Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women. 2006. Wellington, New Zealand.