Nutritionists reveal how the NEW Pregnancy Meal Plan supports expectant Mums
Following a healthy pregnancy eating plan is a good idea when pregnant to ensure you and your baby are getting all the right nutrients you both need.
That’s why this month as part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, the Customer Choice Meal Plan has been designed specifically for those who are pregnant.
Our amazing team of Healthy Mummy Nutritionists have developed this meal plan for expectant mums to be, and explain how this carefully picked meal plan can best provide nutritional support for those who are pregnant.
Eating in Pregnancy
Healthy eating is essential throughout pregnancy for the health of both mother and baby. A varied diet that includes all food groups will generally provide you with the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy and develop a healthy baby. Some women may need to take a nutritional supplement throughout pregnancy, please speak with your healthcare provider to see if this is you.
It’s important to understand that steady weight gain throughout pregnancy is normal. However, you do not need to ‘eat for two’ as the saying goes. Gaining too much weight is harmful to both you and your baby. The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy is dependent on how much you weighed before pregnancy.
- BMI <18.5 your recommended weight gain is 12.5-18kg.
- BMI between 18.5-24.9 your recommended weight gain is 11.5-16kg.
- BMI between 25-29.9 your recommended weight gain is between 7-11.5kg
- BMI of >30 your recommended weight gain is 5-9kg.
For pregnant women with a BMI between 18.5-24.9, the adequate amount of calories you are aiming to consume should be:
- About 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester
- About 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester
- About 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester
The best way to increase your calorie intake is by increasing your consumption of nutrient-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, fruit and vegetables.
Tips to help
There will be times throughout your pregnancy when you may feel nauseous. To help ease the nausea you may find it beneficial to eat dry bread or muesli before getting out of bed in the morning, sip on ginger tea throughout the day or avoid large greasy meals.
For women who experience heartburn during pregnancy it is a good idea to not eat late at night and reduce bending, lifting and laying flat after eating. For those experiencing constipation during pregnancy make sure you are drinking 2-3L of water a day and eating a wide range of fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Essential nutrients needed for pregnancy are:
Folic Acid (Folate/Vitamin B9): is a water-soluble vitamin and naturally occurring in foods which helps support the placenta. It is also responsible for preventing various birth defects such as mental retardation, cleft palate and spina bifida. Sources: dark leafy greens like spinach or kale, broccoli, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, and wholegrains.
Iodine: is a mineral essential for growth and development. A deficiency of iodine during pregnancy can lead to the baby having congenital hypothyroidism and mental impairment. Sources: seaweed, seafood, eggs, meat.
Calcium: it helps in the baby’s bone development; prevents blood clots and helps in lowering the mother’s blood pressure; It also aids in muscle and nerves function. Sources: milk, cheese, yogurt, dark leafy greens, sardines with bones, calcium-fortified drinks like soy milk and fruit juices.
Vitamin D: essential for the baby’s bone development. Calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed in the body. Severe vitamin D deficiencies can lead to Rickets. Vitamin D is also essential for immune function and mental health. Sources: direct sunlight, oily fish and eggs.
Iron: is a mineral which helps in the production of hemoglobin, prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery. It provides needed energy and strength; and it also promotes heart health. Sources: spinach, pork, beef, dark leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, iron-fortified cereals or grains.
Zinc: helps in the production of insulin and enzymes. It also aids in the rapid cell growth during pregnancy and helps strengthen the immune system. Sources: beef, pork, chicken, seafood, whole grains, beans, nuts, milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, tofu.
Omega 3: is essential for the baby’s brain and eye development. Sources: Fish and linseeds.
The Healthy Mummy Customer Choice ‘Eating Healthy for Pregnancy’
The Customer Choice Meal Plan for includes many of these foods that are so good in pregancy.
10 Foods to Eat in Pregnancy
- Spinach: good source of folate, iron, magnesium and fibre
- Broccoli: good source of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fibre
- Chickpeas: good source of protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium and folate
- Lentils: good source of calcium, iron, folate, protein and fibre
- Berries: good source of vitamin C and antioxidants
- Whole Grains: good source of fibre, iron, folate and other B group vitamins
- Organic grass fed meat: good source of B vitamins, zinc and protein
- Fish: good source of omega 3, iodine, and protein
- Eggs – Cooked: good source of protein, omega 3, choline, vitamin D, iodine, vitamin B12, folate, iron and zinc
- Yoghurt: good source of calcium, protein, B vitamins and probiotics.
5 Foods to Avoid:
- Raw Meat, Fish, and Egg: Consuming these animal products when raw puts you at an increased risk of Salmonella or toxoplasmosis. This is harmful for both mother and baby.
- Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese and Fruit Juice: Consuming these products puts you at an increased risk of Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter infections. This is harmful for both mother and baby.
- Soda, Coffee, Alcoholic Beverages – These drinks should be avoided because they contain high amounts of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol which is not good for both the mother and child.
- High Mercury Fish – Mercury is a toxic element found in our ocean. It gets accumulated in large fish species including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, and marlin. These should not be consumed.
- Processed Foods High in Refined Carbohydrates and Trans Fats (Ice cream, lollies, cakes, donuts, pastries, fast food, deep fried foods, pizza): These foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, increase cholesterol and alter gut microbiome leading to weight gain, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, sleep difficulties and lowered immune function.
To find this meal plan, hit the Meal Plan Type underneath the month on your Meal Plan Page in the app.
Did you know that we also have Pregnancy Workouts in the Healthy Mummy App?To find out more about the Pregnancy Workouts Click here!
Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet,taking any supplements or undertaking any exercise program in pregnancy. The information on this site is for reference only and is not medical advice and should not be treated as such, and is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice.