Pregnancy

What should I eat during pregnancy for healthy weight gain?

Following a healthy pregnancy eating plan is a good idea when pregnant to ensure you and your baby are getting the right nutrients you both need.

How do you make changes to your usual eating plan to ensure you get the foods you need and increase your daily calories and requirements as needed?

The best way to choose healthy pregnancy food is to empower yourself with knowledge and get the support you need.

You’ll be pleased to know that the Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, is pregnancy-friendly!

You’ll get the recipes, information, and support to plan healthy, nutritious, and delicious food for your pregnancy (and beyond).

Midwife Ali Pickles shares some information

As we know, it is normal to have healthy weight gain during pregnancy to benefit your baby’s development. On average women gain 4 pounds a month, however some months you may not increase at all and others you may put on 8 pounds. This is OK.

If you put on a few more don’t punish yourself, it’s normal and once you’ve had your baby you can work out if you need to adjust your eating plan again to suit your changing body.

So how do you safely increase calories in your daily eating plan during pregnancy?

In the first trimester most women only need to increase roughly 200 calories a day to maintain a healthy meal plan in pregnancy. Adding this increase with fruit, vegetables, meat, legumes, dairy or whole grains, 200 calories could be as easy as serving of Greek yogurt with berries.

During the second and third trimesters the baby has done all its important genetic growth and is now focusing on fattening and cell growth. Women should increase their daily calories to approximately 300 calories a day. This could equate to a glass of milk and some cheese and crackers.

Yogurt and Berries

Morning sickness

If you were severely unwell in the beginning of your pregnancy and lost a lot of weight you could be lacking in important nutrients that your body requires. Do not be alarmed thinking you have harmed your baby. Your body is very clever and has stolen all your nutrients to feed the baby. Your body gets the leftovers. This can contribute to the tiredness and lethargy you are feeling.

If you fit into this group then you may need to increase your calorie intake to 400-500 calories per day. Calcium is important in pregnancy and vitamin D to absorb the calcium so eating foods rich in this is very beneficial.

 

If you fit into the overweight or obese category before pregnancy it is important you speak to your doctor before severely restricting your calorie intake. Generally women in this weight category do not blow their calorie intake, they instead sometimes choose the wrong foods.

Looking at your dietary intake and assessing your meals could make a big difference to your weight gain in pregnancy. Over eating is very common and easy to do in pregnancy.

Curbing your cravings

 

Everyone has heard of the cravings associated with pregnancy. Sugary treats, junk food, salty crisps, and weird items such as pickles and ice cream. Cravings can often be satisfied by choosing healthy food options. For example:

  • If you have a sugar craving eat an apple or a banana.
  • Having a small amount of dark chocolate can help a craving as well as give you essential antioxidants.
  • If you have a carb craving and want pasta swap white breads and pastas for wholemeal varieties.
  • Eating unsalted nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds can help cure a salty craving.
  • A small handful of pretzels can also assist salt cravings.
  • Cravings for desserts after dinner can be combatted with dipping fresh fruit into yogurt.
  • The Healthy Mummy has a range of delicious and healthy sweet treat recipes to satisfy that craving. Try these 4 ingredient choc chip cookies (pictured above).
  • Sometimes what you’re craving may mean you are low in certain nutrients and actually need to eat something quite different to what you thought!

Following a healthy pregnancy eating plan shouldn’t be a stressful thing but rather a chance to listen to your body and look for healthy options to get the nutrients you and your baby need.

Pregnancy food plan: 7 days of bump-friendly dinners

Delicious healthy Mexican lasagna

The following meals are excellent sources of essential nutrients for pregnancy, including protein, fibre, iron, calcium, vitamin c, folate, iodine, and zinc.

Day 1: Healthy Mexican Lasagne
Day 2: Healthy Chicken and Pineapple Fried Rice
Day 3: Nourishing Quinoa and Vegetable Soup 
Day 4: Chunky Beef and Vegetable Pie
Day 5: Protein-packed chicken burrito bowl
Day 6: Stove top beef lasagne 
Day 7: Pesto, spinach and ricotta rolls

More on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Want access to thousands and thousands of healthy recipes that will help you to lose weight after having a baby? Then be sure to check out our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a family-friendly, breastfeeding-safe program designed FOR MUMS to help them improve their health and lose the baby weight. 

Every week you are given a different meal plan to follow and each month we add NEW recipes to our Challenge Recipe Hub. That way, you’ll never get bored and stay on weight loss track while digging into healthy, yummy recipes. The challenge is also able to be used during pregnancy.

Learn more about our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge HERE.

If you would like a sneak peek at some of the meals, snacks and exercises from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge you can download our FREE recipe packs HERE.

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