Your Prenatal Healthy Eating Checklist
A healthy prenatal diet not only allows your baby to receive the vital nutrients it needs to develop and grow but is also beneficial for your own wellbeing as a mother.
During pregnancy it is important to remember standard health practices such as ensuring you are eating a range of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats and avoiding eating too much salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. There are also a variety of nutrients that should be prioritised in your prenatal diet and throughout your whole pregnancy. They include the following:
Folate is an important vitamin during pregnancy as it can assist in reducing the risk of particular birth defects such as spina bifida with prenatal women needing 500 micrograms every day. Folate can be found in a variety of foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, peas, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts and fruits. However it can be hard to get the recommended dose therefore prenatal supplements are recommended to support your healthy diet. Ensure your prenatal contains methyl-folate as this is the bioavailable form of folate, suitable for those with the MTHFR gene mutation.
We all know that calcium supports strong bones and teeth for you and your baby. But did you know this calcium also helps assist the circulatory, muscular and nervous systems to function well. Sources of calcium can be found through dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. If you’re a vegetarian - calcium can be found in non dairy foods such broccoli and kale.
Protein is vital for the growth and development of your baby throughout pregnancy as it helps build all body tissues. Good sources of protein can be found in Lean meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. If you are vegetarian other options of protein include seeds, nuts and peas.
During pregnancy you need more iron to make more blood to supply the right amount of oxygen to your baby.
There are a variety of foods you can incorporate in your diet to ensure you’re getting enough iron such as lean meats and leafy greens like spinach.
Omega-3 fats are important during pregnancy as they can assist with the development of your baby’s nerves and brain and may assist with helping prevent perinatal depression. Foods such as avocado, oily fish, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds all are great sources of omega-3 fats. High fat intake is a great way to avoid postpartum depletion.
What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?
It’s important to know which foods you should be incorporating into your diet during pregnancy but also foods you should avoid. Some of these foods include:
- Raw or undercooked meats
- Uncooked seafood such as smoked salmon
- Uncooked eggs
- Soft cheeses and pâté
- Soft serve ice cream
- porridge filled with nut butter, seeds, nuts, organic blueberries
- scrambled eggs with avocado on sourdough
- banana and peanut butter smoothie with protein powder
- bacon and eggs, with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes
- paleo pancakes
- carrot & blueberry breakfast cake by Jessica Prescott
- Chia pudding with coconut yogurt and fruits
- chicken breast salad
- omelette with cheese, mushroom, spinach, tomatoes
- chicken noodle soup
- tuna and egg salad
- homemade sausage rolls from Village For Mama
- slow cooked lamb shanks
- Shepards pie
- chicken pie
- slow cooked beef ragu with pasta
- paleo butter chicken
- baked fish with veggies
- homemade burgers
- mexican tacos
- zucchini slice
- chicken or lamb slow cooked roast with roast veg
How else can I ensure I have a healthy prenatal diet?
We recommend that you support your healthy prenatal diet with pregnancy prenatal vitamins. Think of this like your insurance policy, to fill any gaps in your diet. These should be taken before conception to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients that are needed. Our EverNatal is the top prenatal supplement in Australia and has been designed for you to take before, during and after pregnancy (think of it as your prenatal, antenatal and postnatal best-friend). This pregnancy supplement has the best quality ingredients in optimal doses and does exactly what you need it to do.
It supports preconception health, a healthy pregnancy and maternal health, along with support for lactation.