During pregnancy you should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose nutritious food and drinks to meet the needs of you and your baby. Try to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups each day.
Healthy eating during pregnancy
Vegetables and legumes/beans – Eat a variety of different vegetables of different colours. Try to consume 5 serves each day, a standard serve is about 75g or approximately ½ cup cooked broccoli, ½ cup of cooked, dried or canned beans or one medium tomato.
Fruit – Eat 2 serves of fruit each day. A standard serve is about 150g or a medium apple, banana, orange or pear.
Grain foods – Consume mostly wholegrain or high fibre cereal varieties. When pregnant consume 8.5 serves each day. A standard serve would include 1 slice of bread, ½ cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles, bulgar or quinoa, ½ cup of cooked porridge or ½ cup of muesli.
Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds – When pregnant eat 3.5 serves each day. A standard serve would include 65g cooked lean meat such as beef, lamb, veal, pork or 80g of chicken or turkey. This would also include 100g cooked fish or small can of fish, 2 large eggs or a cup of cooked legumes such as lentils or chickpeas. 170g of tofu or 30g of nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter.
Milk, yoghurt and cheese – Eat 2.5 serves each day when pregnant. This would include 1 cup of fresh milk/soy milk, 2 slices (40g) of cheese or ¾ cup of yoghurt.
Foods to Avoid
Foods which have an increased risk of containing the Listeria bacteria such as soft cheeses (e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta, feta and blue cheese), sandwich meats, bean sprouts, pre-prepared salads and pate.
Raw eggs as they may contain salmonella
Alcohol – not drinking is the safest option
Fish that may contain high levels of mercury – Food Standards Australia New Zealand recommends consuming no more than one serve (100g) per fortnight of shark/flake, marlin or broadbill/swordfish and no other fish that fortnight or one serve of orange roughy or catfish and no other fish that week.
Remember to care for your food, prepare and store food safely
Limit your Intake
Limit your intake of foods high in saturated fat such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks
Limit your intake of foods containing added salt
Limit foods and drinks containing added sugar such as confectionary, sweetened soft drinks, cordials, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks
This information is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013), Department of Health which provides up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. The recommendations are based on scientific evidence, developed after looking at good quality research.
For more information please see www.eatforhealth.gov.au – healthy eating guidelines for pregnancy.