When you are pregnant it is important to have a balanced diet that is not only good for you but also your developing and growing baby. There are different foods that have different minerals and vitamins to help your baby grow into a healthy child.
What foods should you have?
Foods that are good for your baby include:
• Avocado – which has potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6 – these are vital to forming your baby’s brain and nervous system.
• Broccoli – which has child friendly folic acid, vitamin A and C and calcium to build up the strength of those little teeth and bones.
• Carrots – stacked with vitamin A which is great for the development of the teeth, bones and eyes.
• Cooked soybeans – packed with protein, calcium, folic acid and vitamins A and B
• Lentils – for folic acid, protein, iron and B6
• Mangoes – great for vitamin A and C
• Nuts – good for vitamin E and is full of important minerals including copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium and calcium
• Oatmeal – awesome for fibre, iron and a few other minerals as well as vitamin B
• Red pepper – Great source of vitamin A and C and comes with a great amount of B6
• Spinach – rich in folic acid, iron, vitamin A and calcium
• Yoghurt – contains as much calcium as milk but is packed with folic acid and protein as well.
Folic acid, also known as folate or folacin, is a B9 vitamin, one of the vitamins in the B group. Folic acid is one of the most important things to help have a healthy baby and is found in most leafy green vegetables, orange juice and enriched grains. Folic acid helps make the body’s DNA and is a key component to spinal fluid.
Different ways to have these foods
There is plenty of ways to include these foods into every meal. You can combine some of the foods together to suit your taste.
You could try oats and yoghurt for breakfast; A salad for lunch; and vegetables and meat for dinner. Make sure all meat is completely cooked though.
Foods you shouldn’t have
Stay away from raw meat and cold chicken or turkey and only have 150g of large fish per fortnight eg: swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel.
You should also avoid pate, raw seafood, sushi, soft cheeses, soft serve ice cream, foods containing raw eggs and unpasteurised dairy products.
When you are pregnant, the implications of bacteria in your food, is more serious than when you aren’t pregnant. When you are storing, handling and preparing food, ensure you follow strict food hygiene such as regularly washing your hands, keeping utensils and surfaces clean and using separate utensils and preparation surfaces for raw meat.
For a complete list of foods that are safe and what to avoid, you will find more information on the NSW Food Authority Website.