Expectant mums’ healthy eating questions answered

Want to eat better during pregnancy but don’t know where to start? We answer expectant mums’ key questions on healthy eating.

It’s easy to forget about your health when pregnant, but following simple steps will help set you and your baby up for a healthier lifestyle. Come on, let’s do this!

How can I stay healthy while I am pregnant?

Try switching unhealthy snacks for more healthy ones or take a walk in the park.

Staying healthy during pregnancy gives your unborn baby a better chance of growing as well as they can.

Should I diet while I am pregnant?

Trying to lose weight by dieting during pregnancy is not recommended as it may affect the health of your unborn baby.

If you are concerned about your weight, aim to eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain and high fibre starchy carbohydrates, low fat milk and dairy and lean meat, fish or vegetarian alternatives like beans and pulses.

Limit the amount of fatty and sugary snacks you eat. This will help you and your baby to get all the nutrients you need and manage your weight during and after your pregnancy.

It’s a common misconception that you should ‘eat for two’ while pregnant. In fact it’s only in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy that women need an extra 200 calories a day – for the first two-thirds of pregnancy you don’t actually need extra calories. Try some of our handpicked recipes to get your extra calories.

Is it safe to eat fish while I am pregnant?

You can eat fish as part of a balanced diet during pregnancy and beyond, but the Department of Health advises pregnant women to eat no more than two portions of oily fish or tuna (fresh or canned) a week. NHS advice states it is not safe to eat shark, swordfish during pregnancy, and that raw shellfish should be avoided.

Why not try one of our fish recipes? And remember you can always freeze leftovers to save for another day.

Is it safe to eat peanuts while I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

You can eat peanuts or foods containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) while pregnant or breastfeeding. Don’t eat them if you’re allergic to them or a health professional has advised you not to though.

And remember it’s important to have a balanced diet, so if you’re looking to mix things up check out our tips to try something new.

This article was written in association with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and is part of the Let’s Do This campaign offering women tips and advice to stay healthy during pregnancy and beyond. Read our full news story and survey results.

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