What we eat
Every family has favourite foods and favourite meals, from recipes handed down through the family, to dishes that are quick and easy to prepare - or choose from the menu when we eat out.
Let’s start with typical meals and snacks you like to eat - pregnancy may have changed your appetite, you might be craving certain foods or struggling with morning sickness.
Jot down as many examples of meals and snacks you enjoyed before pregnancy along with those you eat now - gathering these ideas is a great starting point for thinking about eating well in pregnancy and giving our babies the best start in life.
Now we know the snacks and meals we like to eat - let’s explore ideas for healthy eating habits and how to balance what we eat to make sure we eat well and give our babies a great start.
A healthy balance
The Eatwell Guide shows the main food groups in the proportions that are healthy for adults and children over 5 years old. It’s not necessary for every meal to reflect this balance – we can aim to balance what we eat and drink over the course of a day or two, including snacks.
The majority of what we eat should come from two groups – fruit and vegetables, and carbohydrates ( bread, rice, potatoes and other starchy foods). The rest is made up of protein (beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat ), dairy foods (like milk and cheese, or non-dairy alternatives) and a small amount of oil.
For a healthy balance, thinking about what we drink is important too. To stay healthy, adults need 6-8 glasses of water or drinks like low-fat milk, tea, coffee and sugar-free drinks a day. Try to limit fruit juice or smoothies to one small glass a day and drink with a meal as they contain a lot of sugar.
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar, salt and fat such as crisps, sweets and chocolate, biscuits, cakes, sugar-sweetened drinks etc. aren’t included in the Eatwell Guide as they’re not good for us if we eat them too often.
Thinking about the typical meals and snacks you eat over the course of a few days, how balanced are the food groups?
By making a few small changes it‘s easy to re-balance the food groups, helping you to eat well during pregnancy and giving your baby a great start.
Check out the healthy snacks page to get you started!