A BALANCED DIET FOR PREGNANCY

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Not only must we adhere to our normal routine of eating well balanced meals to get all our nutrients in, but now we must also factor in other important changes  we must make to our diet when we’re considering the fact that we now have to care for a very rapidly growing little someone in our bellies. Not surprisingly, we have a need for additional nutrients to support the growth and development of our babies but it is possible to achieve the levels required without increasing our food intake. When we are pregnant, our  bodies become more efficient at absorbing nutrients while we’re pregnant, which allows us to start building stores of vital nutrients. So with this in mind there’s no need to eat for two. It’s far more important to focus on the quality of our diet.

Yummiberry supports responsible parenting and therefore advise any expecting parents to consult a registered health practitioner when deciding upon any supplement, diet and health-programme for pregnancy. Speak to your dietician, GP or gynea if you suspect you may be at risk of nutritional deficiency
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homepage-tab_maternity-evening-wearFirst Trimester:

Morning sickness will most probably be your biggest concern and unfortunately it is not always limited to the morning. Help minimise the effects of morning sickness by eating smaller, more regular meals and snacks or food that has carbohydrates in like oats, potato, bread, etc. Remember to stock up on quick and easy recipes that require the minimum effort, but is still packed with the nutrients you require. Lay off the more fatty food that will now just be harder to digest. Keep some dry bisquits on your bedside that you can nibble on to keep the nausea at bay before you get up.
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Ginger is an old remedy for morning sickness, but it works, it is an anti-emetic. Incorporate it into your meals, make tea with it, or buy the ginger bon bons. It really does help. Grate fresh, whole and peeled ginger and freeze, topped with a little bit of water, in ice trays, then you will always have it on hand.
Click on the image to get the recipe…
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roast pork with couscous and ginger yoghurt
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thai prawn & ginger noodles
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ginger & sesame sprouts
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Folic acid is a very important vitamin from while trying to get pregnant to at least the end of week 12. Make sure you get at least 400mg of folic acid in your daily foodsource. Don’t forget to also consider foods that are rich in folates, such as green leafy vegetables (spinach, celery, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green onions, peas, etc) and fruit like strawberries.
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bhaji frittata
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puffed salmon and spinach fish pie
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shaved brussels sprouts with bacon & almonds
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spinach and mushroom smothered chicken

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On days that you feel better, you have the perfect opportunity to catch up and make some of these gorgeous meals that are all pregnancy and freezer friendly:
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big batch bolognese
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easy family fish cakes
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chicken sweetcorn & noodle soup
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courgette potato & cheddar soup
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prawn & cod cakes
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verstelbare_support_buiband_zwangerschap_carriwell_105Second Trimester:

This is by far one of the best stages in pregnancy, because you start to notice baby reacting to his/her environment. Your sense of smell and food cravings may be at an all time high here. Plan your weekly diet and as well as following healthy eating guidelines aim to include two portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily variety like salmon, mackerel, trout or sardines. Remember no raw fish!

Click on the image to get the recipe…

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mediterranean baked salmon
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sardine rolls with goats cheese
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tangy trout

 

 

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Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy so be sure to focus on wholegrain versions of foods including wholemeal bread, cereals or pasta as well as oats, barley, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds:

Click on the image to open the recipe…

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bircher muesli
protein breakfast balls
breakfast protein balls
granola cups
super easy granola cups
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banana oat smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep your fluid intake up by aiming for 1½ -2 litres of filtered water, herbal teas or diluted juices daily.

As your pregnancy progresses your reserves for nutrients like iron may be called upon so include plenty of iron-rich foods – lean meats like chicken, especially the darker meat e.g. thighs, fish as well as plant sources including dried apricots, green leafy veg and pulses such as lentils.  Our body doesn’t absorb iron from plant foods as easily but by including a source of vitamin C with your meal e.g. a glass of orange juice with your breakfast cereal can optimise how much you absorb. Tannins found in black tea reduce the rate of iron absorption so enjoy your cuppa an hour before or two hours after your main meal. Try some of the below recipes for inspiration:

Click on the image to get the recipe…

Chicken and Eggplant Salad
chicken and eggplant salad with caramelised onions and goats cheese
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rustic apple tart
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asparagus ribbons with lemon and goats cheese
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creamy coconut cauliflower soup
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seabass baked in paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

pregnant_1584771cThird Trimester:

Indigestion and heartburn can be an issue later in your pregnancy. Luckily though, for most people, this is only temporary but it can help to have smaller, more frequent meals, and to avoid lying or bending down after eating – even bending to load a dishwasher can aggravate symptoms so get someone else in the family to do that job! Fatty foods and spices can aggravate symptoms.

Your energy requirements do increase during the last trimester, when you’ll need an extra 150-200 calories a day – that’s the equivalent of about three oatcakes topped with hummus. Or try one of these snacks or light meals:

Click on the image to open the recipe…

muffins
skinny broccoli cheese muffins
roasted acorn squash
parmesan-roasted acorn squash
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spicy roasted cauliflower

 

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Another important nutrient is calcium – your calcium needs double during pregnancy, especially during the last ten weeks when it’s being used to strengthen your baby’s bones. Despite this, you don’t need to eat more because your body adapts to absorb more calcium from the foods you eat. So as well as dairy foods, good sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, canned fish with soft, edible bones (salmon, sardines and pilchards), almonds (unsalted), dried apricots, sesame seeds, tofu, fortified orange juice and fortified soya milk. Try some of the below recipes for inspiration…

Click on the image to open the recipe…

chili cabbage
chili cabbage
shredded green salad
shredded greens salad
Strawberry-cheesecake-Philadelpia
heart friendly strawberry yoghurt tart
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sesame ginger chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget the nutrient for strong, healthy bones: vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’. In our diets we get vitamin D from a limited number of foods mainly eggs and oily fish as well as fortified margarines and breakfast cereals.  This is why pregnant women are recommended to take a 10mcg supplement throughout the duration of their pregnancy and while breast-feeding.

Click on the image to open the recipe…

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maple glazed salmon
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yoghurt berry cups
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red pepper & goats cheese frittata
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sardines on crackers
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bread & tomato salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

165397-850x563-pregnancy-portrait-with-heartFoods to avoid during pregnancy:

Your food choices demand a little more care when you’re pregnant because certain foods can present a possible risk to your unborn baby. It’s best to avoid:

  • Raw / partially cooked eggs and any dishes made with them like homemade mayonnaise, mousses and some desserts as well as soft-whipped ice cream from a machine
  • Raw shellfish and under-cooked meats
  • Soft ripened cheeses like Brie, camembert, certain goat’s cheeses as well as blue cheeses like Roquefort.
  • Unpasteurised dairy foods
  • All pates including vegetable, as well as liver and liver products
  • Pre-prepared salads like potato and coleslaw. Prepare everything fresh that is not cooked or properly heated through just before you eat it.
  • Certain species of fish such as swordfish and marlin, while limiting fresh tuna steaks and other oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel to no more than twice a week.
  • Some countries advise against eating cold cured meats like salami, prosciutto and pepperoni as well as smoked fish, although the current UK advice does not restrict these foods.
  • Caffeine – should be limited to 200mg a day – but it is advisable to limit it more to about 1 mug a week. Check the caffiene content of your brand of tea and remember to not consume tea an hour before or two hours after your meals, as the tanins in tea deter the absorption of iron.
  • Alcohol – is best avoided during pregnancy and minimised while breast-feeding.

 

Sources: The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook 2005; Eating Well Magazine; Health Magazine; BBC Good Food Magazine; Linda Stack (registered dietician); Dr. B.A. Singh (registered medical practitioner)

 

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