Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy

Being pregnant is a very special time in your life, and it’s a time when many women think about their diet. What you eat can not only influence your own health, but it can also affect the short and long term health of your baby so it is important that you eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet when you are pregnant.

The basic principles of a healthy diet stay the same. You should still eat a diet that is based on starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties or potatoes with their skins on when you can), and includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, moderate amounts of lean meat, fish and/or other protein sources such as eggs and pulses, and moderate amounts of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese (or calcium-enriched dairy-free alternatives). You should only eat limited amounts of foods and drinks that are high in fat and sugar. You can find more information on a healthy varied diet here.

As well as having a healthy diet it is also important to be aware of food safety and hygiene. There are certain foods and drinks that you should avoid or be careful with how much you eat when pregnant. For more information click here.

Beside all the nutrients you get from a healthy varied diet, there are some vitamins and minerals that are very important for the development of your baby.

In this section we will be looking at supplements during pregnancy, as well as nutrients that are important during pregnancy. We have also given examples of recipes that provide some of these key nutrients.