By Ruby Matley
When I fell pregnant, my goal was to be a #supermama and nourish my body with loads of different foods… while still enjoying the occasional treat – chocolate! But like many other mamas out there, my reality was very different and in the first trimester, I couldn’t stomach much of anything other than tea and toast. As the nausea subsided, I started to get more creative with my cooking (move over Nigella) and some days I was so ravenous, I seemed to be constantly seeking out my next meal, like a crazed pregnant woman.
I don’t know about you, but the lists of what I should and shouldn’t be eating felt overwhelming (see ya sushi, camembert cheese and soft serve ice cream!). I worried that my baby wasn’t getting all the nutrients it needed – especially some days when all I felt like eating was chicken schnitzel and ice blocks! Taking a pregnancy supplement helped to ease my mind, as did planning my meals to ensure all food groups were covered. I found that it was best to keep things simple – there was no need to spend lots of money on special ingredients or ‘superfoods’. And you know what, mama? I also learned to give myself a break. If I felt like something, I ate it (as long as it was safe) #keepingitreal.
9 fav foods for a healthy pregnancy
1 // Handful of nuts and seeds. I love to roast pumpkin seeds with a splash of tamari for an easy, on-the-go snack.
2 // Keep your fruit bowl stocked with fresh seasonal fruit. Poach apples that are looking a little brown and serve them with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
3 // Eggs. Remember to cook them well or ask for well done if you are eating out.
4 // Greek yoghurt served with fruit, a sprinkle of seeds and almond meal is quick, easy and nutritious.
5 // Whole grain crackers or bread with avocado or cheese.
6 // Hummus with vegetable sticks.
7 // Frozen edamame (soybeans) are great to have on hand.
8 // Whole grain toasted sandwich filled with cheese, avocado, tomato and baby spinach.
9 // Tuna or chicken salad with lots of veggies makes a perfect light dinner, especially in the later months of pregnancy when you don’t feel like a big meal because your bebe is taking up all the space in your belly!
Embrace meal prep
We all get busy, especially when we already have a tribe of minis to look after, and sometimes the easy option is to eat on the run. Preparing meals over the weekend means you are less likely to eat out and choose unhealthy options. My hot tip is to make extra when you’re cooking dinner and store them in the freezer. You should also keep nutritious snacks at work or with you during the day (like my 9 fav foods above). Also, prepare a vegetarian meal once or twice a week to up your intake of eggs, legumes and veggies.
Should I be eating for two?
Now that you’re nourishing that beautiful bebe in your belly, you may feel hungrier than usual and have certain food preferences, both are okay. But there is no need to double your intake of food (unless of course you’re sharing chocolate with your partner, then it’s okay to pull out that excuse!) There are loads of super important nutrients you need for you and your babe at this time including calcium, protein, iron and folate, which help with the growth and development of your baby, and eating a diet that is nutrient–dense rather than larger quantities of food, will ensure you receive adequate amounts of nutrients.
And don’t forget to stress less, mama, you should enjoy your pregnancy.
9 Months by Dr David Addenbrooke and Ruby Matley, RRP $34.99, published by Pan Macmillan.