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Meals and snacks during pregnancy

Your body needs certain nutrients even more when you’re pregnant. Here are a few ideas that will give you the nutrients you need and taste great.

1. Steak sandwich

A steak sandwich with salad or just good old ‘meat and three veggies gives you a good dose of iron. You need one-and-a-half times the iron you normally need when you are pregnant. It’s especially important in the last trimester when your baby is building up his or her own iron stores. Beef and lamb are rich in easily absorbed iron and also provide zinc – another mineral needed during pregnancy.

2. Sardines on wholegrain toast

Two or three seafood meals a week provide lots of pregnancy nutrients: iron, zinc, essential fats and iodine. Canned salmon and sardines have edible bones which provide plenty of calcium. Sardines on wholegrain toast with fresh tomatoes make for a nutritious, quick lunch.

3. Fruit smoothie

A fruit smoothie made with reduced-fat milk and yoghurt gives you a boost of fibre, iodine and calcium. It’s important to get enough calcium during pregnancy to help build your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, blood and nervous system. If baby doesn’t get enough calcium from the foods you eat, he or she will take it from your bones! If you can’t eat dairy foods, try canned fish and calcium-enriched soy drinks.

4. Oranges

Oranges contain some folate and calcium and are rich in vitamin C, which both baby and Mum need for good health, growth and repair. Eat an orange with your iron-fortified breakfast cereal or with a wholemeal peanut butter sandwich to help absorb more iron from these foods.

5. Seameal custard

This old-fashioned food is a great dessert, providing calcium and iodine. Iodine is essential for normal brain development in your baby.

6. Eggs on wholegrain toast

Eggs make a quick, nutritious meal when you are too tired to cook. Eggs provide lots of protein as well as iron and iodine. For extra iodine, sprinkle on a little iodised salt. Serve with wholegrain toast for fibre and tomatoes to increase iron absorption.

7. Ginger, carrot, orange and apple – freshly juiced

Ginger can help settle nausea. If you are suffering morning sickness, try fresh ginger in drinks and meals. Aim to drink nine cups of fluid a day. A freshly squeezed juice each day gives you a boost of nutrients. After that, go for fresh fruit and make most of your fluids water and trim milk.

  • baked beans on toast
  • baked potato
  • breakfast cereal with trim milk (a handy snack any time of day)
  • creamed rice
  • dried fruit and nuts
  • eggs on toast
  • flavoured milk
  • fresh fruit
  • fruit smoothie
  • fruit yoghurt
  • hard-boiled egg: take one to work and keep in the fridge until lunchtime
  • hot pasta or rice dish: if eating out, ask staff to heat it to steaming hot
  • hot soup
  • make-your-own filled roll: a small can of tuna and chopped tomato filling
  • milkshake made with trim milk
  • peanut butter (choose no added salt or sugar) on high-fibre bread or crackers
  • savoury muffin
  • stir-fried meat and vegetables
  • toasted sandwich or focaccia
  • trim hot chocolate
  • trim latté in a bowl (for extra milk)

Date modified: 14 October 2021
First published: Jul 2009


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