Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Me­lanie McGrice

Dis­cover the best foods to eat in each trimester of preg­nancy

Dur­ing trimester one, just get­ting through a whole day’s work is a strug­gle. Not to men­tion jug­gling med­i­cal ap­point­ments, fit­ting in your daily sweat ses­sion, keep­ing up with the fam­ily and try­ing to main­tain some sort of so­cial life. Your life is as busy as ever but sud­denly your en­ergy lev­els have plum­meted, right when you need them the most! Sound fa­mil­iar? Well, you’re not alone. THE FIRST TRIMESTER

Get­ting the right nu­tri­tion dur­ing the first trimester of preg­nancy is cru­cial. Not only does it keep your en­ergy lev­els up but also en­sure your baby gets the nu­tri­ents he or she needs, to pro­mote on­go­ing growth and de­vel­op­ment.

Know­ing what to eat dur­ing your preg­nancy to en­sure you’re cov­er­ing all bases can be con­fus­ing, with so many dif­fer­ent health pro­fes­sion­als in­volved in your care. Your ex­pe­ri­enced friends share their ad­vice, not to men­tion the over­whelm­ing amount of in­for­ma­tion avail­able on­line and through so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

The good old ‘eat­ing for two’ mantra can’t be the ba­sis for all your food de­ci­sions through­out the en­tire nine months. You might be in­ter­ested (or even dis­ap­pointed) to know that your calo­rie re­quire­ments don’t ac­tu­ally in­crease at all dur­ing your first trimester of preg­nancy. Gen­eral healthy eat­ing guide­lines still ap­ply in this pe­riod, so mak­ing sure you in­clude a va­ri­ety of foods from all five food groups, choos­ing low GI car­bo­hy­drates, lean meats and healthy fats is key.

Whilst ex­tra calo­ries might not be im­por­tant, spe­cific nu­tri­ents are. Min­er­als in­clud­ing fo­late, zinc, iron and omega-3 fatty acids as well as get­ting enough fi­bre and fluid should be a pri­or­ity. Choos­ing grainy breads and ce­re­als, lean red meat and skin­less chicken, grilled sal­mon and healthy oils such as olive oil, will help meet your nu­tri­ent needs. Fresh fruit and veg­gies in con­junc­tion with plenty of wa­ter will also help to keep your bow­els reg­u­lar as well.


For some women the sec­ond trimester may be some­what more en­joy­able then trimester one. You baby bump might be start­ing to show and that nausea and morn­ing sick­ness should have started to ease. The good news keeps on com­ing. In trimester two, your calo­rie re­quire­ments are higher than usual.

You should be aim­ing to in­crease your in­take by about 600-1400 kilo­joules per day de­pend­ing upon how much weight you need to gain. This is equiv­a­lent to about two ex­tra snacks each day. So, adding two ex­tra serves of foods like a yo­gurt, vita-wheats and cheese, a slice of peanut but­ter on multi-grain toast, some fresh fruit or a hand­ful of nuts, will help to pro­vide you with the ad­di­tional high­qual­ity calo­ries that you need. Bas­ing your snacks around whole­grain foods each day, will also make sure you’re get­ting enough fo­late and io­dine, which are key nu­tri­ents re­quired for this stage of de­vel­op­ment.


Ad­di­tional calo­ries are needed dur­ing the third trimester to en­sure on­go­ing high-qual­ity nu­tri­tion. In trimester three, your baby is grow­ing the most rapidly, so en­sur­ing you are still get­ting ad­e­quate calo­ries to sup­port growth of the baby is im­por­tant. Fo­cus­ing on a high in­take of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from foods like oily fish and nuts will sup­port brain de­vel­op­ment. In­clud­ing a range of cit­rus fruits and green leafy veg­eta­bles will make sure you’re get­ting enough vi­ta­min C, which also helps to boost your ab­sorp­tion of iron.

Know­ing what to eat dur­ing your preg­nancy and ac­tu­ally do­ing it are two dif­fer­ent things. You may have the best in­ten­tions for a well-bal­anced diet. Find­ing the best diet dur­ing preg­nancy can be tricky and time con­sum­ing. So, to get you go­ing in the right di­rec­tion you can down­load your free preg­nancy

meal plan to make sure you’re tick­ing all the right boxes for you and baby.

Me­lanie McGrice is an Ad­vanced Ac­cred­ited Prac­tic­ing Di­eti­tian and is the di­rec­tor of Nu­tri­tion Plus, a di­etetic prac­tice based in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia. Me­lanie is a highly re­spected nu­tri­tion blog­ger, jour­nal­ist and me­dia per­son­al­ity, and is reg­u­larly in­vited to con­sult to the me­dia on a range of nu­tri­tion & di­etary top­ics. Me­lanie is the au­thor of ‘The Preg­nancy Weight Plan’ and may be con­tacted via her web­site.

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