There are a number of things that you can do to optimise your diet during pregnancy

  • Aim to eat a wide variety of different foods every day to ensure you are getting the right balance of nutrients. Pregnancy and healthy weight - Healthy Weight Guide; Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
  • Eat regular small meals and snacks and watch portion size. See the Healthy Eating Pyramid here.
  • Choose water as your main drink avoiding sugary drinks like soft drink, cordial, sports drinks and juices
  • Choose high fibre foods like wholemeal or multigrain bread, wholegrain cereals with oats or bran, and wholegrain crackers
  • Choose healthy snacks like a piece of fruit, a small tub of low fat yoghurt, 4 wholegrain crackers with low fat cheese, 1-2 cups no added salt or butter popcorn, vegetable sticks with salsa or hummus or ¼ cup nuts
  • Limit added fats by using only small amounts of margarine, butter and oil, choose lean meats and trim visible fat or skin, limit deep fried foods, processed snack foods and takeaway

How much should I eat?

  • There is no need to ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy. You don’t need to eat any extra food for the first 6 months of your pregnancy
  • You may only need an extra 200 kilocalories or 840kilojoules per day extra in the last 12 weeks.
    For examples of how much food 200kcalories is, see below
3 medium apples ¼ C raw nuts 2 small bananas 3 slices bread
2 small chapattis 2 slices low fat cheese A small chicken breast 1C milk
¾ cup cooked rice 1 C cooked pasta 3/4c Dahl 6 tomatoes
1.5 kg celery 2 weetbix 2oog yoghurt 3 eggs

Healthy eating suggestions

If you are hungry, fill up on vegetables

  • fibre in vegetables fills us up and has few calories
  • limit starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, taro, peas and corn
  • bread and cereal are good sources of fibre but remember to watch portion size
  • fibre can help improve blood sugar levels, if you have diabetes
  • fibre help keep your bowels regular
  • gradually increase your fibre intake
  • drink 8 glasses of water fluid each day.

Low carbohydrate vegetable list

Artichoke Chinese broccoli Parsnip
Asian Greens Cabbage Radish
Asparagus Chives Shallots
Aubergine Choko Silverbeet
Bamboo shoots Cucumber Snake beans
Bean sprouts Eggplant Snow Peas
Beetroot Endive Spinach
Bok choy Fennel Squash
Broccoli Garlic Spring onion
Brussel sprouts Ginger Sprouts
Beans (green) Green beans Squash
Button squash Herbs Swede
Chilli Kohlrabi Tomato
Capsicum Leek Turnip
Carrots Lettuce Watercress
Cauliflower Mung Beans Zucchini
Celery Mushrooms Onion
Chicory Okra Parsley

Occasional foods

This includes foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Spreading fats (e.g.butter) Oils Salad dressings
Cream Chocolate Crisps
Biscuits Pastries Ice cream
Cake Puddings Fizzy drinks

Important nutrients during pregnancy

Make sure your diet is varied and includes adequate amounts of fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals, dairy and meat or meat substitutes. You can find out more about your diet and nutrients here.

Resources