Eating healthily is important in pregnancy. But if you have morning sickness, you may find it hard to eat large meals. That’s where snacks come in. These snacks will satisfy your hunger and provide you and your growing baby with what you need at every stage of your pregnancy. In your first trimester (four weeks to 13 weeks), you don’t need more calories, but you do need more folate. You should eat plenty of folate-rich foods, as well as a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Folates are the natural form of folic acid that can be found in some foods. Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, have folic acid added to them.
To get more folate, have:
- salads with baby spinach leaves and beetroot
- steamed asparagus with dips
- oranges, or a small glass of orange juice
- cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Keep a stock of sliced wholemeal bread in the freezer, so you can take out a slice when you need it. Vitamin A is essential for the development of your baby’s organs, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems. It also helps you to fight infection. Vitamin A from animal foods is called retinol. Eggs and cheese are good sources. Don’t have liver, which also contains retinol, as it contains levels that are too high to be safe for you while you’re pregnant. In plant foods, vitamin A is found as carotenes, especially beta-carotene. Our bodies turn beta-carotene into vitamin A, so you can’t have too much of it. Orange fruit or vegetables contain beta-carotene. Add slices of ripe mangoes, peaches and papaya, to your cereal. You can also make smoothies to take to work, or make your own soups with carrots, butternut squash or sweet potatoes.