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4 Important Foods To Introduce During Pregnancy

A few years ago I published a book on what to eat during pregnancy.  I had been working as a dietitian for over ten years, and I became overwhelmed by the number of women that I consulted who had gained weight during pregnancy, and had never been able to shift it.  

My research found that over 50% of women gain more weight than what’s recommended during pregnancy, and that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, make prenatal weight changes particularly hard to lose.  But, there’s more……what really motivated me to transform my practice to specialise in fertility and pregnancy was discovering that what a woman eats in the lead up to conception, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, actually programs your babies genetics to influence their health for the rest of their life. 

That causes your head to spin, doesn’t it?!  Let me give you a few examples….

1. Eat fish 2-3 times per week

Did you know that eating more fish during pregnancy might help your bub to have a better memory for years to come?  Now, obviously we need to avoid fish, such as swordfish, which are high in mercury, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up fish altogether!  Watch my video on the 4 best fish to eat during pregnancy, and make sure that they are well cooked so that there’s no listeria risk.

2. Eat prebiotic foods

Your gut microbiome is the term for the trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut.  I’ve sure that you’ve heard that our gut microbiome has a huge impact on everything from our mood to our risk of diseases.  During pregnancy we share our gut microbiome with our baby, so it’s essential that OUR gut microbiome is as healthy as possible.  Eating plenty of prebiotic foods such as bananas are one of the best ways to optimise our gut microbiome.

3. Eat peanuts at least once per week

Did you know that eating more peanuts during pregnancy will reduce your baby’s risk of developing a peanut allergy? Food allergies are on the rise with one in every 10 bubs being born with food allergies.  It can be incredibly stressful knowing that someone could accidentally feed your child a food containing peanuts, triggering an anaphylactic attack, at any time….especially when they are at school, and you’re not there to supervise!  You can reduce your baby’s chance of a peanut allergy by building up her immune defence to peanuts during pregnancy.

4. Create a pregnancy meal plan

There’s so many dietary changes that you can make to give your child a headstart.  But, how can you ensure that you’re doing EVERYTHING that you need to do?  The best way is to create a personalised pregnancy meal plan.  Start by downloading mine to use as a guide.  Just go to www.melaniemcgrice.com/pregnancy.  I look forward to helping you optimise your pregnancy nutrition so that you can give your baby a headstart in life.

Meet Melanie McGrice

Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and the Director of Nutrition Plus Enterprises. She has over fifteen years clinical experience and is well renown as one of Australia’s leading dieticians. Although experienced in all areas of nutrition, Melanie is passionate about fertility and pregnancy, and is currently undertaking ground-breaking research in this field.