Breakfast with benefits

If you’re struggling with morning sickness, or finding it hard to get up in the morning, breakfast is probably way down your list of priorities in pregnancy. We look at why it’s worth getting up for.

Rise and shine

Did you know breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight? They also tend to have more balanced diets, lose weight more effectively (if overweight) and are less at risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Brekkie gives you a much-needed energy boost after a long stretch of ‘fasting’ during the night (‘break-fast’ makes sense when you think about it!). Your body has been renewing and repairing itself overnight and, of course, growing a baby.

Eating a healthy breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives you the energy to get through to lunch. A morning meal also means you’re less likely snack later in the day, or over-indulge on not-so-healthy options when hunger hits you.

Feeling bleurgh? A light breakfast, as soon as you get up, will boost your blood sugar levels and hopefully ease the queasiness.

Breakfast club rules

Breakfast is a prime time to take in a variety of essential nutrients for you and your baby, such as B vitamins, folate, calcium and vitamin C.

Try to include food from each of these groups:

Starchy foods

To kick-start your metabolism and give you a boost of energy.

Cereals - quick and easy to prepare, often fortified with vitamins, iron and calcium. Great source of B vitamins. Just avoid the ones laden with sugar.

Bread (toast, rolls, English muffins, scones, malt loaf, fruit bread, currant buns, bagels, you name it) - choose wholegrain varieties for fibre.

Fruit and vegetables

Full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals, plus fibre (which will help your sluggish digestive system).

Fruit - an apple on the go, banana chopped on your cereal, dried fruit mixed in porridge or cereal, or mix up a smoothie.

Veg - if you have more time in the morning, try mushrooms, tomatoes or baked beans on toast.


Full of protein, calcium and B vitamins - all vitally important for your growing baby.

Milk - skimmed or semi-skimmed on your cereal, or whiz up a healthy milkshake.

Yoghurt - sprinkle fruit on natural yoghurt, or mix up a smoothie.

You might also fancy tucking into non-dairy sources of protein, like meat, for breakfast - but don’t be tempted to indulge in bacon sarnies every morning.

Breakfast menu - simple ideas for healthy breakfasts

Quick fixes

Sprinkle dried fruit, nuts and seeds on top of low-fat Greek yoghurt. Did you know Greek yoghurt has almost twice the protein of regular yoghurt? Great for a growing baby and busy mum-to-be.

Alternative toppings

Spread your bread, or bagel, with mashed banana and avocado; nut spread with slices of banana on top; or marmite and grilled low fat cheese.

Popeye eggs

Get a boost of iron, and other essential vitamins, by mixing a handful of spinach with your scrambled eggs and toast.

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Don’t forget, if you’re partial to eggs in the morning, make sure the yolk is cooked all the way through. This reduces the risk of salmonella food poisoning.

Find more easy breakfast ideas here

More tips for a healthy diet in pregnancy

  • 200 calorie pregnancy snacks

    How much should you eat in pregnancy? During most of your pregnancy you do not need to take in extra calories (over the recommended 2,000 a day for women). In the third trimester you should eat an extra 200 extra calories a day.

  • A portion of pizza.

    What is a portion?

    Choosing healthy foods is very important but the amount you eat is important too.

  • Swap sweet drinks for water.

    Food swaps for a healthy pregnancy

    In pregnancy it's important to eat well. If you are used to eating foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat, you can make a few changes that will be good for you and your baby.

  • Hard boiled egg and whole meal toast.

    10 super snacks to help your baby grow

    During pregnancy eating small more frequent meals can help with sickness. If you want a snack, there are lots of healthier options.

  • Vegetable curry

    6 delicious dinner recipes

    These healthy pregnancy recipes are great for your main meal of the day, when you have a little more time to prepare, cook and eat food.

  • Baked beans on toast

    7 easy pregnancy lunch ideas

    These meals are good for lunchtime, as they’re quick to make. Sandwiches and soups are great for taking to work, too.


Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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