Even when you're eating healthily, it can be hard to know how much you should eat. The amount you need to eat will depend on different things, such as your weight at the start of your pregnancy and how active you are. If you're worried about what's healthy for you, talk to your midwife or doctor.
Small fresh fruit
One portion could be two or more small fruit, such as:
- two plums
- two satsumas
- two kiwi fruit
- three apricots
- seven strawberries
- 14 cherries.
Medium fresh fruit
One portion could be one piece of fruit, such as one apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.
Large fresh fruit
One portion is:
- half a grapefruit
- one slice of papaya
- a 5cm slice of melon
- one large slice of pineapple
- two 5cm slices of mango.
What size should my meal be?
Meatballs in tomato sauce
This recipe makes 4 portions of about 180g.
300g beef mince
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large (400g) can chopped tomatoes
This recipe makes 4 portions of about 225g.
1 large (420g) can red salmon, drained (about 350g when drained) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible.)
3 spring onions, finely sliced
300ml boiling water
1/4 medium cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
Tuna and tomato pasta
This recipe makes 4 portions of about 300g.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
11/2 large (400g) cans chopped tomatoes with herbs (total of 600g)
1 teaspoon sugar250g dried pasta shapes such as penne
11/2 cans (185g) tuna in spring water, drained (210g drained weight) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible.)
When choosing food away from the home it can be more difficult to manage portion sizes. Often portions served in takeaways, restaurants and cafes are larger. This is tempting and likely to add extra calories to your day. Typically large portions are not the healthier foods!
When you’re choosing food out of home some things to think about include:
- Share the main course and bulk it out with a side of vegetables or salad.
- A starter size might be more than enough, again you can add a side of veg or salad if need be.
- Ask about taking leftovers away. Many restaurants will give you leftovers to takeaway. These can then be eaten another day (just remember to consider food safety if reheating.)
- When buying ready meals or pre-packaged foods, look for the portion size indicator.
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.
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.
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.
During pregnancy eating small more frequent meals can help with sickness. If you want a snack, there are lots of healthier options.
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.
These meals are good for lunchtime, as they’re quick to make. Sandwiches and soups are great for taking to work, too.
- Thanks to Dr Helen Crawley from the First Steps Nutrition Trust for allowing us to use recipes from her guide Eating well for a healthy pregnancy.
 Montpetit AE, et al. (2012). “Modelling the impact of prepregnancy BMI, physical activity and energy intake on gestational weigh gain, infant birth weight and postpartum weight retention.” Journal of physical activity and health 2012;9:1020-1029
 NHS Choices (2013). “5 a day portion sizes.” NHS choices; accessed online at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Portionsizes.aspx on 11.11.2014
 Eating well for a healthy pregnancy: A practical guide (2014) (see http://www.firststepsnutrition.org/newpages/Pregnancy/pregnancy_practica...)?
ℹLast reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.