Pregnancy eating meal plans

Stay healthy and boost your energy during your pregnancy with these tasty meal plans

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  • Between morning sickness, bloating and cravings, it can be hard to stay on the straight and narrow with food when you’re expecting. But when you do make healthier choices, your body and bump thank you for it. Nutritionist Patrick Holford, who has devised three days of meal plans for mums-to-be exclusively for MFM, explains. “Pregnancy is the perfect time to focus on improving your diet since both you and your baby need the best in terms of nutrients for giving you energy, and your baby the best chance of being super-healthy.”

    All you need to do is pick a plan and follow it for the day – or just try one of the meals and see how you get on. To include as many bump-loving vitamins as possible, Patrick’s plans have some unusual ingredients. But you can find them in your supermarket – be brave and ask if you can’t spot them! As you feel your energy levels rising, you’ll want to indulge more and more.

    Try this

    If you’re not keen on eating fruit whole, try chopping it or slicing it. You’ll know how this appeals if you have a toddler!

  • Plan 1

    Breakfast - Berry booster

    Blend together one tub of natural yoghurt, two handfuls of mixed berries (eg strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrants), a tablespoon of oatbran and two heaped tablespoons of freshly ground seeds (half flax, half pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, whizzed up in a coffee grinder).

    Morning snack

    An apple and some almonds with a decaffeinated tea.

    Lunch  - Red cabbage and mixed vegetable salad

    Mix half a cup of chopped red cabbage and half a cup of chopped broccoli, two grated carrots, two sliced celery sticks, two chopped spring onions and half a pack of smoked or marinated tofu in your choice of dressing, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper. Once prepared, serve with wholegrain rye bread.

    Dinner  - Roasted vegetables with pesto-crusted chicken or salmon

    Coat an organic chicken breast or salmon fillet (organic salmon or cod works well) 
in pesto and add to a baking tray of part-roasted vegetables (eg new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, onions, garlic, red and yellow peppers) and cook for a further 10-20 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper before serving.


    Liquidise frozen raspberries and bananas to a smooth purée.

    How it helps your pregnancy body

    The omega-3 in salmon boosts energy while the bananas contain vitamin B6 for your baby’s developing brain.

    For inbetweens

    Indulge, but not too much, with Green & Black’s 35g bars of organic dark chocolate. 81p from major supermarkets.   

  • Plan 2

    Breakfast - Eggs & spinach

    Scramble two free-range or organic eggs and serve on oatcakes with a slice of omega-3 rich smoked salmon. Top with spinach wilted in a vegetable steamer. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

    Morning snack

    A pear and some pecan nuts with a decaffeinated tea.

    Lunch - Filled jacket potato with fennel and tomato salad

    Top a baked potato with hummus, baked beans, ratatouille or guacamole. To make the salad, finely chop a bulb of fennel lengthways and mix with sliced tomatoes, a tablespoon of cold-pressed seed oil and lemon juice, then season with freshly ground black pepper.

    Dinner  - Chickpea and apricot tagine

    Make a basic tomato sauce with a tin of chopped tomatoes, a chopped onion and garlic softened in olive oil. Stir in some ready-chopped red chilli to taste, and a pinch of ground cumin and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add a handful of chopped dried apricots, a tin of chickpeas and three handfuls of chopped mixed veg (e.g. sugar snap peas, courgettes and baby corn) and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then stir in a handful of freshly chopped coriander and serve with couscous, quinoa or brown rice.


    Purée a handful of apricots (fresh or dried) with half a cup of low-fat curd cheese (like cream cheese) lightened with two whisked egg whites.

    How it helps your pregnancy body

    Chickpeas contain phytoestrogens, which help reduce hot flushes while apricots are perfect for upping your fibre intake and stopping pregnancy constipation.

    For inbetweens

    Oatcakes are a healthy alternative to crisps. Nairn’s Oatcakes, Oat Biscuits and Oat Bakes (from 44p) are available in most good supermarkets.

  • Plan 3

    Breakfast - Boiled or poached egg and juice

    Boil or poach an egg and serve on wholegrain rye bread, with orange or apple juice diluted half and half with water.

    Morning snack

    Strawberries and some pumpkin seeds with a decaffeinated tea.

    Lunch - Wholemeal pasta provençal

    Wholemeal pasta (60g) served with a tomato-based sauce (tin of chopped tomatoes, a few black olives, basil and pine nuts) topped with shaved parmesan. Serve with leaves such as watercress, spinach and rocket salad.

    Dinner  - Mackerel kedgeree

    Cook some brown basmati rice, boil some peas and combine with small pieces of smoked mackerel, with lots of chopped parsley, black pepper with a big squeeze of lemon.


    Low-fat flavoured yoghurt with a sprinkling of raisins, sultanas and dried apricots.

    How it helps your pregnancy body

    Wholemeal pasta will help regulate your blood sugar levels (stopping you wanting to reach for the chocolate). Mackerel has more of that wonderful omega-3, so you’ll be really alert and have a great store of energy while the watercress, spinach and rocket are packed full of healthy vitamins for you and your baby.

    For inbetweens

    Redbush tea is a stronger-tasting, caffeine-free alternative if you like hot drinks but aren’t keen on peppermint or chamomile. This relaxing beverage is naturally rich in antioxidants, as hydrating as water and will make a refreshing iced drink on a summer’s day. It costs from £1.69 for 40 bags from all the major supermarkets.


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