Pregnant women reveal what they’re really eating

Are you a risky eater while pregnant – munching away on sushi and cold meat? No need to hang your head in shame, you’re certainly not alone. An insightful survey has given us a glimpse into what women are are chowing down on while with child – it’s both comforting, and in some cases, concerning.

When we find out we’re pregnant, women usually start off with the best of intentions. We make sure we eat well, to ensure our growing bub has access to the right nutrition. A survey of 2,300 women conducted by American Baby and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has revealed 70 per cent of mummas-to-be begin to eat healthier when they become pregnant.

However, 12 per cent are eating one or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables a day – many blaming pregnancy for putting them off their food.

Conversely, cravings had around 80 per cent of the respondents devouring ice cream, chips, chocolate and lollies.

But on a positive note, 90 per cent gave up alcohol, almost 80 per cent ensured they started the day with breakfast, and 85 per cent stick to the guidelines for the amount of caffeine recommended during pregnancy.

Almost half the women surveyed admit they have taken a risk with listeria, by indulging in cold deli meats, while 30 per cent ate undercooked eggs, meat or fish.

Dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Jennifer McDaniel says many pregnant women are missing out on the tools they need to make smarter choices.

“If they aren’t told the reason behind a nutrition recommendation, the message gets lost or ignored because they don’t know why it’s important.”

The American Baby Pregnancy and Nutrition Survey also found that more than 60 per cent of mums-to-be are concerned about putting on weight during pregnancy.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines for pregnancy advise:

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by continuing to be active, and choosing foods that meet your energy needs.
  • Eating foods including vegetables, fruit, grain, lean meats, and some dairy each day.
  • Drinking plenty of water.

If you’re keen to learn more about food and pregnancy, have a look through our archives. We’ve reported on bizarre pregnancy cravings, how mums-to-be shouldn’t eat for two, the risks of drinking too much caffeine while pregnant and a study into how baby brain may cause pregnancy weight gain.

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