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Healthy Start to Life Starts in the Womb

Registered Nutritionist Dr Rana Conway is one of the country's leading experts on nutrition in pregnancy. Here she shares her tips for a healthy diet in pregnancy ....

Research shows that the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to a child's second birthday, are the most significant for health and development. So what you eat when you're pregnant can have a positive impact on the eating habits of your child. During the first two trimesters, a healthy balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, protein-rich foods, dairy foods and unrefined carbohydrates, like whole grains, will provide all the nutrients your growing baby needs.
In the first trimester eating at least a small breakfast can help relieve the symptoms of morning sickness, and if you eat breakfast you're more likely to get all the nutrients you need. By the second trimester you have six months to give your bump lots of good nutrients, and what you eat between now and the birth will have a big effect on your child's future health. In the last trimester you need an extra 200kcal a day as your baby's weight increases to get ready for birth - you won't need more than this because your body adapts to help you get the extra nutrients you need.

pregnant woman
Your baby's first food is the amniotic fluid in the womb. Research shows that the foods you eat whilst pregnant will change its flavour, so your unborn child experiences these new tastes. There also appears to be a link between the foods mums eat frequently during pregnancy and the foods their children grow up to enjoy, this is because babies become familiar with and remember the flavours they first tasted in the womb.

“I ate a lot of spicy food when I was pregnant with Megan and now she loves hot food. I didn't eat vegetables much but made sure I got my goodness through fruit and Megan loves fruit and hates vegetables.” Uri, Mum to Megan and Jake
“I ate a lot of fruit, cheese and marmite and my little one seems to love all three”. Leanna, Mum to Charlie
“I had cravings for raw carrot sticks and would munch on them. Now Oliver loves carrots, they are the first thing to go on his plate!” Emma, Mum to Oliver
During pregnancy you may develop a sweet tooth or crave salty snacks, and if you eat more junk food you'll probably end up eating less of the good stuff. Plus, when mums-to-be eat a high Glycaemic Index (GI) diet – and most junk foods are high GI foods – babies in the womb are exposed to slightly higher levels of glucose.

Try these tips:

4 Great reasons to avoid the junk during pregnancy

1. Eat whole natural foods and your baby will get more of the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.
2. When your baby grows up they'll be at a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
3. A healthy diet means less weight gain, a healthier pregnancy and an easier birth.
4. It could reduce the risk of your baby developing a taste for foods high in sugar and salt, which may also help you avoid food fights in the future.

6 Junk Food swaps to keep cravings under control:

1. Chocolate. SWAP WITH: strawberries dipped in a good quality dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids.
2. Ice cream. SWAP WITH: sliced banana with natural yogurt, a swirl of honey and some flaked almonds.
3. Crisps. SWAP WITH: plain or lightly salted popcorn.
4. Cake. SWAP WITH: toasted wholemeal bagel with mashed banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
5. Fizzy drinks. SWAP WITH: Pure fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.
6. Chewy sweets. SWAP WITH: a small handful of dried apricots or raisins.
Bump to Baby Organix
We asked a few mums to share their food experiences, this is what they said:

Dr Rana Conway is working with Organix to help mums-to-be enjoy good food during their pregnancy, with simple and practical advice at every stage, and delicious, healthy recipes for each trimester. For advice on a healthy diet to nourish your growing baby, ideas on how to cope with food cravings, and useful tips on how you can avoid the junk you can download your free copy of the Organix Little Book of Good Food – Bump to Baby at www.organix.com/bumptobaby
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