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Fruit and vegetables in your pregnancy diet

fruit and vegetables

Key points

  • Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables helps provide the nutrients needed to support your baby’s development
  • Fruit and vegetables are packed with important vitamins, minerals fibre and antioxidants
  • Aim for 2 servings of fruit and 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

As well as adding variety and colour to your diet, fruit and vegetables are packed with powerful vitamins, nutrients, fibre and antioxidants — all important for a healthy pregnancy. They provide key nutrients, such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and folic acid, which all contribute to your baby’s growth and development. As well as being packed with nutrients they are low in kilojoules which makes them a great choice when trying to keep to the recommended weight gain for mothers during pregnancy.

How many serves of fruit should I have each day?

Aim to eat 2 servings of fruit per day. This can be from a range of colours. You can buy fruit fresh, frozen, dried or tinned. A 125mL glass of fruit juice can also count as one of your servings, look for a fruit juice that contains no added sugar.

What counts as a fruit serving?

  • 1 medium apple or orange
  • 1 cup of canned fruit
  • 2 small kiwifruit or apricot
  • ½ cup of fruit juice with no added sugar
  •  ½ cup stewed fruit

How many serves of vegetables should I have each day?

It is important to include plenty of vegetables in your diet. Try dark green leafy vegetables as they are good sources of iron and folate, all important for the development of your baby during pregnancy.Aim for at least 4–5 servings per day of vegetables from a variety of colours. Examples of different colours can include:

  • Yellow: capsicum, zucchini, kumara/sweet potato
  • Orange: capsicum, carrots, pumpkin
  • Dark green: spinach, kale, lettuce, courgette
  • Red: capsicum, beetroot

What counts as a vegetable serving?

Serving size examples include:

  • 1 cup of lettuce
  • ½ cup tinned beetroot
  • ½ medium kumara/sweet potato
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ cup cooked taro or watercress
  • ½ cup cooked bok choy

The protective properties of fruit and vegetables

Eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables will provide many of the nutrients needed to support your baby’s development. It also lowers your risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.The following are some easy ways to increase your intake:

  • Buy frozen fruit and vegetables; aside from the convenience, they can be cheaper than fresh varieties and the nutrient content is well preserved
  • Snack on vegetables, such as carrots or celery sticks
  • Add extra vegetables to home-cooked meals
  • Try tinned fruit and vegetables, ensuring there is no added salt or sugar
  • Vegetable soups
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