A healthy, balanced diet

A healthy, balanced diet

Your pregnancy is even more reason to strive for a healthy, balanced diet, both for your own health and the healthy development of your baby. So which foods should you avoid? How can you be sure that your tasty meals are well-balanced? This is what our experts have to say on the matter.

Should I eat more during pregnancy ?


The answer is no! In fact, the body adapts during pregnancy*, this is why it is pointless to eat more or to take supplements systematically, unless your doctor thinks it is necessary. Instead it is a matter of being more aware of what you are eating and making sure that you fulfil all your new nutritional requirements and even incorporating one or two snacks. Snacks allow you to avoid large meals and help prevent nausea and also help improve your digestion, whilst ensuring that you don’t feel hungry and don’t just constantly graze.**

EXPERT ADVICE: nutritional advice during pregnancy, zoom on vitamin B9

EXPERT ADVICE: nutritional advice during pregnancy, zoom on vitamin B9

During pregnancy, vitamin B9 intake, also referred to as folic acid or folates, must increase from 300 mg per day to 400 µg in food.

To ensure that you are getting enough, you can carry on eating liver, nutritional yeast, egg yolk, shallots and soya protein, which are all naturally rich in folic acid, as well as certain foods with added vitamin B9 (cereals or biscuits).***

A folic acid supplement may be prescribed by the healthcare professional monitoring your pregnancy. The primary aim of this supplement is to reduce the risk of anomalies in neural tube closing (spina bifida).

Which foods does a balanced diet include ?

Which foods does a balanced diet include?

Let’s go over a little check-list for a balanced diet:

  • 5 fruit and vegetables a day
  • 1 carbohydrate at each meal (grains, pulses, bread, pasta…)
  • Dairy products (cheese and/or yoghurt): 3 times a day
  • Protein (meat, fish or egg): 1 or 2 times a day
  • As much still water or herbal tea as you like


Remember to keep your diet as varied as possible.


Our tips :

– Have a big breakfast, or, if you are suffering from morning sickness, divide your food intake over a small breakfast and a snack at about 10 AM if necessary

– Avoid missing meals

EXPERT ADVICE: how much weight gain is normal over these 9 months?

Balanced weight gain for a relaxed pregnancy: yes, but how much weight?

Don’t compare how many kilos you have gained with how many your friends, sisters-in-law etc. gained: the “ideal” weigh gain during pregnancy is based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) before your pregnancy. This is calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height in metres squared. For a so-called “normal” BMI (between 18.5 and 25), the ideal would be to gain between 9kg and 12kg, bearing in mind that in general you will gain less weight at the beginning of a pregnancy and on average 2kg/month during the 3rd trimester. Weight gain is specific to each individual, so talk about it with your gynaecologist or midwife.


How can I protect myself against toxoplasmosis, listeriosis or salmonellosis ?

During pregnancy, risks associated with diet need to be taken into consideration in order to avoid these illnesses and the impact that they can have on the health of your baby.

This means that you need to wait 9 months before you can start eating any of the following again:

  • raw or smoked meat, fish, shellfish and crustaceans (carpaccio, tartar, sushi…),
  • certain kinds of fish with a high mercury content (swordfish, whiting, siki…),
  • cured meats (rillettes, pâté, foie gras, raw ham, cured sausage, liver mousse…),
  • unpasteurised cheeses.

Rest assured, you can continue to enjoy cooked ham, well-cooked meat and fish, pasteurised, rindless cheese, hard-boiled eggs or omelette, cooked crustacean.


  • For more informations, you can check out our tool on Do’s and Dont’s of diet during pregnancy.
Related news

Our over products to discover

Questions / Answers

Sleeping on the left or right side is the safest position. It is more dangerous to sleep on your back, and even though, there is no real reason to worry (opinion of the National Health Service).
Some women do prefer to sleep on their left side to liberate the vena cava and encourage better blood circulation.

Generally speaking, feeling tired is common during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Fatigue is a result of hormonal changes in particular… Progesterone, for example, a hormone that is secreted during pregnancy, has sedative properties and acts like a natural sleeping tablet! Energy levels tend to be higher during the 2nd trimester and sleep improves and becomes more replenishing. During the 3rd trimester, however, sleep can be disturbed (insomnia, discomfort, need to urinate, cramps..). At the end of pregnancy, tiredness can also be related to the extra weight you have gained and your bump which makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep.
All of this varies from woman to woman.

The mother’s diet during pregnancy is essential for baby’s development. It is during pregnancy that baby experiences different flavours for the first time and starts to develop their own food preferences. So it is important to ensure that you have a healthy, balanced and varied diet and that you avoid food that is not recommended for pregnant women. To get a good understanding of the types of food that are recommended and those which should be avoided or limited during pregnancy, you can take a look at and download our information sheet: My diet during pregnancy