Affordable ways to maximise your nutrition during pregnancy

As South African consumers we have become accustomed to the term ‘tightening your belt’ which means to live more frugally and to spend money wisely in this cash strapped economy.

South African’s spend on average around R1403 per month on groceries, that can be compounded by the stress of other monthly expenses specifically when one is trying to make better food choices and save for a growing family.

Considering this, here are a few actionable tips to help expectant mothers in maintain a healthy diet by making strategic choices and using available resources to ensure that your developing baby gets all the nutrients needed without breaking the bank.

Plan your meals
Planning your meals in advance will help you make sure you have all the necessary ingredients, avoid impulse buys, and stay within your budget. You can create a budget-friendly shopping list by including affordable yet nutritious items that provide all the nutrients for your growing baby and provide satiety for mum.

Look at simple, cost-effective meals by adopting small habits like avoiding pre-packed portions or doing a weekly scan of supermarket savings to stretch your rand further. Having a written list makes it easier to analyse your food intake and will help you avoid food and financial waste. Instead of wasting food, find ways to repurpose and use leftovers. For example, leftover vegetables can be turned into a stir-fry or soup, and leftover meat can be added to salads or sandwiches.

Keep it homegrown
Local markets and street vendors often offer fresh produce at lower prices compared to supermarkets. By shopping at these places, you can save money while still getting fresh and nutritious ingredients for your meals.

Consider planting a small kitchen garden where you can grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs which can be a cost-effective way to supplement your diet with fresh and nutritious foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C and E; folic acid and calcium that are important for a healthy pregnancy.

Your baby is what you eat
Protein is an essential nutrient during pregnancy, but it can also be expensive. To ensure you are getting enough protein without breaking the bank, opt for affordable protein sources such as beans, lentils, eggs, and canned fish like sardines or pilchards.

Avoid processed foods as they tend to be more expensive and often lack nutritional value. Rather incorporate affordable staple foods such as maize meal, rice, and potatoes into your diet, these foods are often budget-friendly and provide necessary carbohydrates for energy. Water is an essential component of a healthy diet, especially during pregnancy. Make water your main beverage and avoid sugary drinks, which can be expensive and provide empty calories.

You can also download the Philips Pregnancy+ app which is an additional valuable resource for expectant parents. The app supports parents and baby in a healthy and safe pregnancy and provides a comprehensive guide through all stages of pregnancy.

“We’ve been helping families around the world for over 100 years, and we know that nourishing your body is important for the health and safety of you and your baby. Prioritising certain food groups, managing portions, and staying within a budget ensures that you and your baby receive the necessary nutrients for optimal health and development,” says Nelisiwe Xundu Consumer Marketing Lead: Personal Health Africa.

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