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Feeding a growing family on a budget

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Feeding a growing family on a budget

During pregnancy your body undergoes major changes so that your body can support growing baby. What you eat contributes to many things. This includes how your body adapts to pregnancy, how it manages common pregnancy issues such as nausea, constipation and fatigue. Nutrition also sets up the path for the future health of your baby, as well as your own health well beyond pregnancy.

About two thirds of pregnant women aren’t aware of what types of food to eat, how much of each food group to eat, or what nutrients are important during pregnancy.

Key nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy include iron, folate, vitamin D, choline, zinc, calcium, iodine and omega 3. If you are planning a pregnancy, it is a good time to check out the healthiness of your usual eating patterns, and make some tweaks. The goal is to include foods that are rich in these nutrients and work towards a healthy weight range. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits before pregnancy provides a strong foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

Knowing what types of foods to eat, and how much, can feel overwhelming. Even more so if you’re trying to stick to a budget and feed a young family! To help, our team of dietitians and nutritionists have created two healthy and budget friendly, weekly meal plans. These include 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a family of two adults and a toddler for less than $140 per week, with all the recipes located on our No Money No Time website.

Use these resources to help your family boost their healthy eating. We’ve included snack ideas to increase key fertility and pregnancy nutrients, both yours and your partner’s. To help you navigate the supermarket and unfamiliar ingredients, we’ve included both pictorial and written shopping lists, with quantities needed for the week.

Click here to access our NMNT Family Meal Plans*:

Meal Plan Week 1 (with shopping lists)

Meal Plan Week 2 (with shopping lists)

*These meal plans are designed to meet the daily nutrient needs of two adults – a male and female (planning pregnancy), and a  3-year-old toddler.

Each meal has been adjusted to make 2 full serves for each adult, and a 0.5 serve for the toddler. Most meals are eaten twice in the week and could be made in larger quantities to save even more cooking time.

The shopping list includes ingredients to make the number of serves needed for all meals. Prices are based on regional supermarket prices, and seasonal availability. This means prices may vary over the year. If you cannot find, or do not have some of the ingredients in each recipe, check common ingredient substitutes here, ‘Simple Swaps’

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz