Maternal and infant health and nutritional status can be influenced by diet before and during pregnancy. Food properties as well as individual and environmental factors can influence dietary choices. While dietary decisions are not always rational, there is a window of opportunity to have a long term, positive influence on women’s dietary choices in the ‘pre- and during pregnancy’ stages. In this presentation, Prof Makrides presents the findings from a systematic review of studies which assessed modifiable individual and environmental factors influencing dietary behaviour during the preconception period and pregnancy. She also highlights strategies which have been shown to be effective in encouraging healthier dietary choices. Healthcare professionals are in a key position to influence dietary changes. A collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to develop, test and implement these strategies is essential for long-term success. Long-term eating habits can be changed by influencing dietary choices made during early pregnancy. These can improve maternal and child nutrition beyond the immediate prenatal period.