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Photo By: Anna Maria Liljestrand

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Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time when a child or children grow in the womb. During this period several physical changes occur in the women, including increased nutrient needs. (Wikipedia, nd).

Eating the right and right amount of food during pregnancy is so important for you and your baby. It really does matter which nutritional sources you pull from as you pack on that recommended extra 300 calories a day. The end result benefits are pretty unmistakable according to what to expect.


Foods to Eat:

Foods to Eat: Eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, including:

  • Leafy green vegetables (folate)
  • Beans and legumes (protein, folate, iron, choline)
  • Citrus fruits (folate)
  • Eggs (choline)
  • Lean meats (protein, iron)
  • Beef (protein, iron, choline)
  • seafood (protein, iron, omega-3 fats)
  • lowfat dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese (calcium)
  • whole grain and/or fortified breads, cereals, rice and pasta (iron, folate)
  • tofu (protein, calcium)
  • calcium-fortified juices and cereals
  • dried fruits (iron)

Foods to Avoid:

  • unpasteurized milk, cheese and other dairy products
  • soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk, such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco
  • undercooked or smoked seafood
  • raw eggs
  • homemade eggnog made from raw eggs
  • raw or undercooked fish (sushi)
  • raw cookie batter or cake batter
  • raw shellfish, such as oysters and clams
  • smoked seafood unless has been cooked to 165 degrees
  • unpasteurized meat spreads or pates
  • unpasteurized juice or cider (including fresh squeezed)
  • raw sprouts, such as alfalfa, clover, mung mean, and radish sprouts
  • unwashed vegetables and fruits
  • beer, wine, and alcohol in any form
  • herbal products, like pills and teas (not enough is known about these products to know if they’re safe during pregnancy)

Additional Considerations:

Fluids: During pregnancy, you should strive to drink 10 cups of beverages each day to keep hydrated.

However you should limit:

  • caffeine (limit to 200 mg a day or about a 12-ounce cup of coffee)
  • seafood (see page on seafood to eat, limit and avoid)
  • hot dogs, deli and luncheon meats (reheat before eating)
  • extra calories from added sugars and fats
  • regular soda
  • sweets
  • fried snacks


For more information about pregnancy, check these links:

Practice Paper: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome

Kitchology Blog

Dieting During Your Pregnancy