Best foods for baby while pregnant
Pregnancy Diet: 13 Foods to Eat While Pregnant
Pregnant? Hangry? Looking for a snack that will make your tummy and your baby happy? You’re probably hearing it a lot: Eating nutritious foods while pregnant is essential.
We’re here to make your pantry into a one-stop shop of healthy and delicious foods that will give your baby the best start to life.
When building your healthy eating plan, you’ll want to focus on whole foods that give you higher amounts of the good stuff you’d need when not pregnant such as:
- vitamins and minerals
- healthy types of fat
- complex carbohydrates
- fiber and fluids
Here are 13 super nutritious foods to eat when you’re pregnant to help make sure you’re hitting those nutrient goals.
During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of your growing little one. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt should be on the docket.
Dairy products contain two types of high-quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, contains more calcium than most other dairy products and is especially beneficial. Some varieties also contain probiotic bacteria, which support digestive health.
If you’re lactose intolerant, you may also be able to tolerate yogurt, especially probiotic yogurt. Check with your doctor to see if you can test it out. A whole world of yogurt smoothies, parfaits, and lassi could be waiting.
This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts (aka all kinds of fabulous recipe ingredients!).
Legumes are great plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium — all of which your body needs more of during pregnancy.
Folate is one of the most essential B vitamins (B9). It’s very important for you and baby, especially during the first trimester, and even before.
You’ll need at least 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate every day, which can be a challenge to achieve with foods alone. But adding in legumes can help get you there along with supplementation based on your doctor’s recommendation.
Legumes are generally very high in fiber, too. Some varieties are also high in iron, magnesium, and potassium. Consider adding legumes to your diet with meals like hummus on whole grain toast, black beans in a taco salad, or a lentil curry.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious cooked about a thousand ways, they’re also rich in beta carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body.
Vitamin A is essential for baby’s development. Just watch out for excessive amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A, such as organ meats, which can cause toxicity in high amounts.
Thankfully, sweet potatoes are an ample plant-based source of beta carotene and fiber. Fiber keeps you full longer, reduces blood sugar spikes, and improves digestive health (which can really help if that pregnancy constipation hits).
For a fab brekky, try sweet potatoes as a base for your morning avocado toast.
Smoked on a whole wheat bagel, teriyaki grilled, or slathered in pesto, salmon is a welcome addition to this list. Salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that have a host of benefits.
These are found in high amounts in seafood, and help build the brain and eyes of your baby and can even help increase gestational length.
But wait: Have you been told to limit your seafood intake due to the mercury and other contaminants found in high mercury fish? You can still eat fatty fish like salmon.
Here are the high mercury fish to avoid:
- king mackerel
- bigeye tuna
- tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
Plus, salmon is one of the very few natural sources of vitamin D, which is lacking for most of us. It’s important for bone health and immune function.
Those incredible, edible eggs are the ultimate health food, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. A large egg contains about 80 calories, high-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are a great source of choline, a vital nutrient during pregnancy. It’s important in baby’s brain development and helps prevent developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine.
A single whole egg contains roughly 147 milligrams (mg) of choline, which will get you closer to the current recommended choline intake of 450 mg per day while pregnant (though more studies are being done to determine if that is enough).
Here are some of the healthiest ways to cook eggs. Try them in spinach feta wraps or a chickpea scramble.
No surprise here: Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, pack in so many of the nutrients you’ll need. Even if you don’t love eating them, they can often be squirreled into all kinds of dishes.
Benefits include fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. They’re a bonanza of green goodness.
Adding in servings of green veggies is an efficient way to pack in vitamins and fend off constipation due to all that fiber. Vegetables have also been linked to a reduced risk of low birth weight.
Try this kale eggs Florentine recipe or blend some spinach into a green smoothie and you won’t even know it’s in there.
Lean beef, pork, and chicken are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Beef and pork are also rich in iron, choline, and other B vitamins — all of which you’ll need in higher amounts during pregnancy.
Iron is an essential mineral that is used by red blood cells as a part of hemoglobin. You’ll need more iron since your blood volume is increasing. This is particularly important during your third trimester.
Low levels of iron during early and mid-pregnancy may cause iron deficiency anemia, which increases the risk of low birth weight and other complications.
It can be hard to cover your iron needs with meals alone, especially if you develop an aversion to meat or are vegetarian or vegan. However, for those who can, eating lean red meat regularly may help increase the amount of iron you’re getting from food.
Pro tip: Pairing foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges or bell peppers, along with iron-rich foods may also help increase absorption.
Toss some vitamin C-rich tomato slices on that turkey burger or whip up this steak and mango salad.
Berries hold a lot of goodness in their tiny packages like water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
Berries have a relatively low glycemic index value, so they should not cause major spikes in blood sugar.
Berries are also a great snack, as they contain both water and fiber. They provide a lot of flavor and nutrition, but with relatively few calories.
Some of the best berries to eat while pregnant are blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, strawberries, and acai berries. Check out this blueberry smoothie for some inspiration.
Unlike their refined counterparts, whole grains are packed with fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Think oats, quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries, and barley instead of white bread, pasta, and white rice.
Some whole grains, like oats and quinoa, also contain a fair amount of protein. They also hit a few buttons that are often lacking in pregnant people: B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium.
There are so many ways to adds whole grains to any meal, but we’re especially liking this quinoa and roasted sweet potato bowl.
Avocados are an unusual fruit because they contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids. This makes them taste buttery and rich — perfect for adding depth and creaminess to a dish.
They’re also high in fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
Because of their high content of healthy fats, folate, and potassium, avocados are a great choice during pregnancy (and always).
The healthy fats help build the skin, brain, and tissues of your little one, and folate may help prevent neural tube defects, developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine such as spina bifida.
Potassium may help relieve leg cramps, a side effect of pregnancy for some women. In fact, avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
Try them as guacamole, in salads, in smoothies, and on whole wheat toast, but also as a substitute for mayo or sour cream.
Dried fruit is generally high in calories, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. One piece of dried fruit contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just without all the water and in a much smaller form.
One serving of dried fruit can provide a large percentage of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and potassium.
Prunes are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. They’re natural laxatives and may be very helpful in relieving constipation. Dates are high in fiber, potassium, iron, and plant compounds.
However, dried fruit also contains high amounts of natural sugar. Make sure to avoid the candied varieties, which contain even more sugar.
Although dried fruit may help increase calorie and nutrient intake, it’s generally not recommended to consume more than one serving at a time.
Try adding a small portion to a trail mix with nuts and seeds for an on-the-go protein- and fiber-filled snack.
Fish liver oil is made from the oily liver of fish, most often cod. It’s rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are essential for fetal brain and eye development.
Supplementing with fish oil may help protect against preterm delivery and may benefit fetal eye development.
Fish liver oil is also very high in vitamin D, of which many people don’t get enough. It may be highly beneficial for those who don’t regularly eat seafood or supplement with omega-3 or vitamin D.
A single serving (1 tablespoon or 15 milliliters) of fish liver oil provides more than the recommended daily intake of omega-3, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
However, it’s not recommended to consume more than one serving per day, as too much preformed vitamin A can be dangerous for your baby. High levels of omega-3 may also have blood-thinning effects.
Low mercury fish like salmon, sardines, canned light tuna, or pollock can also help get you to your omega-3 goals.
Say it with me: We all have to stay hydrated. And pregnant folks especially. During pregnancy, blood volume increases by about 45 percent.
Your body will channel hydration to your baby, but if you don’t watch your water intake, you may become dehydrated yourself.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include headaches, anxiety, tiredness, bad mood, and reduced memory.
Increasing your water intake may also help relieve constipation and reduce your risk of urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy.
General guidelines recommend that pregnant women drink about 80 ounces (2.3 liters) of water daily. But the amount you really need varies. Check with your doctor for a recommendation based on your specific needs.
Keep in mind that you also get water from other foods and beverages, such as fruit, vegetables, coffee, and tea.
Pro tip: Try keeping a reusable water bottle on hand so that you can quench your thirst throughout the day.
Your growing baby is just waiting to slurp up all those nutrient-dense foods from a well-rounded eating plan of whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
There’s a whole world of delicious options that give you and your baby everything you’ll need. Keep your healthcare team informed of your eating choices and let them guide you on a plan with any necessary supplements.
This list should be a good start towards a healthy, well-nourished pregnancy.
Quick tips for foods to eat when pregnant
- Dairy products, especially yogurt, are a great choice. They help you meet increased protein and calcium needs.
- Legumes are super sources of folate, fiber, and many other nutrients. Folate is a very important nutrient during pregnancy.
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which your body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the growth and differentiation of cells in your growing baby.
- Salmon contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important for brain and eye development in your growing baby. It’s also a natural source of vitamin D.
- Whole eggs are incredibly nutritious and a great way to increase your overall nutrient intake. They also contain choline, an essential nutrient for brain health and development.
- Broccoli and leafy greens contain most of the nutrients that you’ll need. They’re also rich in fiber, which may help prevent or treat constipation.
- Lean meat is a good source of high-quality protein. Beef and pork are also rich in iron, choline, and B vitamins, all of which are important nutrients during pregnancy.
- Berries contain water, carbs, vitamin C, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds. They may help you increase your nutrient and water intake.
- Whole grains are packed with fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. They’re also rich in B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium.
- Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, folate, and potassium. They may help relieve leg cramps, too.
- Dried fruit may be highly beneficial for pregnant women since they’re small and nutrient-dense. Just make sure to limit your portions and avoid candied varieties, to prevent excess sugar intake.
- Drinking water is important as your blood volume increases during pregnancy. Adequate hydration may also help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections.
Fruits to Eat During Pregnancy: Nutritious Options
During pregnancy, your little one depends on you to provide the nutrition they need. That’s why it’s time to make sure you’re making the best food choices for baby — and for yourself.
It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and veggies. These powerful foods have much of what you — and your baby — need to stay healthy.
Let’s talk about the very best ones you’ll want to keep on hand. And don’t forget: Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are often just as nutritious as the fresh kind, so don’t feel like you have to get them all straight from the farmer’s market.
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat nutritious food and avoid empty calories. In fact, if you eat mostly junk food during your pregnancy, you may be setting up your baby for a lifelong preference for fat and sugar, according to a 2013 study.
Fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients. When you add a variety of them to your diet, you’ll likely get most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you and your baby need.
Eating fruits and vegetables also helps prevent constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy. Get thee to a produce aisle and you won’t regret it.
If you’re pregnant, you might be craving something sugary. But try not to make a habit of reaching for a piece of cake or a candy bar to satisfy that sweet tooth. Fruit is the perfect solution.
It offers the sweetness you crave and the nutrition you need. Enjoy these fruits as part of a healthy pregnancy diet in salads, in smoothies, over yogurt, or as a snack anytime.
Oranges help you stay hydrated. They’re also a great source of folate, or folic acid. Folate is a B vitamin that’s very important in helping prevent brain and spinal cord defects, also known as neural tube defects.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day before you start trying for a baby, then at least 600 mcg per day while pregnant.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, too. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. It also helps your body absorb iron.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that these little vitamin bombs are so tasty.
Mangoes are another great source of vitamin C. One cup gives you 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance.
Mangoes are also high in vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency at birth is associated with lower immunity and a higher risk of complications, like diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Although rare, it’s possible to get too much vitamin A, according to a 2019 research review. Mangoes are a great addition to your pregnancy diet, but eat them in moderation, along with a variety of other fruits.
Avocados have more folate than other fruits. They’re also a great source of:
- vitamin C
- vitamin B
- vitamin K
Some women say that avocados help relieve nausea, possibly because of the potassium and magnesium in the fruit.
Potassium may also help relieve leg cramps, a common pregnancy symptom. Leg cramps are often caused by low potassium and magnesium.
Choline is important for the development of your baby’s brain and nerves. Choline deficiency may cause neural tube defects and lifetime memory impairment.
Here are tons of ways to sneak delicious avo into your meals.
In one 2014 study, pregnant people reported some success in using lemons or lemon scent to help relieve pregnancy-related nausea.
Lemons are also high in vitamin C. They help stimulate the digestive system to relieve constipation.
Consider adding some to your water or tea or using them in this Mediterranean lemon chicken recipe.
Bananas are another good source of potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and fiber.
Constipation is very common during pregnancy. It may be caused by:
- uterine pressure on the intestines
- a low-fiber diet
- iron in prenatal vitamins
Adding fiber-rich bananas may help. Research from 2014 shows that vitamin B6 may help relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy as well.
Berries — such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and goji berries — are rich in all kinds of goodness, such as:
- vitamin C
They also contain phytonutrients like flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Carbohydrates give you much-needed energy, and they pass easily through your placenta to nourish your baby.
It’s important to eat mostly nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates like berries instead of processed, simple carbohydrates like doughnuts, cakes, and cookies.
Consider whipping up a smoothie with both bananas and berries for a vitamin-packed meal or snack.
Apples are high in fiber and are a good source of vitamin C. Plus, they contain vitamin A, potassium, and pectin. Pectin is a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
For the best bang for your nutrient buck, eat the peel — just make sure to rinse it with lots of water first.
Apples are portable and can be added to many recipes, so make sure to stock up when you’re filling your produce bag.
Medical professionals usually recommend eating two to four servings of fruit and four to five servings of vegetables each day.
In general, one serving of fruit is:
- a medium piece of whole fruit (about the size of a tennis ball)
- 1 cup of cut fruit
One serving size of vegetables is:
- 1/2 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
- 1/2 cup of vegetable juice
- 1 cup of leafy greens
When it comes to 100% fruit juices, as long as they’re pasteurized, they’re safe to drink. But you may miss out on some of the nutrients in juice form.
Dried fruit can also be used to get nutrients in an on-the-go form. Just be aware that they can be more calorie- and sugar-dense than their fresh counterparts.
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids than you take in. It’s always serious, but it’s especially concerning during pregnancy.
Water helps form the placenta and amniotic sac. It also supports your baby’s growth.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, your risk of dehydration is higher. To avoid dehydration, drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Because fruits contain water, they can help you stay hydrated.
If possible, purchase organic fruit that hasn’t been treated with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. But keep in mind that eating nonorganic fruit is much better than eating no fruit at all.
To lessen your risk of consuming pesticide residue or bacteria, follow these tips:
- Wash fruit thoroughly, even if it’s prewashed.
- Remove any bruised areas where bacteria may lurk.
- Drink only pasteurized or boiled fruit juice.
- Avoid eating precut melons, or eat them immediately after cutting.
- Store fresh fruit in the refrigerator, away from raw meat.
Eating fruit during pregnancy helps ensure that you and your baby stay healthy and ready to take on the world.
Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits are all good options. Just make sure no sugar has been added to canned or frozen varieties.
Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your pregnancy eating plan. If you need more advice on what to eat, here are 13 foods that are great choices.
What causes food cravings during pregnancy?
You may have heard that hormones or nutrient deficiencies cause pregnancy food cravings. For example, if you crave green apples, you may be deficient in pectin, potassium, or vitamin A. The truth is, it’s unclear what causes pregnancy cravings. You may simply want something that tastes tart and sweet. As long as you’re craving foods, it’s OK to give in now and then. If your cravings are unhealthy, try to find healthier alternatives. Call your doctor if you crave non-foods like laundry starch or dirt.
Nicole Galan, RNAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Nutrition during pregnancy - Geburtsinfo Wien
Many people think that pregnant women should eat "for two", that is, twice as much as usual. But it's not!
It is much more important to organize a healthy diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, milk, dairy products and high quality fats. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or unsweetened tea. Don't diet or fast, even for religious reasons. Diets and fasting are harmful to pregnant women. nine0003
Essential for healthy development of the child:
- folic acid: found in spinach, broccoli, egg yolk, tomatoes and bananas
- Iron: in meat, black pepper, cinnamon, parsley, beans, peas, lentils, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nuts
- Iodine: use iodized table salt!
- Calcium: in milk, dairy products, cabbage, broccoli, leeks, dill
Discuss all questions with your doctor and read the following information:
Dangerous and forbidden foods for pregnant women
During pregnancy, the entire female body changes. This can weaken the immune system, lowering the body's defenses. Therefore, at this time, infectious diseases are more severe than usual, which can jeopardize the health of the mother and unborn child.
Take precautions: When preparing and eating food, pay attention to the following two things:
- Practice strict hygiene when preparing and storing food. nine0010
- Avoid so-called dangerous foods.
Dangerous foods include:
- raw milk and raw milk products
Discard raw milk or boil it first.
Avoid raw milk products. You will recognize these products by their "Made with Raw Milk" label.
Remove the skin from the cheese and do not eat cheeses that ripen in the presence of slime microflora (eg tilsiter, quargel) and soft cheeses (eg camembert). nine0003
- Meat, fish and eggs
WARNING! Avoid oily predatory fish such as tuna, swordfish, halibut and pike. These fish often contain heavy metals.
Heavy metals are also found in giblets. Therefore, you will have to give up offal.
Avoid raw and undercooked fish and seafood, including sushi, oysters, and the like.
Avoid smoked and pickled fish, including smoked salmon, and gravaviloha.
Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs, meat or sausages. This list includes carpaccio, beef tartare, low to medium rare steak, salami, smoked sausage, hunting sausages, smoked ham, smoked meat, ham fat, soft-boiled eggs, fried eggs or raw egg dishes, including homemade tiramisu and the like.
Avoid alcohol and smoking. So far, no scientific study has been able to prove that alcohol, even in small doses, is not dangerous for pregnant women. Therefore: hands off alcohol! Be aware that flour products, sweets or cooked sauces may contain (residual) alcohol! nine0003
Don't take unnecessary risks and keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum. No more than 2-3 cups of coffee or 4 cups of green or black tea are allowed. Attention: Cold tea and coffee drinks, coca-cola, guarana drinks, many energy drinks and the like contain caffeine!
As a precaution, do not consume freshly squeezed and uncooked fruit and vegetable juices sold in stalls and shops.
Do not drink beverages containing quinine, such as gin and tonic, Bitter Lemon, etc.
Talk to your doctor and read the following information:
Quit All Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs During Pregnancy!
Do not drink alcohol during pregnancy! Even in small doses, alcohol can cause serious harm to a child. Alcohol acts like a poison on the nerves and brain, being one of the most common causes of anomalies in the development of the child. nine0003
Talk to your doctor and read the following information:
Stop smoking during pregnancy and avoid smoky rooms! Cigarettes contain nicotine and nearly 5,000 other chemicals. If inhaled, all of these substances can cause serious harm to your child. Pregnant women who smoke often have miscarriages or premature births. Children born to smoking mothers often suffer from asthma, allergies, pneumonia, bronchitis and other diseases. There is also an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. nine0003
Discuss all questions with your doctor and read the following information:
Do not use drugs or intoxicants during pregnancy! Drugs can seriously harm your baby's development and, in the worst case, lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. If you have an addiction, don't be ashamed of it and discuss the situation with your doctor. You can also contact specialized centers that advise drug addicts. nine0003
Talk to your doctor and read the following information:
Some medications are dangerous for pregnant women and unborn babies. If you are prescribed regular medication, tell your doctor that you are pregnant. Even if you are sick and must take medication, tell your doctor that you are pregnant. When purchasing medicines at a pharmacy, always warn that you are pregnant.
TOP-5 useful products for pregnant women
April 5, 2019
Pregnancy is an important and responsible period in the life of every woman, because during these months the control of not only her health, but the successful development of the baby depends on her.
For excellent well-being, every day you need to remember about the peculiarities of nutrition. Here are five healthy foods to add to your diet for expectant mothers. nine0003
What to add to the diet?
The products in the selection are united by a high content of protein - a "building material" for cells, which is useful for the development of the fetus.
This product is highly digestible and has unique properties. The composition of eggs includes essential amino acids for humans, it is not without reason that the World Health Organization has given the title of standard to egg white. The product is rich in many vitamins: A, B4, B12, D, E.
This fish is useful throughout the entire period of pregnancy, even in the very early stages. In addition to easily digestible protein, it contains a high content of phosphorus, which is involved in the formation of bone tissue in the fetus. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that are good for heart and vascular health. Also in the composition: B vitamins, calcium, iodine, potassium and vitamin D.
Beans, peas and lentils are very satisfying foods. Their advantage lies in the large amount of fiber necessary for the normal functioning of the digestive system. It also contains many B vitamins, including folic acid, which is directly involved in the formation of the brain and spinal cord. nine0003
Regular consumption of walnuts will charge the body with vitamins and minerals. Walnut kernels contain vegetable protein rich in amino acids, as well as B vitamins and vitamin E. It is believed that walnuts have an antispasmodic effect, which can help a pregnant woman with a headache if she does not want to take synthetic drugs. There is also an immunostimulating and restorative effect of nuts on the body.
Fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and fruits contain a lot of soluble fiber, which regulates bowel function and prevents constipation during pregnancy. They also contain many vitamins that are useful for the immunity of the expectant mother.