Pregnant women need to get more nutrients, such as iron, protein, folic acid and iodine. You should also get enough calcium.
Smart food choices will help you to have a healthy pregnancy. These are some tips to help you eat well during pregnancy.
Maintain a healthy eating habit.
Healthy eating means using a wide variety of healthy foods and beverages.
- Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and protein food options.
- Eat and drink foods that have less sugar, saturated fats, sodium, and salt.
- Avoid refined grains and starches such as white bread and cookies.
- Try eating whole-grain toast or crackers if you feel sick.
Find out more about healthy eating.
The right amount of calories to you.
Pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat twice the food.
- First trimester (first 12 weeks) – Most women don’t need extra calories.
- Second Trimester (13 to26 weeks) – Women need approximately 340 more calories per day.
- The 26th week of pregnancy – Women need approximately 450 calories more per day.
Discuss with your doctor and midwife the amount of calories you should consume during pregnancy.
Create your own Daily Food Plan.
Make healthy snack choices.
Healthy snacks include:
- Low-fat, fat-free yogurt with fruits (look out for options without added sugar)
- Whole-grain crackers containing fat-free or low-fat butter
- Carrots with Hummus
Every day, take a prenatal vitamin that contains iron, folic acid and iodine.
- Folic Acid helps to prevent certain congenital spinal and brain disorders.
- Iron, iodine and vitamin B help you and your baby stay healthy.
Discuss with your doctor and nurse the best prenatal vitamin for you.
Consume 8-12 ounces of seafood per week.
Healthy fats are good for your baby and you, and fish and shellfish provide healthy fats. Some fish can contain high levels of mercury, which can cause problems for your baby’s development. Consuming seafood rich in healthy fats and lower in mercury is a smart idea.
These options are lower in mercury, so you can eat 8-12 ounces per week.
- Canned light tuna
If you don’t consume any seafood during the week, you can eat up to 4 ounces of this fish per week.
- Fresh white (albacore tuna) or canned
- Chilean seabass or striped bass
- Yellowfin tuna
Fish to Avoid
You should not eat bigeye tuna or king mackerel, marlins, orange roughy sharks, swordfish, tilefish, or marlin. They are high in mercury.
Find out more about choosing safe and healthy fish to eat. [PDF – 308KB].
Don’t eat certain foods.
These foods could contain bacteria that can cause harm to your baby. Avoid:
- Uncooked (undercooked) shellfish or fish, such as sushi or raw oysters
- Soft cheeses like feta, Brie and goat cheese, unless pasteurized
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- Unpasteurized juices or milk
- Hot dogs, smoked seafood, lunch or deli meats and hot dogs, except that they are heated to steaming hot
- Prepared salads like ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad
- Raw sprouts including clover, radish and alfalfa
Find out more about foods to avoid while pregnant.
Avoid caffeine and added sugars.
- Decaf is recommended for those who drink tea or coffee. Choose unsweetened alternatives and don’t add any sugar.
- Replace sugary drinks like soda and fruit drinks with water or seltzer.