Eating During Pregnancy

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What foods should you eat? What foods should you  not eat? Are you really eating for two? Why are you thinking about ice cream all the time?  Being pregnant often comes with many questions. And we want to help you find good answers. By making healthy eating a priority, you can help give your baby a healthy start in life.

Eat good, healthy food.

Pregnant women need about 300 more calories a day.  Be sure to eat good,  healthy foods.

Below is a chart of some of the most common nutrients you need and the foods that  have them:


Needed For

Best Sources


Cell growth and blood production

Lean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, beans, peanut butter, tofu


Daily energy production

Breads, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits, vegetables


Strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve function

Milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines or salmon with bones, spinach


Red blood cell production (to prevent anemia)

Lean red meat, spinach, iron-fortified whole-grain breads and cereals

Vitamin A

Healthy skin, good eyesight, growing bones

Carrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes

Vitamin C

Healthy gums, teeth and bones, help with iron absorption

Citrus fruit, broccoli, fortified fruit juices

Vitamin B6

Red blood cells, effective use of protein, fat and carbohydrates

Pork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananas

Vitamin B12

Helps red blood cells, maintaining nervous system health

Meat, fish, poultry, milk (Note: vegetarians who don’t eat dairy products need B12 vitamins.)

Vitamin D

Healthy bones and teeth, aids absorption of calcium

Fortified milk, dairy products, cereals, and breads

Folic acid

Blood and protein production, effective enzyme function

Green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, nuts


Body energy stores

Meat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils (Note: limit fat intake to 30% or less of your total daily calorie intake.)

Make sure food is safe for your baby.

Making sure food is safe for your baby. It might help to have  a list that  tells you what’s safe and what’s not. Find out what foods may be risky during pregnancy.

Have weird pregnancy cravings? It’s okay.

If you feel like you could eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe a snack, you’re not alone. Up to 68% of women have cravings.

Some pregnant women start craving strange foods. Here are some common and not-so-common cravings:

  • Brownies with mustard
  • Peanut butter and cheese
  • Nachos with extra jalapeños
  • Gummi bears
  • Horseradish
  • Cheese dipped in ketchup
  • Root beer
  • Pickle chips on chocolate cookies
  • Watermelon
  • Tabasco sauce on all types of food.

You can give in to your cravings from time to time. Makes sure what you’re craving is safe for you and your baby. Also, be sure that most of the time you eat healthy. Learn more about healthy eating for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Join the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.

Did you know that if you are pregnant, you can get healthy food for free? Sign up for the WIC Program. WIC can be used to buy healthy groceries. This can help you keep a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Have questions on the WIC Program or want to find out how to sign up? Need help finding an office near you? Call 1-800-228-9173 or visit the WIC Program website.

Have questions about eating healthy while pregnant?

Maternal Care Team: 1-833-230-2034 (TTY: 1-800-750-0750 or 711).