Eat Healthy during Pregnancy

Eat Healthy during Pregnancy

Making smart food choices can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Don’t forget breakfast.

  • Try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fruit. Fortified cereals have added nutrients, like iron or calcium.
  • If you are feeling sick, start with 100% whole-grain toast. Eat more food later in the morning.

Eat foods with fiber.

  • Vegetables and fruits, like green peas, spinach, pears, and bananas
  • Whole grains, like brown rice and oatmeal
  • Beans, like black beans and kidney beans

Choose healthy snacks.

  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit
  • Whole-grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese

Take a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid every day.

Iron keeps your blood healthy. Folic acid helps prevent some birth defects. Talk with your doctor or nurse about a prenatal vitamin that’s right for you.

Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood each week.

  • A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • Eat a variety of seafood 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Avoid fish and shellfish with high levels of mercury. Don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.
  • Canned light tuna has less mercury than albacore (white) tuna. If you choose albacore, limit it to 6 ounces a week.
  • Fish that are low in mercury include salmon, sardines, and shrimp.

Stay away from soft cheeses and lunch meats.

Some foods may have bacteria in them that can hurt your baby. Don’t eat:

  • Soft cheeses like feta, Brie, and goat cheese
  • Uncooked or undercooked meats or fish (like sushi)
  • Lunch meats and hot dogs, unless they are heated until steaming hot

Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol.

  • Drink decaffeinated coffee or tea.
  • Drink water or seltzer instead of soda.
  • Don’t drink alcohol.