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What foods are recommended for Pregnant Woman

When an expecting mom eats the right food for pregnant women, this lessens the risk of her child developing illnesses that could carry on into adulthood. For as long as you are within the recommended number of calories during pregnancy, eating the right balance of nutrient-rich foods and steering clear of foods to avoid while pregnant helps the little one stay healthy from birth and beyond.

4 mins to read Aug 10, 2016


To get all the nutrients needed, eat a wide selection of the best foods for pregnancy. Your recommended daily servings include:

  • 6 to 11 servings of breads and grains
  • 2 to 4 servings of fruit
  • 4 or more servings of vegetables
  • 4 servings of dairy products
  • 3 servings of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts)
  • Very little intake of fats and sweets


Food for pregnant women should contain the right vitamins and minerals. Prenatal vitamins ensure you are consistently getting enough vitamins and minerals every day. Your OB-Gyne can prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.

Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day --- oranges, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, tomatoes or mustard greens (mustasa leaves). Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.

Take at least one source of vitamin A every other day --- carrots, sweet potato, mustard greens, squash or jute leaves (saluyot).


Choose foods high in fiber: whole-grain breads, rice, cereals and pasta as well as fruits and vegetables.

Have at least one good source of folic acid every day --- dark green leafy veggies, beef, and beans (mung bean or munggo, black beans, garbanzos). You need at least 0.4 mg of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects in babies such as spina bifida or incomplete development of the spinal cord.

Eat and drink at least 4 servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day ---yogurt, cheese, sardines with bones, cooked spinach --- so you get 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet.

Have at least 3 daily servings of iron-rich foods --- lean meats, camote tops, beans, breakfast cereals --- each day to ensure that you get 27 mg of iron everyday.

While pregnant, you need 250 micrograms of iodine a day for baby's brain and nervous system development. Get this from: Dairy products - milk, cheese (especially cottage cheese), yogurt; Baked potatoes, 8 to 12 oz per week; Seafood such as tuna, seaweeds (lato and lukot), and shrimp.

Did you know that?

The best food for pregnancy does not lead to unnecessary weight gain. Gaining the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby develop properly before birth and maintain a healthy weight from birth to childhood.

Typically, a woman with a healthy weight at the start of her pregnancy doesn't need extra calories during the first 3 months. But she must have 300-450 extra calories daily during the 4th to 9th months of pregnancy.


The taste preferences of your baby can be influenced even at the earliest stage of pregnancy. For example - some aromas from your diet, such as garlic, curry, anise, banana and vanilla can cross the placenta into the amniotic fluid. This only means that baby is already exposed to flavors even before he is born.

From the NESTLÉ Global Archive co-written with Kate Perales, RND.
Black RE, Victoria CG, Walker SP, Bhutta ZA, Christian P, de Onis M, Ezzati M, Grantham-McGregor S, Katz J, Martorell R, et al. Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 2013;382:427-51. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60937-X
Koletzko B, Brands B, Poston L, Godfrey K, Demmelmair H. Early nutrition programming of long-term health. Proc Nutr Soc 2012;71:371-8. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000596
Dodd JM. Dietary and lifestyle advice for pregnant women who are overweight or obese: the LIMIT randomized trial. Ann Nutr Metab 2014;64:197-202. doi:10.1159/000365018