The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has great information on prenatal nutrition and what you can eat — or not — during pregnancy. Remember to stay hydrated!

Healthy Foods to Enjoy

Eating healthy foods is a big part of staying healthy. Make sure your meals have foods from the five groups.

  • Grains — choose whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice and pasta.
  • Vegetables — eat more dark green veggies like broccoli and spinach, orange veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans and lentils.
  • Fruits — eat different kinds of fruit that are fresh, frozen, canned or dried; limit fruit juices that have a lot of sugar.
  • Dairy — eat foods with lots of calcium and choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and other milk products; you can also choose lactose-free products or other products with added calcium.
  • Protein — choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry that can be baked, broiled or grilled; choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming.

Snacks to Have on Hand

  • String cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Avocado and whole-grain toast
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Omega-3 Fats Are Important

These fats are found in salmon, chunk light tuna, sardines and anchovies. They do many good things for your body, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, in particular:

  • May help the baby build healthy eyes and brains
  • May lowers the baby’s chance of premature birth
  • May help lower your risk of heart disease
  • Help you keep a better mood during and after pregnancy

Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

  • Raw fish and raw shellfish (sushi containing raw fish and oysters), smoked fish
  • Undercooked meat, hot dogs or deli meat
  • Raw or lightly cooked eggs and foods containing them
  • Unpasteurized milk, other milk products, juices (apple cider)
  • Unpasteurized and pasteurized soft cheeses (Camembert, feta, Brie and blue-veined cheeses)
  • Refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa sprouts)
  • Fish with a high mercury content: shark, tilefish, mackerel and swordfish

Foods to Limit

  • Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening and lard
  • Check the nutrition facts label to keep saturated fats, trans fats and sodium low
  • Choose food and drinks low in added sugars to avoid extra calories
  • Limit salty foods that can make your body hold on to fluids
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