What to eat when pregnant

When you’re expecting, your health and nutrition is so important for you and your baby. So during this time it’s about quality rather than quantity - so while you don’t need to ‘eat for two’ try to make sure you consume a wide variety of nutrition foods so that you get the extra nutrients you both need. Try to have three regular meals per day, plus two to three light snacks. For more advice on what to eat, talk to a dietitian or other healthcare professional.

Nutrition by Trimester

View the timeLine

This is a guide to what you should eat, in terms of number of serves per day, during your pregnancy (based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines):

  • Vegetables (including legumes and beans)

    5 serves (1 serve is ½ cup cooked veg or 1 cup fresh salad)

    Vegetables (including legumes and beans)

  • Fruit

    2 serves (1 serve is 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear, or alternatively 2 small pieces of stone fruit.)

    Fruit

  • Grains (aim for mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre cereals)

    8 ½ serves (1 serve is 1 slice of bread, ½ medium roll, ½ cup of rice, or 2/3 cup wheat cereal flakes.)

    Grains (aim for mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre cereals)

  • Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans:

    3 ½ serves (1 serve is 65g cooked lean meat, or 80g cooked poultry, 2 large eggs or 30g nuts/seeds/peanut butter.)

    Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu nuts and seeds,and legumes/beans:

  • Milk, yoghurt and cheese

    2 ½ serves. (1 serve is 250ml milk or calcium-enriched soy or rice milk, 2 slices of cheese or ¾ cup yoghurt.)

    Milk, yoghurt and cheese

  • Unsaturated spreads and oils

    Recommended intake of unsaturated spreads/oils or nuts and seeds is 14-20g for pregnant women. Considering only 2 teaspoons of oil/margarine contributes 10g, and 15 almonds contribute 15g, it may be worth measuring and taking note of portions.

    Unsaturated spreads and oils

  • Water

    9 glasses or 2.25 litres each day is recommended. All sources of fluid contribute towards this recommendation, including tea and coffee, however water is best.

    Water

  • Supplements

    It is recommended that from at least 4 weeks preconception and during the first 3 months of pregnancy women take a daily folic acid supplement that contains at least 400ug of folic acid in addition to consuming foods rich in folate. It is also recommended that throughout pregnancy women supplement with iodine (150ug/day). Remember to ask your doctor about pregnancy supplements to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you and your baby needs.

    Supplements