Include a variety of foods in your diet by eating foods from the following 4 food groups.
Choose products made from whole grains that are less processed. Try whole wheat breads, pastas or cereals, oats, quinoa, bulgur or brown rice. Whole grains are higher in fibre and B vitamins.
Include eggs, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds often. Choose lean cuts of meat and poultry as well as a variety of fish in your diet to get the protein,iron and vitamin B12 you need. Avoid high mercury fish and shellfish which can be harmful. Get clear advice about eating fish in the Guide to Eating Fish for Women, Children and Families.
Making healthy food choices can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
- Read food labels to compare the nutrition facts (Health Canada) and choose foods lower in fat, sugar and salt.
- Satisfy your cravings for foods high in fat and sugar by eating small amounts less often and don't allow them to replace healthier choices.
- Avoid food and drinks that may not be safe to have in your pregnancy like alcohol, liver, and raw foods. See Food and Drinks to Avoid in Pregnancy for more information about the caution foods and drinks that should be eaten in moderation or avoided.
- Drink water when you're thirsty.
- Take a prenatal or multi vitamin every day that includes both folic acid, and iron.
- Add an extra 2 to 3 food guide servings a day in your second and third trimester. Follow Health Canada's Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide to ensure your needs are met.
- Avoid skipping meals. Eat meals and snacks every 2 - 3 hours during the day. See Your Pregnant Body for more suggestions on how to deal with common discomforts such as, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.