What to eat when you are Expecting

Getting the right food when you are expecting is the best way to give your baby a new start in life and making pregnancy safer and comfortable to you as well. While you need more nutrition, your diet will not dramatically change from your normal eating pattern rather there are inclusion of some healthy food option. In the first trimester, no extra calories are needed. In the second trimester, an extra 340 calories are needed per day and an extra 452 calories are needed per day in third trimester. You should eat food that are high in nutrients but not in fat, sugar and excessive calories. Try to get all essential minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that you and your baby require.

  • Try to have fresh fruits and vegetables five portions a day. Make sure that fresh fruit juice/vegetable juice is one portion.
  • Folic acid or Folate is very important to prevent neural defects in baby. It is necessary to take folic acid in first trimester of pregnancy. Green Leafy vegetables and legumes are rich in folate. Many breakfast cereals and other grain products are enriched with folate.
  • Take food that is rich in calcium. Good sources of calcium are soy beans, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, figs, sun flower seeds, calcium fortified milk and calcium fortified juices.
  • Essential fatty acids are an important component of the diet. Flaxseed and Flaxseed oil are enriched with essential fatty acid. However, Canola oil, Walnut oil, Walnuts and soyabeans are also rich with essential fatty acid.
  • Iron requirements increase during pregnancy which helps in the development of fetus. You should include iron rich plant foods daily in addition to taking their prescribed vitamins and supplements. Iron sources include whole and enriched grains, legumes, nuts, dark leafy vegetables, seeds and black strap molasses.
  • Take foods that are rich in Zinc and Protein. Zinc is included in prenatal vitamins. However, Zinc is also found in legumes, nuts, whole grains and cereals. Protein sources on a vegetarian diet include whole grains, beans and legumes, soy products, vegetables, and nuts and seeds.

Sample Menu Plan for Pregnant women


  • 1 cup ready to eat cereal topped with 1/4 cup raisins and 1 cup fortified soy milk.
  • 2 slice whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons almond butter.
  • 3/4 cup calcium-fortified fruit juice.

  • Lunch

  • Sandwich with 1/2 cup baked tofu, 2 slices whole grain bread and lettuce.
  • 2 cups tossed salad with herbs and lemon juice.
  • 1 piece fruit.

  • Dinner

  • 1 cup red beans and 1/2 cup rice.
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli with nutritional yeast.
  • 1 cup spinach salad.
  • 1 cup fortified milk.

*Be sure to include a reliable source of vitamin B12, such as many prenatal vitamins or fortified nondairy milk or cereal.