Eating a healthy, balanced diet is of paramount importance during pregnancy to help you deal with the additional demands on your body and to provide your developing baby with essential nutrients. By eating a wide variety of healthy foods, you will be ensuring that you and your baby are receiving the correct balance of nutrients. Try to include a range of foods each day from each of the major food groups, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Here are some serving-size guidelines.
Meat and Beans
Include 2-3 portions each day of protein-rich foods, such as fish that's low in mercury, lean meat, chicken, legumes, cheese, and nuts to ensure the healthy growth of body structures.
Try to include 3 servings of dairy products each day. Ideally, these should be low-fat products, such as low-fat milk and low-fat cheese and yogurts.
Have 3 servings of whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice and whole-wheat breads and pasta, to keep up energy levels and ensure a supply of fiber.
Four-to-five servings of vegetables each day will ensure a good supply of essential vitamins and minerals. Try to eat different colored produce and don't overcook vegetables.
Eating 3-4 portions of fresh fruit daily will also provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, many of which contain important protective antioxidants.
Having 1-2 servings daily of iron-rich foods such as eggs or dark, leafy-green vegetables will help maintain healthy iron levels during pregnancy, when demands are increased.