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Pregnancy Nutrition Shopping List

While it's common to get cravings for fatty or sweet treats and strange food combinations while you're expecting, good nutrition is essential to a healthy pregnancy. When you head to the grocery store to stock up on meals and snacks, keep this pregnancy nutrition shopping list in mind as you make your way down the aisles.

One mistake that many pregnant women make is the “eating for two” explanation for a high calorie, high fat diet. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you need an entire cake or that second hamburger at dinner. If you're hungry, by all means eat, but stick to healthy foods for most of your meals and snacks.

You'll need the following basics each day for your baby's health (and your own!) during pregnancy:

6 to 11 servings of fruits and vegetables, including leafy green veggies and orange juice for folic acid

6 to 11 servings of grain products

3 to 4 servings of lean meat and fish

4 to 6 servings of dairy products

Water: Don't forget to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated: you'll need at least eight glasses per day to stay in optimal health. You'll also need fresh juices and milk to drink to give your body the calcium it needs.

Vitamins: Don't forget the vitamins – even if you're getting tons of nutrients from the healthy food you're eating, you definitely need a prenatal vitamin during pregnancy. Not to mention you'll need to take a folic acid supplement before you conceive to avoid birth defects of the brain and spine like spina bifida. During your pregnancy, you'll need to keep taking folic acid – at least 400 micrograms each day.

Vegetarian Moms: If you plan on eating a vegetarian diet, you need to make sure that you're getting enough protein each day. You need to replace your meat and fish with proteins such as tofu, legumes, nuts, and soy products.

Things To Avoid: While you're pregnant, you're going to have to cut down on certain foods and drinks. Avoiding alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking are a given, but many moms-to-be may not know they have to put down the Brie or skip the sushi during their pregnancy. Pregnant women need to stay away from soft, unpasteurized cheeses, as well as raw fish and certain types of seafood. If you're a java junkie, you'll need to cut out caffeine or at least limit it as much as possible – no more than one coffee per day.

Never underestimate the importance of a healthy diet. Without the proper nutrition, women can suffer from metabolic toxemia, which happens when there aren't enough proteins and vitamins in their diet. Incomplete nutrition has also been linked to low birth weight, hyperactivity in children, and miscarriage in early pregnancy.


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