How to Eat Healthy When Pregnant

As a first-time mother, or during any pregnancy, it's important to eat healthy.

Good nutrition during pregnancy improves your chance of having a healthy baby, and may even reduce the risk of other conditions in your child later in life. 

We’ve collected a list of foods to eat-- and some to avoid-- when you are pregnant. At the end we’ve also included a few recipes that incorporate some of our suggested foods. Enjoy! 

If you have more specific questions about proper nutrition during your pregnancy, contact your physician.

image of healthy eating

How to Eat Healthy When Pregnant

Eat foods packed with key vitamins & minerals.

Folic Acid, Omega-3 fatty acids

Vitamins A, B, C, E


Iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium

Fruit & Veggies

Mangoes, Avocados, Broccoli, Carrots, Edamame, red pepper, spinach


Nuts, Lentils, DHA eggs (fully-cooked)

Cooked seafood & “safe fish"

Omega-3 fatty acids including DHA are included in salmon, shrimp, haddock, cod, catfish, flounder, sole, tilapia, and scallops. Fully-cooked sushi rolls (made with eel, crab, or anything tempura) or veggie rolls are ok too.

Read more about the specific benefits of each type of food on, Best Foods to Eat While Pregnant 

Avoid foods that may contain harmful bacteria. 

Soft Cheeses (feta, goat cheese, Brie, etc) & small-batch artisan cheeses

These cheeses are more likely to be made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk could contain listeria, a bacteria that would get killed during the pasteurization process. This infection can lead to miscarriage or preterm delivery. 

Cold cuts & Deli meats

These could also contain the harmful listeria bacteria. Heating it up will kill the bacteria, so only eat if it has been heated through.

Raw fish: sushi & sashimi

Slight chance raw fish may contain bacteria or microbes that could cause food poising. But you could also get a parasite that is hard to treat when pregnant. 

Raw or runny eggs

May contain salmonella or other food-borne illnesses.

Pass on the high-mercury fish 

These fish are usually larger, and include shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, orange roughy, grouper, tuna steaks, saltwater bass, and canned solid white albacore tuna. High levels of mercury can be harmful to a developing baby’s nervous system, lungs, kidneys, vision, and hearing. 

Limit amounts of caffeine

Skip the artificial sweeteners and unpasteurized honey

Ask your doctor about herbal teas 

Teas containing chamomile, hibiscus, comfrey and sassafras are herbs that some doctors recommend pregnant women avoid.

Abstain from alcohol

Drinking alcohol frequently during pregnancy can cause serious mental and physical birth defects in the unborn baby. Researchers still don’t know exactly how much alcohol it takes to harm a fetus, so it’s best to avoid it all together.  

Remember, it’s best to consult your doctor to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself and your baby healthy during your pregnancy.

Are you ready to test your knowledge? 

Take this quiz about pregnancy food facts from WebMD

4 Recipes for You to Try

  1. Moroccan Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato
  2. Tuscan Turkey Burger
  3. Alisa’s Taco Salad with Yogurty Salsa
  4. Broccoli Mac & Cheese


Feed the Belly: Recipes for a Healthy Pregnancy 

Pregnancy Eating: What’s Safe, What’s Not

Eating Right When Pregnant

Top Tips for Pregnancy Nutrition

Best Foods to Eat While Pregnant: Twelve superstar foods that should headline in your diet. 

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.