Top 20 foods for pregnancy

These foods are high in nutrients you need during pregnancy. Keep them on hand so you can eat them for snacks as well as meals.

(The foods are listed alphabetically.)

Food

Main nutrients

Tips

Baked potato and sweet potato


Vitamin C (sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C)


Eat the skin and top with yogurt instead of sour cream and butter.


Bran cereals


Fiber

Bran is one of the best sources of fiber.


Bran muffin


Fiber, B vitamins and folic acid


Bran is a better choice than a blueberry or other fruit muffin.


Broccoli


Vitamins A, C, and folic acid


Dip raw broccoli in a yogurt based dip as a snack.


Cantaloupe


Vitamins A and C


Cut half a small melon into cubes and eat it as a snack.


Chicken and turkey


Low-fat protein and iron


Remove the skin. Dark meat has more iron than light meat.


Fish


Low-fat protein


Have it broiled rather than fried. Learn how to choose fish wisely in food safety.


Fortified cooked cereals


Iron 


Fortified cooked cereals have more iron than oatmeal.


Fortified ready-to-eat cereals


Fiber, iron, calcium and folate


Look for a whole grain cereal. Some can be eaten dry as a snack.


Green and red peppers


Vitamins A, C, and folic acid


Add to pizza or eat raw as a snack.


Low-fat milk and yogurt


Calcium and protein


Make your own smoothie by blending fruit, milk and yogurt.


Orange juice


Vitamin C


Just six ounces gives you a day's requirement of Vitamin C.


Pizza


Calcium, protein and vitamins


Add a lot of veggies, skip the pepperoni and sausage, and get a whole-wheat crust.


Popcorn


Fiber


Go easy on the butter and salt.


Spinach and romaine lettuce


Vitamins A, C, and folic acid

These have more vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce.

Tomatoes


Vitamins A and C


Eat raw or as tomato sauce on pizza or pasta.


Tomato-vegetable juice


Vitamins A and C


The juice is high in sodium, so limit this to one serving a day.

Whole wheat bread


Fiber, B vitamins, and folic acid


Any whole-grain bread with at least two grams of fiber is a good choice.


Related resources

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/02/2015