Eating well

Eating healthy foods during pregnancy will give your baby the best chance to grow and develop well. Some nutrients are especially important. Here are some examples:

• folate (folic acid) helps protect the baby against birth defects
• iron helps protect you from anemia
• calcium and Vitamin D for maintaining healthy bones and teeth
• omega-3 fats helps your baby develop a healthy brain

Follow Canada’s Food Guide by eating a variety of food from the four food groups:


• Vegetables and fruit
• Grain products
• Milk and alternatives
• Meat and alternatives

If you’re in your second or third trimesters, you’ll likely need to eat 2 or 3 extra servings per day. However, everyone is different and you may have unique needs or considerations. Talk to your health care provider about what is best for you.

Pregnancy is not a time to worry about your weight. Weight loss and dieting are not recommended. Instead, focus on eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water. You can learn more about weight gain guidelines at different stages of pregnancy:

First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester

For more information about healthy eating during pregnancy talk to your health care provider or call Health Link 8-1-1 and ask to speak to a dietician.

You can also find resources online to learn more about:

Healthy Eating When Planning a Pregnancy
What to Eat when Pregnant
Healthy Eating Guidelines for Pregnancy
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnancy and Nutrition: Folate and Neural Tube Defects
Healthy Eating Guidelines for Food Safety During Pregnancy
Guidelines for Eating Fish with Higher Mercury Levels
Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy