Best Foods to Eat While Pregnant (Printable list!)

Sharing is caring!

Growing up, most of us learned about the food pyramid, so we have a basic understanding of the hierarchy of nutrition. But pregnant women have unique nutritional needs, and it can be overwhelming to craft a pregnancy diet that is feasible and nutritious. To make things a little easier for you, weve rounded up a list of all the best foods to eat while pregnant to put on your pregnancy grocery list.

Our Best Pregnancy Foods list is separated into healthy eating food groups. When plating your meals, try to incorporate at least one item from each group. You can balance portion sizes by using this Harvard reference for the healthy eating plate.

Make sure to pin this post for later!

Pregnant woman cooking with the best foods to eat while pregnant for a healthy baby.

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

List of Best Foods to Eat While Pregnant

Below are the best foods to eat while pregnant divided into categories. While there are lots of healthy foods that are good for pregnancy, this list focuses on the top nutrient dense foods to include in your pregnancy diet. And dont miss our list of 6 pregnancy superfoods at the end!

Make sure to have fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins and minerals. Also, try to add food to your regular meals that are rich in tryptophan. It will help maintain a healthy vagus nerve, which is also crucial during pregnancy.

Be sure to get a copy of the printable pregnancy food list below to hang on your fridge so that you can use these foods in your pregnancy recipes.

Whole Grains

Healthy grains and nuts provide nutrition and energy in the form of carbohydrates. Whole grains are high in fiber. Fiber is crucial for a healthy digestive system and improves constipation, a common symptom of pregnancy.

The best whole grains for pregnancy are:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Oats
  • Quinoa 

Keep in mind that refined grains like white bread and white rice provide less nutrients and more sugars which can put you more at risk for gestational diabetes.

Check out these oatmeal recipes for pregnancy optimized for nutrition.

Learn more tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy.


Fruits contain a multitude of vitamins. Specifically, vitamin A which promotes cellular growth.

We love fruits because they can be enjoyed raw and added to other foods like yogurt, pregnancy smoothies, salads, and grains. They are also a great snack option to grab when craving sugar.

You can also drink fruit juices during pregnancy as another way to get the benefits quickly.

The best fruits for pregnancy are:

  • Date fruit
  • Avocado
  • Bananas

Studies show that eating date fruit in pregnancy will soften the cervix when eaten in the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. Its safe to eat dates throughout pregnancy because of their many healthy benefits including a good source of iron, potassium, and b-vitamins.

Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fat and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Bananas are included because of the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that they contain like potassium which is a key mineral necessary for proper cellular function.

This pregnancy date smoothie is a good one to try.

Or the pregnancy green smoothie with avocado!

Eating strawberries while pregnant is another good fruit to consider.


There are not many vegetables that are considered unhealthy, but some vegetables are even more beneficial for pregnant women than others.

Leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and vitamins A, C, and K which are essential for cellular growth and function. Potatoes provide vitamins B, C, and folate. In the Brewers diet for pregnancy, it is recommended to eat 1 potato a day. Asparagus is also an excellent source of natural folate. 

The best vegetables for pregnancy are:

  • Potatoes
  • Greens (spinach, seaweed, kale, chard)
  • Asparagus

You cant go wrong adding more vegetables to your list of best foods to eat while pregnant.

Check out our pregnancy shopping list for more ideas of vegetables that are good to eat.

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes

The health benefits of nuts, seeds, and legumes lie primarily in their provision of healthy fats and fiber for healthy digestion. Beans are a good source of iron for healthy red blood cell production. While seeds hold strong antioxidant properties to clear free radicals from the body.

The best nuts, seeds, and legumes for pregnancy are:

  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews)
  • Seeds (hemp, sunflower, chia, flax)
  • Beans (black, navy, chickpeas)

Try these pregnancy energy balls for an easy way to get the benefits of seeds and nuts during pregnancy.


Protein is perhaps one of the most important pregnancy foods to eat more of.

Adding more protein to your diet is important during pregnancy as it is the building block of human life.

While pregnant protein needs go up. In early pregnancy aim for 80 g per day. In the 2nd half of pregnancy aim for at least 100g per day.

Learn more about eating a real food diet in pregnancy here.

Fish is an excellent source of DHA, EPA, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are helpful for both mother and baby. They have anti-inflammatory properties and may help with vision and brain development.

Additionally, fish is an excellent source of iron which is crucial in the formation of red blood cells. Eggs provide choline which promotes brain development and is not commonly found in prenatal vitamins or other foods.

The best proteins for pregnancy are:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Grass fed Beef
  • Ground Turkey
  • Dark meat Chicken
  • Sardines or anchovies

If you struggle with getting enough protein, another easy way to boost it is to drink a pregnancy protein shake like this one. If you find it confusing to pick one, read our guide to choosing a pregnancy protein shake.

Check out these high protein snacks for pregnancy for more ideas on how to eat more protein while pregnant.

It is also good to know that eating protein is perhaps the best option for what to eat before a glucose test in pregnancy in order to pass.


Calcium is perhaps the most common nutrient deficiency in pregnancy. Dairy is an excellent source of calcium for bone development. Yogurt has probiotics to support a healthy digestive system. Cottage cheese is high in calcium, protein, and iodine.

Aim to add in 3 cups of calcium rich foods daily to prevent deficiency.

The best sources of dairy during pregnancy are:

  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Cottage cheese

If you are dairy free, or on a lactose-free diet consider almond milk, or coconut milk as an alternative.

Pregnancy Superfoods

The 6 foods listed below have special properties that are beneficial for pregnant women. Try to eat 2-3 of these foods daily.

  • Red raspberry leaf tea - Can improve uterine tone in preparation for labor. Read more benefits of raspberry leaf for pregnancy.
  • Fermented foods (kraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha) - Assists in the removal of toxins from the body. Supports healthy digestion and reduces constipation.
  • Bone broth - Contains concentrated vitamins and minerals and can help improve nausea.
  • Liver - High in folic acid, vitamin A, and protein. Try these liver pills if you arent up for cooking it.
  • Seaweed - Like the common leafy greens, seaweed is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it is a good source of iodine which helps brain development.
  • Blackstrap molasses - Beneficial for its iron content and the production of red blood cells and is helpful both prenatally and postnatally to prevent anemia and hemorrhoids. This brand is the best.

Pin this for later!⬇⬇⬇😊

Check out our full list MUST HAVE pregnancy essentials.

Meal Ideas with Best Foods to Eat while Pregnant

Our goal here at Birth Eat Love is to make healthy eating easier for pregnant Moms. Here are some of our best resources for figuring out what to eat while pregnant:

Best Healthy Pregnancy Dinner Recipes

Healthy Pregnancy Breakfast Ideas

Clean Eating Pregnancy Recipes Collection

Best Healthy Drinks for Pregnancy (besides water!)

Ultimate Pregnancy Grocery List (clean eating + superfoods)

Guide to Pregnancy Meal Planning (using Pinterest!)

Pin this for later!⬇⬇⬇😊


Healthy Eating Pyramid | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Healthy Eating Plate | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Eating Right During Pregnancy (

The Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy (

How to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet (

Top 10 Pregnancy Superfoods, According to Dietitians | EatingWell

Kombucha During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know | Mama Natural

Sharing is caring!