Eating for the Future | Fit Pregnancy

Eating for the Future

The nutrition you get while you're pregnant could set the scene for your child's health as she grows.


Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh, plain frozen, or canned vegetables; fresh or canned-in-its-own-juice fruit; orange, grapefruit, tomato or vegetable juice

How Much: At least 5, preferably 9, servings; at least 1 serving of vitamin C-rich citrus and 2 servings of folic acid-rich dark green leafy vegetables (1 serving = 1 piece, 1/2 cup cooked or canned, 1 cup raw, 6 ounces juice)



  •  The antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C and beta carotene, which protect you and your baby’s tissues against damage from highly reactive oxygen fragments called free radicals and also aid in cell division and formation of connective tissue, including skin and the linings in your baby’s body
  •  Folic acid to protect against neural-tube defects

Milk and Milk Products

Low-fat or nonfat milk, low-fat yogurt, hard cheeses, cottage cheese or calcium- and vitamin-fortified soy milk

How Much: 3 servings (1 serving = 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 ounce cheese, 2 cups cottage cheese)



  • Calcium, which prevents lead mobilization from bone tissue, reducing lead absorption and toxic exposure elsewhere in the body
  • Calcium and vitamin D (milk only) to build strong bones
  • Vitamins B12 and B6 to aid in nerve development
  • Protein for the formation of enzymes, nerve chemicals and muscle tissue

Meats and Legumes

Cooked beans and peas, skinless chicken, tofu, fish, shellfish and lean red meats

How Much: 3 servings (1 serving = 8 ounces tofu, 1 cup beans, 3 ounces fish or meat)



  • Protein for the formation of various hormones, enzymes, nerve chemicals and muscle tissue
  • Vitamin B6, essential to the development of your baby’s nervous system and all tissues, as well as for  protein metabolism
  • Vitamin B12 and iron for red blood cell formation (Please note: Beans and tofu are not good sources of these nutrients)


Fruit juices, green tea, water

How Much: At least 8 glasses


“Getting enough fluids is so important throughout pregnancy to provide for the expanding blood volume that carries oxygen and nutrients to both mother and the baby,” says Murtaugh.

Mix-and-match 5-day pregnancy menu plan>>>>

On the following two pages are five days of menus. Choose one item from each column, plus an additional choice from Column C at dinner. Choose four items from the Snack section for midmorning, midafternoon or after-dinner munchies. Recipes included, which can be found on page 112, are marked with an asterisk (*).


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