Pregnancy Meal Plans: What to Eat When Pregnant

You’re going to have a baby. How exciting is it that you’re growing an actual living being inside of you? It’s a time of wonder, joy, and eager anticipation. As beautiful as all of those emotions are, it can also be a time for pregnancy headaches caused by the stress we often put on ourselves to do everything perfectly. 

All the preparations and decisions that during pregnancy can certainly cause headaches. You want to be sure everything in your world is ready to welcome this new person into it. You also want to be sure you know what pregnancy meal plans to use so that you can deliver a healthy baby that’s able to thrive. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dieting During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Meal Plans

There’s so much conflicting information out there. It can be hard to follow. Here are some simple, nearly effortless ideas for pregnancy meal plans. These tips can help make things a little easier. 


  • Add at least 0.4 mg of folic acid to your pregnancy meal plan each day. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this will help prevent dire neural tube defects. You can find folic acid in green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, etc.) and legumes (black beans, lima beans, etc.) 
  • Incorporate at least 2-4 servings of fruit into your pregnancy meals throughout the day.
  • Whether you’re 4 months pregnant or due any day, you’ll want to eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each and every day.
  • Be gentle on yourself. You’re not going to do everything perfectly. That’s an impossible expectation for anybody to carry. Just do the best you can and enjoy the beautiful joy of carrying your child inside of you. 


  • Take certain medications. You’ll want to have a conversation with your doctor to find out what medications are and aren’t okay to take during pregnancy. 
  • Drink alcohol or smoke. This should go without saying, but eliminating these things from your diet is one of the best gifts you can give to your baby. 
  • Overindulge too often. While it’s important for you to allow yourself to have special treats here and there, you don’t want to go overboard. A lot of sugar can have a negative impact on both you and your baby. Everything in moderation is the way to go.
  • Drink too much caffeine. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. To put it into perspective, that’s about how much caffeine is in a 10-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee.

What Are the Best and Worst Foods During Pregnancy?


  • Fruits and vegetables. This probably seems like an obvious answer, but you’d be surprised how many of us forget to eat enough of them. You should have at least 4 servings. Things like carrots or blueberries can be healthy snacks for pregnant women.
  • Spinach, kale, raspberries, and broccoli are the ideal iron-rich foods for pregnancy.
  • Whole-grain foods. These provide essential nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins, and fiber. Your pregnancy food chart should contain as many whole foods as possible.
  • Protein is essential when you’re planning out healthy pregnancy meals. Eating fish and chicken can be a great way to get protein. There’s plenty of ways for vegetarians to get their proper baby nutrients, too. Beans and eggs are also an excellent source of protein. 
  • Dairy provides much-needed calcium. If you drink milk during pregnancy, both you and your baby will benefit from it.


  • Nicotine can do long-term damage to your baby. Even if you were to go one day without smoking, you’d be giving your baby the gift of clean oxygen. 
  • Tuna fish contains mercury. It should be limited to no more than 6 ounces per week.
  • Sushi is a definite no-no when it comes to raw fish. You can eat California rolls or things that are cooked. Just be careful with mercury levels, as mentioned above.
  • Alcohol can have dire consequences on your baby. While your doctor might give you the okay for an occasional glass of wine here or there, heavy drinking can do irreparable damage to your baby. Some people might feel like it’s not even worth taking the risk.

Headaches During Pregnancy

Some women find themselves getting increased headaches in pregnancy. It can possibly be due to a lack of maintaining the proper blood sugar levels. This is why snacks for pregnant women are imperative. You can even eat smaller, more frequent meals to help relieve a recurring headache during pregnancy. 

Diet Advice for Each Trimester

Pregnancy Meal Plans What to Eat When Pregnant

First Trimester

Those first three months of pregnancy are a delicate time. This is when you’ll want to start taking prenatal vitamins. They provide essential supplements your baby needs to develop into a healthy newborn. 

Second Trimester

There are few things more exciting than hitting that three months pregnant mark. For the most part, you’re out of the woods. Just be sure you’re consuming dairy products, protein, calcium, and folic acid. Your growing baby needs all of these things in order to thrive. 

Third Trimester

You’re in the home stretch. You’re finally about to meet your baby. Finding the right balance of healthy green legumes, sweet potatoes, salmon, eggs, broccoli, and lean meat will be a gift to both you and your baby. 

Is It Okay to Diet During Pregnancy?

You can absolutely follow a special diet of whole foods or something similar while you are pregnant. You want the baby to get as much nutrition as possible. What’s not okay is going on a weight loss diet. While you need to maintain a healthy weight, losing weight while you’re pregnant is a terrible idea.


Whether this is your first baby or not, there’s so much preparation to focus on. Eat healthy meals that offer both you and your baby the nutrients you both need. The way your body looks should be the last thing on your mind. Instead, be gentle with yourself as you form a special little human inside of you.

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