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Nutritional Guidelines

What you eat while you are pregnant contributes to your baby’s growth, muscles, bones and brain cells.

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Your diet doesn't have to change drastically if you already eat well, but pregnant women should eat about 300 more calories a day. It's important that those calories come from a variety of nutritional sources.

Daily food recommendations include:

  • Grains: 6 servings or more. Whole wheat bread, rice, pasta, and cereal are good sources.
  • Fruits and vegetables: 5 servings or more including raw or cooked vegetables, leafy greens, oranges, peaches, bananas, cantaloupe, and other fruits canned or fresh.
  • Dairy products: 3 servings or more from milk, yogurt, hard cheese, cottage cheese.
  • Protein: 2 or more servings. Good sources are cooked meat, poultry, fish (see What to Avoid), eggs, dried beans, tofu, nuts, and peanut butter.

Try to avoid snacks that are high in calories and low in nutritional value, such as cookies, cakes, candy, potato chips, and fast foods high in fat. Choose snacks such as fresh fruit, pretzels, crackers, vegetables with low-fat dips, yogurt, and raisins.