First Trimester | Foods to ...

When you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy, one of the most important things that you can do is eat properly. To be sure, “eating for two” is more than just an expression because you are creating a human being and your nutrition requirements are extensive. Still, this doesn’t mean that you can eat anything you like anytime you like. In fact, working with your doctor and establishing a pregnancy diet is crucial to the development of your fetus, and it isn’t as difficult as it seems.


Some of the Basics

As a general rule, a developing fetus needs lots of nutrition, but what type? Even though you’re eating for two, you have to keep in mind that one of you is the size of a lima bean, so you don’t have to stuff yourself at every meal. Still, you do need to eat nutritiously at every meal, and when it comes to deciding which foods to eat during pregnancy, the following tips will help.

1. Aim for the Right Number of Calories

Pregnancy is not a time to diet, and you’ll want to aim for 2,000 calories per day. If you go over that, it’s not a problem, but 2,000 should be the minimum. If you eat less than that, the developing fetus may not get the nutrition that it needs to grow properly, which is especially important in the first three months of pregnancy.

2. Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently

When deciding how to eat in your first trimester, it’s easier to eat three small meals per day plus two to three snacks. Eating smaller and more frequent meals can also help with morning sickness and nausea, not to mention heartburn and tummy issues. Eating this way indeed offers a lot of advantages for the mom-to-be in her first trimester.

3. What You Need to Eat

Of course, in addition to making sure that you eat the right amount of food, you’ll also need to eat the right types. This includes lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as foods such as:

  • Lean meat that is thoroughly cooked and has the amino acids needed to develop healthy cells in the body
  • Beans and lentils, which have folate, iron, fiber, and protein
  • Kale and other dark leafy green veggies, which contain calcium, folate, iron, fiber, and vitamins C, E, A, and K
  • Yogurt, because of its high calcium content for strong bones and teeth
  • Bananas, which have a lot of potassium and can be easily tolerated when you have an upset stomach
  • Edamame, which are soybean pods and has a lot of protein, iron, calcium, and folate
  • Ginger products, including ginger ale and ginger tea, for its ability to eliminate nausea

Always keep in mind that you also should eat a wide variety of foods in order to provide all of the developing fetus needs to grow properly throughout the pregnancy. As far as the specific nutrients are concerned, look for ingredients such as:

  • Protein: Roughly 75 mg per day
  • Iron: Shoot for 27 mg per day
  • Folic acid: Also known as vitamin B9 or folate, aim for 600 mcg per day
  • Calcium: Roughly 1,000 mg per day
  • Potassium: Shoot for 2,900 mg per day, which are usually contained in your prenatal vitamins
  • Vitamin C: Aim for 85 mg per day
  • DHA: This comes from omega-3 fatty acids and can be taken as a supplement

4. What to Do If You’re Nauseated

If you’re nauseated a lot and you’re starting to worry that you’re not getting enough nutrition, eating four to six smaller meals per day can help a lot. You should also consider avoiding foods that are spicy or have a high fat content, and try to eat more foods that have a soft texture, are eaten at room temperature, and foods that are easy to eat on the go, such as graham crackers, whole-grain crackers, low-sugar cereal, and pretzels.


Are There Foods That You Should Avoid in Your First Trimester?

While your doctor may not specifically prohibit you from eating certain foods, most experts recommend that women in their first trimester should avoid foods such as:

  • Eggplant
  • High-mercury fish such as king mackerel, tuna, orange roughy, and swordfish
  • Certain raw foods, such as eggs, meat and poultry, cabbage, sprouts, and even fish that is undercooked
  • Black grapes
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Fruits such as pineapple and papaya
  • Any soft cheeses
  • Any processed or deli meats
  • Fruits and veggies that aren’t properly washed
  • Alcohol and caffeine
  • Foods with too much sugar or “empty” calories

When it comes to foods to avoid during pregnancy, these are some of the most important ones. If you have concerns about any foods that you’d like to include in your diet, you should contact your doctor soon so you can learn what foods are acceptable and what foods aren’t. Some of the foods mentioned above can be eaten in moderation, but to be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

The bottom line is that you want to eat healthy and eat only foods that can help your baby grow and develop properly. Avoiding certain foods means that your growing baby won’t be consuming nutrients they do not need.



Learning what to eat and how to eat in your first trimester of pregnancy is a must, but it isn’t that difficult to do. Try to eat a variety of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and avoid sugary or high-fat foods. With some help and some common sense, it’s easy to eat right while you’re pregnant.

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