The best way to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and to contribute to your baby's healthy development is to maintain a balanced daily diet that includes a variety of foods from each of the four food groups as outlined in the document, Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide. Pregnant and nursing women require more calories, which represents an extra 2 or 3 Food Guide servings from any of the food groups in addition to the daily requirement. For example, fruit and yogurt as a snack or an extra slice of toast at breakfast and an extra glass of milk at supper could satisfy this increased caloric need.

Canada's Food Guide Table

 
Food Groups Vegetables and Fruit Grain Products Milk and Alternatives Meat and Alternatives
Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings per Day 7-8 6-7 2 2
Examples of 1 Food Guide Serving
  • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables or fruits: 125 mL (1/2 cup) or 1 fruit
  • Leafy vegetables: Cooked – 125 mL (1/2 cup) Raw – 250 mL (1 cup)
  • 100% juice: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Bread: 1 slice (35 g) 125 mL (1/2 cup) or 1 fruit
  • Flat breads: 1/2 pita or 1/2 tortilla (35 g)
  • Cooked pasta or rice: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Cereal: Cold – 30 g Hot – 175 mL (3/4 cup)
  • Milk: 250 mL (1 cup)
  • Fortified soy beverage: 250 mL (1 cup)
  • Yogurt: 175 g (3/4 cup)
  • Cheese: 50 g (1 1/2 oz)
  • Cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat: 75 g (2 1/2 oz) or 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Cooked Legumes: 175 mL (3/4 cup)
  • Tofu: 150 g or 175 mL (3/4 cup) Eggs: 2 eggs
Make Each Food Guide Serving Count Eat at least 1 dark green and 1 orange vegetable every day. Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins like folic acid, minerals and fibre. Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day. The fibre is helpful in preventing constipation, which is common in pregnancy. Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day. Select lower fat milk alternatives. Milk products are high in calcium, which helps you and your baby build strong bones and teeth. Eat at least 2 Food Guide Servings of fish each week.* Meat and alternatives provide iron, which is important for you and your baby.

*Health Canada provides advice for limiting exposure to mercury from certain types of fish.

Related Links

Visit Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide

Visit Health Canada's My Food Guide Servings Tracker