Healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet will help your body meet the nutritional needs of your developing baby.

Meeting your energy needs during pregnancy

Pregnant women should eat small amounts of food often and avoid long periods without eating — ideally, three meals and three snacks spread throughout the day.

Follow Canada’s Food Guide — this promotes eating a variety of healthy foods and has tips and advice for women at all stages of life.

You may not need to increase your caloric intake during the first trimester, but you should eat to satisfy your appetite. During your second and third trimesters your energy needs will increase even if you feel less hungry, because your growing baby is putting pressure on your stomach. For most pregnant women, this means eating an extra two or three servings per day from any of the food groups in Canada’s Food Guide.

For more information on healthy eating during pregnancy, including which foods you should limit or avoid and which nutrients you may need more of, consult the resources listed below. If you have special nutritional needs, or nausea and vomiting which prevent you from getting the food you need, get support from your health-care professional, who may refer you to a dietitian.

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