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Eating for two during pregnancy is a myth. Healthy eating during pregnancy is not very different to regular healthy eating. Continue to eat foods from the five food groups, drink plenty of water and limit foods high in fat, sugar and salt. 

Your nutritional needs only increase slightly after the first 3 months of pregnancy. The quality of the foods you choose is important to help you get the nutrients you and your baby need. 

Guide to healthy eating in pregnancy

For more information on serving sizes, see the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.  


Tips for eating during pregnancy 

  • Eat a healthy breakfast 

  • Drink plenty of water 

  • Eat vegetables or salad at most meals 

This will also help to make sure you eat enough fibre to prevent or manage constipation, which can be a common problem in pregnancy. 

Eating healthy during pregnancy can be a challenge if you have nausea or are vomiting. Here are some tips you could try: 

  • Have a snack before getting out of bed (for example a dry cracker) 

  • Drink fluids between meals, rather than drinking with meals 

  • Try not to skip meals; an empty stomach can make nausea worse 

  • Eat small meals often rather than large meals 

  • Avoid foods with strong smells – cold foods can have less smell than hot foods 

  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods 

Supplementing your diet 

Eating a healthy balanced diet will help you get the vitamins you need, so taking a multivitamin during pregnancy may not be necessary. There are some nutrients that are recommended during pregnancy: 


Folate is an essential vitamin needed for the healthy development of your baby. It is especially important in the months before you fall pregnant and the first three months of pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy you should eat a variety of folate containing foods (including green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and nuts) and also take a folic acid supplement at least one month before getting pregnant. 


Iodine is a naturally-occurring mineral that is essential for baby’s growth and brain development. A number of foods include iodine, such as seafood, bread (except organic bread), milk and dairy products. Most people can obtain a good proportion of iodine through a healthy diet. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more iodine than the average person. An iodine supplement is recommended as well as obtaining iodine from a healthy diet.  

What to avoid 

If you are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol. 

Hormone changes in pregnancy will lower your immune system and make it harder to fight off illness. Food safety is especially important during pregnancy, as some infections can harm your unborn baby, such as listeriosis. Listeriosis is caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes which can be passed from mother to baby. When this happens, it can lead to complications such as miscarriage, premature labour or stillbirth.  


Avoid the following foods during pregnancy to prevent infections: 

  • Raw or partially cooked eggs 

  • Raw or uncooked meat 

  • Processed meats 

  • Stuffing from chicken or other poultry  

  • Liver products 

  • Some soft cheeses 

  • Unpasteurised (raw) dairy (milk, yoghurt, cream) 

  • Soft serve and fried ice cream 

  • Raw or cooked and chilled seafood 

  • Pre-packaged salads, including those from buffets and salad bars 

  • Bean sprouts 

  • Store-bought sushi 

  • Rockmelon 

Care should also be taken when eating other foods. For more information on how to reduce the risks, see the NSW Food Authority brochure.   

For help with eating healthy and staying active during pregnancy, contact the FREE Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service 

get healthy in pregnancy service


Other useful links: 

[Sources: Eat For Health, Australian Guide To Healthy Eating, Get Healthy NSW, Raising Children Network, Pregnancy Birth And Baby, Queensland Health, NSW Food Authority] 

Related pages 

Managing your health during pregnancy 

Healthy weight gain in pregnancy 

Exercise during pregnancy