75 Best Foods to Eat in Early Pregnancy

75 Best Foods to Eat in Early Pregnancy

Created by Amanda D’Souza

First Trimester Nutrition: When Pickles and Ice Cream Just Won’t Cut It!

Congratulations! You’re embarking on an incredible journey as you enter the first trimester of your pregnancy. This is a time filled with excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a touch of nervousness. One of the most important aspects of this phase is ensuring you provide your growing baby with the essential nutrients they need for healthy development. In this article, we’ll guide you through the first trimester pregnancy diet, highlighting the key foods that will support your baby’s growth and help you maintain your own well-being.

During my pregnancy, I experienced some pretty strange cravings. One day, I found myself desperately craving pickles and ice cream. Now, I had heard of this combination before, but I never thought I would actually want to try it myself. But there I was, standing in my kitchen, with a jar of pickles in one hand and a tub of ice cream in the other.

As I took my first bite, I couldn’t help but laugh at how bizarre the combination tasted. The tanginess of the pickles mixed with the sweetness of the ice cream was definitely an interesting experience for my taste buds. My husband walked into the kitchen and raised an eyebrow at the sight before him. I looked at my husband and said, “You won’t believe it, but pickles and ice cream actually taste good together!”

Now, we all know that these first few months are a weird combo of “am I going to hurl or am I starving?”, and sometimes both at once. So, let’s arm you with a pregnancy food chart that’s way more exciting than your mother-in-law’s unsolicited advice.

Table of Contents

Folate: The Superstar Nutrient for Early Pregnancy

Why It’s Essential: Picture folate as the Beyoncé of your prenatal vitamins. Queen Folate ensures your little one doesn’t drop the ball (or tube, in this case) when it comes to neural tube formation.

Sources: Green veggies, lentils, and asparagus are your go-to backup dancers. And if you can’t stand the sight of greens? (Thanks, weird pregnancy aversions). There’s always fortified cereal.

Protein: Not Just for Gym Junkies

Ladies, we’re in the business of building a human, which, as it turns out, requires some serious protein.

  1. Role of Protein: It’s helping sculpt your baby’s cute little nose and ten tiny toes. Also, muscles and organs and all that important stuff.

  2. Sources: Chicken, tofu, eggs – basically, anything that’s packed with protein but doesn’t make you gag right now.

Calcium: Building Baby Bones:

Why It’s Essential: Because those adorable baby kicks you’ll soon feel? They’re powered by calcium.

Sources: Milk, cheese, yoghurt, or if you’re riding the lactose intolerance struggle bus, there’s always fortified almond milk and leafy greens.

Iron: Because You’re Making Extra Blood:

Fun fact: Pregnancy turns you into a blood factory!

  1. Role of Iron: Making sure you’ve got enough fuel for the two of you.

  2. Sources: Steak? Yes please. Lentils? Sure. Just remember to pair it with some vitamin C for that extra absorption boost.

Omega-3s: Brain Food for Two:

Your baby’s brain is in the making, and this is the good stuff it needs:

  1. Why They’re Essential: Think of it as the VIP pass for optimal brain and eye development.

  2. Sources: If fish isn’t turning you green, salmon’s your star player. If it is, walnuts and flaxseeds are here to save the day.

First Month Diet: Because Morning Sickness:

Trying to figure out what to eat in the first month of pregnancy when morning sickness has you in a chokehold? Here’s the low-down:

  1. Hydration: If plain water tastes like metal (pregnancy, am I right?), throw in some sliced fruit or go for herbal teas.

  2. Eat the Rainbow: And no, I don’t mean Skittles. Think fruits, veggies, and everything in between.

Top 75 First Trimester Foods

Vegetables & Legumes: Nature’s Multivitamins

  1. Spinach: It’s Popeye’s secret weapon for muscles, but for you? It’s for that folic acid boost.

  2. Kale: The hipster green that’s not just for trendy salads; it’s packed with vitamins for your mini-me.

  3. Broccoli: Little trees for your little one’s development. Plus, fiber (because pregnancy can be… slow).

  4. Brussels sprouts: Tiny cabbages? For a tiny human! Iron and antioxidants galore.

  5. Asparagus: Spears to fight off low folate levels. Beware of the funny-smelling aftermath!

  6. Sweet potatoes: Because they’re sweet. And potatoes. Plus, vitamin A.

  7. Beets: They might turn everything pink, but hey, antioxidants!

  8. Red bell peppers: It’s like eating a crunchy vitamin C bomb. Kaboom!

  9. Green peas: Little green balls of protein. And they’re fun to pop!

  10. Lentils: A protein-packed powerhouse. And they go great in soups!

  11. Chickpeas: Hummus is where the heart (and protein) is.

  12. Black beans: For when you need energy. And more reasons to visit Taco Bell.

  13. Kidney beans: Just like black beans, but redder and equally delightful.

  14. Edamame: Snackable, salty, and filled with protein.

  15. Cauliflower: The chameleon of veggies. Pizza crust today, rice tomorrow!

  16. Carrots: Good for eyesight. Maybe you’ll see where those darn car keys disappeared to!

  17. Pumpkin: Not just for Halloween. It’s baby-building food.

  18. Butternut squash: Sweet, creamy, and loaded with vitamins.

  19. Green beans: Because sometimes, you just want something crunchy that’s not chips.

  20. Avocado: For the creamy goodness, healthy fats, and bragging about making your guac.

Fruits: Nature’s Candy (and So Much More!)

  1. Blueberries: Tiny antioxidant powerhouses. Also, great in muffins.

  2. Raspberries: More fiber and vitamins than there are seeds stuck in your teeth.

  3. Strawberries: Because who can resist a juicy berry? Also, vitamin C galore.

  4. Blackberries: Like the other berries but, you know, black.

  5. Oranges: Morning sickness buster and packed with vitamin C.

  6. Apples: An apple a day… Well, you know the drill.

  7. Bananas: Quick snack, energy boost, and a cramp-fighting potassium punch.

  8. Pears: Soft, sweet, and so full of fiber.

  9. Mangos: A tropical treat for mama packed with vitamins.

  10. Kiwis: Small, tangy, and vitamin C rich. Also, they’re cute.

  11. Papaya: Digestion-friendly and tropical. Like a vacation for your stomach.

  12. Guava: More vitamin C than you can shake a stick at.

  13. Watermelon: Hydration, hydration, hydration! And deliciousness.

  14. Pineapple: Tangy, sweet, and bromelain-boosted.

  15. Avocado (again): Yes, we’re repeating. But seriously, put it on toast. Add an egg. Thank me later.

Whole Grains & Nuts: The Filling Friends You Didn’t Know You Needed

  1. Quinoa: A grain that thinks it’s a protein. Sneaky and nutritious!

  2. Oats: Breakfast champ and your heart’s bestie.

  3. Brown rice: A comforting carb that brings more to the table than its white cousin.

  4. Walnuts: For those omega-3s you and your baby’s brain will go nuts over!

  5. Almonds: Healthy fats, protein, and the crunchy snack of champions.

  6. Chia seeds: Tiny seeds, big benefits. Fiber, omega-3s, and they make a mean pudding!

  7. Flaxseeds: More omega-3s. Because growing brains need all the help they can get.

  8. Barley: A grainy gem that’s full of fiber and keeps things moving, if you catch my drift.

  9. Whole grain bread: Toast it, sandwich it, avocado it!

  10. Peanuts & Peanut butter: The comfort food of champions. Stick to the natural kinds.

Dairy & Alternatives: Got Calcium?

  1. Greek yogurt: Protein-packed and creamy. Add some of those berries!

  2. Milk: The OG source of calcium. If dairy isn’t your jam, try fortified almond or soy milk.

  3. Cheese: In moderation, a delightful source of calcium. Because, cheese.

  4. Tofu: It’s like the chameleon of proteins. Also, a great plant-based calcium source.

  5. Almond milk: Because even non-dairy mamas need their milk (and cookies).

Meats, Fish & Eggs: Building Blocks for Baby

  1. Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids galore. Brain food, literally.

  2. Chicken: Lean, mean, baby-building protein.

  3. Eggs: How do you like them? Scrambled, boiled, fried? All are egg-cellent.

  4. Lean beef: Iron-rich for those energy dips.

  5. Tuna (in moderation): A little goes a long way for those omega-3s.

  6. Turkey: Not just for Thanksgiving! Lean protein for the win.

  7. Sardines: Tiny fish, big benefits. Omega-3s, calcium, and more.

  8. Lamb: A great source of B vitamins and protein.

  9. Pork: A versatile source of protein. Just ensure it’s well-cooked.

  10. Shrimp: Low-fat, high-protein, and perfect for that summer salad.

Beverages & More: Hydrate and Celebrate

  1. Water: Your new best friend. No, seriously. Drink up!

  2. Herbal teas: Gentle on the tummy and soul-soothing.

  3. Ginger tea: A natural nausea ninja.

  4. Bone broth: Warm, comforting, and packed with nutrients.

  5. Beetroot juice: A nutrient-packed, pink drink. Bottoms up!

  6. Orange juice (fortified): Vitamin C and D in one sweet sip.

  7. Lemon water: Refreshing and nausea-reducing. A morning miracle.

  8. Coconut water: Natural hydration with a tropical twist.

  9. Green smoothies: Sneak in those greens and pretend it’s ice cream.

  10. Kefir: Probiotics for that first-trimester tummy.

For The Sweet Tooth (In Moderation)

  1. Dark chocolate: Antioxidants and a mood boost. Win-win!

  2. Dates: Nature’s candy and a fiber superstar.

  3. Honey: Natural sweetener with antioxidant benefits.

  4. Figs: Sweet, chewy, and filled with calcium.

  5. Frozen yogurt: A cooler, lighter alternative to ice cream.

Quick Recap:

For the overwhelmed mamas scrolling down and thinking, “Too long, didn’t read”, here’s a quickie for “What should I eat in my first trimester?” and “What should you eat in the first trimester?”

  • Balance: Imagine your plate’s a party. You want a good mix of fun guests, not just chips and dip.

  • Hydration: Because growing a human is thirsty work.

  • Less Junk: Yes, those cheese puffs are calling, but try to resist their siren song.

  • Check-ups: Your new BFF is your OB/GYN. Embrace it.

  • Prenatal Vits: Your baby-building secret weapon.

  • Cravings: Navigate them like you would a sale at your favorite store – with joy, but some discretion.


Whew! We’ve covered quite a range here of good food to eat in early pregnancy, and while this isn’t exhaustive, it’s a pretty solid start. As always, you fabulous preggos, consult with your doc or nutritionist. They’ll know your unique needs best. Happy feasting, and may the odds of avoiding weird cravings be ever in your favor!


1. What fruit is not good for pregnancy?

Most fruits are beneficial during pregnancy, offering essential vitamins and minerals. However, certain fruits like unripe papaya might pose risks due to compounds that can cause uterine contractions. Additionally, fruits with high pesticide residues or those that aren’t thoroughly washed can pose risks. Opting for organic versions of these fruits can be a safer choice during pregnancy. Always consult with a healthcare provider about specific fruits to avoid.

2. What fruits to avoid during pregnancy?

While many fruits are beneficial, some might need caution. For instance, excessive consumption of pineapple might lead to bromelain buildup, which can soften the cervix. Grapes, especially in large quantities, have also been a topic of debate due to their resveratrol content. It’s essential to consume fruits in moderation and always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

4. What happens if I don’t eat while pregnant?

Thinking of starting a weight loss diet? This may not be the best time. You might be wondering what happens if you don’t eat while pregnant? Well, neglecting nutrition during pregnancy can lead to various issues. For the mother, this can result in fatigue, dizziness, and a weakened immune system. For the baby, inadequate nutrition can affect growth, leading to low birth weight or developmental issues. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet and ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients. Consistent neglect of nutrition can lead to more severe complications. For instance, poor diet can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, which can have long-term health implications for both the mother and the child. Other potential risks include preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and potential damage to organs like the liver and kidneys.

5. Can I eat pizza with gestational diabetes?

Yes, pizza can be enjoyed even with gestational diabetes, but it’s essential to make mindful choices. Opt for a thin whole-grain crust instead of a thick or stuffed one. Load up on veggies for toppings and choose lean proteins like grilled chicken. Limit high-fat toppings like pepperoni and extra cheese. Always monitor blood sugar levels after eating to ensure they remain stable. Check out our delicious cauliflower pizza recipe or our zesty zucchini pizza bites recipe to satisfy your cravings!

6. What sweets can I eat with gestational diabetes?

Cravings can be strong during pregnancy, but with gestational diabetes, it’s essential to make smart choices. Opt for treats made with natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit, which don’t impact blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar. Low-glycemic fruits like berries, apples, and pears can be enjoyed in moderation. Dark chocolate, with its lower sugar content, can also be a good choice when consumed in small amounts.

7. Are there any Gestational diabetes midnight snack ideas?

For those who wake up hungry in the middle of the night, it’s essential to choose midnight snack gestational diabetes solutions that won’t spike blood sugar levels. Cheese sticks, a boiled egg, or a small serving of berries can be satisfying and healthy choices. Pairing these with a complex carbohydrate, like a slice of whole-grain bread, can provide sustained energy. For a more comprehensive list, including high protein bedtime snacks for gestational diabetes, check out our top 10 gestational diabetes diet snacks