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Pregnancy diet. What to eat, meals, calories for healthy nutrition.

Do you want to make a diet during pregnancy that guarantees the correct growth of the baby without gaining too much weight? Here is a healthy and balanced diet for you, which recommends what to eat during pregnancy, meals and the calorie table by trimester. Download it now, find it below.


  • Pregnancy diet

  • Diet in pregnancy and starting weight

  • Pregnancy food by trimester

  • Foods to eat when pregnant

  • Healthy pregnancy diet

  • Carbohydrates in the pregnancy diet

  • Proteins in feeding during pregnancy

  • Fats and foods to avoid in pregnancy

  • Liquids in pregnancy

  • Diet to download

Pregnancy diet
Pregnancy diet

Pregnancy diet

What to eat when pregnant? Starting well, with a right diet at the beginning of pregnancy ensures the correct development of the fetus and prevents the pregnant woman from diseases associated with incorrect nutrition. During pregnancy it is necessary to follow a type of protein diet that guarantees the pregnant woman the right nutritional intake at each meal and allows the baby to grow harmoniously, satisfying all his development needs. A saying suggests that you should eat for two in pregnancy, but it is not the right prerequisite for starting a proper diet. During the nine months the amount of nutritional needs of all nutrients increases even if in a different way for each single element. The increases in diet and daily calories are consequent to the greater needs of the mother and the growing fetus and must follow a specific type of diet.

Diet in early pregnancy and initial weight

In terms of energy intake during pregnancy if a woman starts gestation with a normal body weight she will need to increase her calorie intake based on the trimester she is in. The pounds before pregnancy, height, age, health conditions and the degree of physical activity influence calorie needs.

  • If you start with a normal weight, there are no particular dietary indications except those of the quarter in which you are paying attention to take healthy and nutritious foods.

  • If you start overweight it is good to follow a low-calorie and proportionate diet that guarantees the optimal load of the calories essential to mom and baby.

  • If you start underweight it is good to follow a nourishment with a higher daily caloric intake, in order to create a supply of microelements that ensure the health of the mother.

Pregnancy food by trimester

Each trimester of pregnancy follows a different diet in relation to the daily calories to be guaranteed to the mother and the fetus.

Nutrition in the first trimester of pregnancy

In the first trimester of pregnancy, the daily energy requirement does not differ much from the food intake that was had before gestation, therefore an increase in calories is not necessary. You can safely continue to eat as before pregnancy by avoiding foods that are low in nutrients and high in fat.

Nutrient intake in the second trimester of pregnancy

In the second trimester of pregnancy, an increase of about 200-300 calories per day is necessary, again in reference to the starting weight and body mass index (BMI) Body mass index is obtained by dividing your weight by the square of your height. In this phase of pregnancy it is good to pay attention to the kilos as in the following months it will be very easy to gain weight.

Diet in the third trimester of pregnancy

In the third quarter, the daily caloric ration increases by about 400 calories with an increase in protein of no less than 30 grams per day.

What to eat when pregnant?

For a good diet during the nine months it is first of all necessary to eat a little of everything. You can indulge your tastes but without exceeding in portions and calories. If there are no particular pathological conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension or constipation, diets during pregnancy can include almost all foods as long as they are balanced and taking care to respect the so-called rule of five

  • Five meals a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner)

  • Five portions a day of fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Healthy pregnancy diet

For a healthy diet during pregnancy, calories should be divided into 5 meals a day to avoid overloading the digestive system and not worsen the heartburn typical of the nine months. The intake of nutrients must be varied, alternating foods over the course of the week and taking care to introduce all the essential nutrients every day.

You can alternate during the pregnancy diet:

  • Proteins such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and ham.

  • All vegetables for the charge of trace elements.

  • Seasonal fruit for the supply of vitamins.

  • Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and soy.

  • Carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, potatoes, rice and barley.

Carbohydrates in the pregnancy diet

Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the body and provide the fibers necessary for good intestinal functioning. In case of insufficient calorie intake of carbohydrates, the maternal body uses proteins as a source of energy. However, proteins are essential for the growth of the baby especially in the last trimester of pregnancy and not taking enough carbohydrates means removing the proteins necessary for growth from the fetus. The intake of carbohydrates is essential for weight gain and for the growth of the fetus, placenta and other maternal tissues. Carbohydrates along with other important nutrients are contained in:

  • bread

  • pasta

  • rice

  • cereals

  • Whole grains

  • flours

  • legumes

The recommended daily dose of carbohydrates is about 170 gr.

Proteins in feeding during pregnancy

Proteins provide the amino acids necessary for the growth of maternal tissues such as the uterus and breasts, as well as the need for growth and growth of the fetus. The baby has a greater demand for proteins in the second half of pregnancy, a period in which fetal growth is particularly rapid. Foods of animal origin such as:

  • meat,

  • fish,

  • poultry,

  • egg

  • legumes

they constitute the main source of noble proteins. As well as in these foods, proteins are found in many other foods, here are some ideas to ensure an adequate load of amino acids.

  1. One liter of whole milk provides 32 grams of protein and can be enjoyed as an ingredient in a wide variety of dishes such as soups, puddings, creams, sauces and yogurts.

  2. Milk can be consumed with drinks such as hot chocolate and milkshakes, but in moderation because their calorific value is high.

  3. A large variety of hard and soft cheeses and cottage cheese are an excellent source of protein, although cream cheese is considered a source of fat.

  4. To avoid excess fat, you can taste milk, yogurt or other dairy products, skimmed or partially skimmed

  5. Women allergic to milk or lactose intolerant or vegetarians can safely take soy milk as a protein source.

  6. Soy milk can be used as an ingredient in raw, cooked dishes or as a drink.

  7. Tofu or soy cheese can replace cottage cheese.

The Ministry of Health recommends the intake of proteins during pregnancy according to these quantities:

  • 70 grams of protein per day in the first trimester.

  • 90 grams of protein per day in the second trimester.

  • 110 grams of protein per day in the third trimester.

When choosing the proteins to eat, it is important to respect the balance between the protein content of animal origin and the recommended protein content of plant origin in 50% and 50%, or slightly leaning towards animal proteins that have a higher biological value. The increase in proteins in the maternal diet guarantees the additional calories needed during pregnancy. The recommended doses and foods are:

  • lean meat: 150-170 grams per day

  • fish: 100-150 grams per day

  • legumes: 80 grams dry provide 20 grams of protein;

  • dairy products: 100-150 grams of cheese or ½ liter of milk or two eggs or two yogurts a day.

A good balanced weekly diet must include a variation of protein.

Fats and foods to avoid during pregnancy

Fats or lipids represent an important energy reserve because they are able to release large quantities of calories per unit of mass; for example, during physical activity, fats are consumed together with carbohydrates to provide energy. In pregnancy fats are absorbed completely, determining on the one hand the serum increase in lipids, lipoproteins and cholesterol and, on the other, a significant reduction in intestinal elimination. Fat deposits in the fetus increase from 2% mid-pregnancy to nearly 12% at term of pregnancy. The proportion of fat during pregnancy must not undergo large variations in quantity compared to a normal diet, rather it is recommended to prefer the consumption of vegetable oils, in particular extra virgin olive oil, both because it is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D, and because used raw it is highly digestible, as well as for the higher content of polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for the growing organism. It is recommended to take linoleic acid or vitamin F which plays an important role in growth, development, maintenance of vital functions and skin protection. Sources of vitamin F are:

  • fish,

  • fish oil,

  • nuts,

  • linseed oil,

  • hemp seeds,

  • blackcurrant

  • soy lecithin.

A daily lipid ration must represent about 30% of total calories, with a prevalence of vegetable fats. Remember that the daily lipid requirement is met by:

  • from 25 gr of butter,

  • 1/2 liter of semi-skimmed milk,

  • 25 gr of vegetable oil,

  • from constitution fats of 150gr of meat.

therefore pay attention to the doses. Foods containing too much fat are absolutely the foods to avoid during pregnancy, not only for weight gain, but for a discourse in terms of health.

Water and liquids in the diet for pregnant women

Water is essential for life and is contained in all tissues of the body as well as necessary for carrying out biochemical reactions. Water acts as a lubricant and as a means of transport for substances entering and leaving our body, contributing to thermal homeostasis. A pregnant woman should drink at least 8-10 glasses of fluid per day, of which 4-6 should be just water.

  • Due to the sodium content, carbonated drinks should be consumed in moderation.

  • Beverages containing caffeine have the opposite effect of providing liquids, so they are best avoided.

  • High-sugar drinks should not be drunk or at least eaten in great moderation.

Nutrition and diet scheme in pregnancy

The weekly balanced diet to download is specially designed for the nine months and consists of:

  • Breakfast that ensures the right energy.

  • Full nutrient lunch and dinner.

  • 2 snacks breaks hunger.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy are not included, and neither are foods banned in nine months. The menu is designed to guarantee all the nutrients to mother and child but also to be a diet for not gaining weight during pregnancy. Below you can find the pregnancy diet for download

pregnancy diet
Download PDF • 48KB

Mammamather pocket obstetrician

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