Top Foods to Eat when Pregnant First Trimester - Foods to Avoid

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rajeshwari Panda
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 5 August 2023
Top Foods to Eat when Pregnant First Trimester - Foods to Avoid

Pregnancy can be a difficult road, and it is crucial to know the best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester. This is primarily because the body experiences numerous changes during this time which support the development and growth of the foetus. For many women, the first trimester can be especially challenging because of the constant morning sickness, nausea, and food aversions. 

Maintaining a balanced diet with the required level of nutrition is essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, one must be aware of the foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant India. This contributes to the health of both mother and child while preventing the risks of complications. Keep reading to explore the top foods to eat when pregnant first trimester.

Importance of Nutrition in the First Trimester

Nutrition upholds huge importance, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. During this period, the body needs to provide the developing foetus with essential nutrients that will aid in its healthy growth and development.

These essential nutrients primarily include protein, calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins such as A, C, and D and should be present in the list of foods to eat when pregnant first trimester. 

Pregnancy’s first trimester is a crucial time because the baby’s organs and systems are developing in this phase. Proper nutrition during this time period can help reduce the risk of birth defects and complications like low birth weight and preterm delivery. 

A nutritious diet can also help prevent common pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Moreover, the best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester helps overcome symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc.
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Top Foods To Eat When Pregnant First Trimester

It is important to keep in mind that during the first trimester of pregnancy, food acts as a source of tremendous support for one’s body alongside supporting the foetus.

Everything that a woman eats during the pregnancy period so does the baby. Thus one must ensure to include a wide range of healthy food items in the diet. Below are some of the essential foods to eat when pregnant first trimester.

  1. Coloured Vegetables and Fruits: Eating coloured vegetables during the first trimester of pregnancy is highly beneficial. Some of these include cauliflower, celery, squash, sweet potato, corn and more.
    All these vegetables contain essential nutrients and vitamins. For increased benefits, one can keep taking vitamins alongside following the pregnant women food chart.
    Some people think that fruits are too sugary to eat during pregnancy, but this is not true. Fruits contain large amounts of nutrition and help curb any kind of sugar cravings.
    Bananas, apples, strawberries, mangoes, pears, citrus, pomegranates, grapes — all these are excellent choices to support the development of one’s baby in the womb.
    However, make sure not to eat these fruits in excessive quantities as it can then lead to weight gain or increased blood sugar.
  2. Whole Grains: Brown rice, cereals, oatmeal, and whole-wheat pasta — all come under the category of whole grains. Along with being extremely healthy, they contain high fibre, folic acid, iron and essential vitamins.
    These help prevent certain common problems during pregnancy, like constipation or haemorrhoids. 
  3. Healthy Proteins: During pregnancy’s first trimester, it is important to consume a variety of healthy proteins to ensure that you’re getting all the essential amino acids needed for proper foetal development.
    These mainly include lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes, peanut butter and dairy products like tofu etc. Make sure any meat or fish consumed during pregnancy is cooked thoroughly to avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses.
    Also, try to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that are high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.
  4. Dairy Products: When considering foods to eat when pregnant first trimester, dairy products are the most crucial ones. They are an essential source of nutrients for pregnant women.
    They are rich in calcium, which is crucial for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Additionally, dairy products also provide protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients that support the growth and development of the foetus.
    Moreover, dairy products are also a good source of probiotics, which can improve gut health and reduce the risk of certain infections. Therefore, it is crucial for pregnant women to include dairy products in their diet to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  5. Legumes: Legumes, such as lentils, beans, and soybeans, are a crucial source of nutrients for pregnant women. They are rich in protein, fibre, iron, folate, and other essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for foetal growth and development.
    Consistent consumption of legumes during pregnancy can help lower the risk of pregnancy-related complications, preterm delivery, and birth defects.
    Moreover, legumes are an excellent plant-based protein source that can be particularly beneficial for vegan and vegetarian women. These versatile foods can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, making them a tasty and convenient way for pregnant women to meet their nutritional needs.

Nutrient Requirements During The First Trimester

It is extremely crucial for women to understand the best fertility foods when trying to get pregnant. This can help in an easy conception and lead to a safe pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women must also be mindful of the exact nutrient requirements of their body during the first trimester. 

Some key nutrient requirements during the first trimester include:

  1. Folic acid: Folic acid is critical for the development of the neural tube, which forms the brain and spinal cord. Women are typically advised to take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily before and during early pregnancy.
  2. Iron: Iron is important for the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the baby. Women need extra iron during pregnancy to support the increased blood volume. Iron-rich foods such as lean meat, beans, spinach, and fortified cereals can help meet the daily requirement.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth in the baby. Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods are good sources of calcium.
  4. Protein: Protein is important for the growth and development of the baby's cells and tissues. Women should aim for at least 70 grams of protein per day from sources such as lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts.
  5. Vitamins and minerals: In addition to folic acid, iron, calcium, and protein, pregnant women also need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and zinc.A balanced diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help meet these requirements.
Nutrients Recommended Daily Dose
Folic Acid 400-800 micrograms
Iron 1,000 milligrams
Calcium 1,000 milligrams
Protein 70 grams
Vitamins and Minerals Vitamins: 800 micrograms  - 1.5 milligramsMinerals: 50 micrograms - 1 milligrams

 

Foods To Avoid During The First Trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, it's important to avoid certain foods that may increase the risk of foodborne illnesses or harm the developing foetus. Some foods to avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy include:

  1. Raw or undercooked meat and poultry
  2. Caffeine in excessive amounts
  3. Alcohol
  4. Raw or undercooked fish and shellfish
  5. Unpasteurized dairy products
  6. Deli meats and processed meats
  7. Raw or undercooked eggs
  8. Certain types of fish with high levels of mercury
  9. Artificial sweeteners

Healthy Eating Tips To Keep In Mind During The First Trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is essential to adopt a healthy eating plan to ensure both the mother’s and the baby’s optimal health. Here are some healthy eating tips for pregnant women to keep in mind during the first trimester:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: It is crucial to consume a variety of foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products.
  2. Take prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients that support the baby’s growth and development, such as folic acid, iron, and calcium.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help prevent constipation and dehydration.
  4. Eat small, frequent meals: Eating several small meals throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent nausea.
  5. Choose healthy snacks: Snacking on fruits, vegetables, and nuts can provide important nutrients and keep you feeling full between meals.
  6. Limit caffeine intake: Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day or less, which is equivalent to one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Pregnancy is a crucial phase in a woman’s life, and keeping up with the right nutrition is essential both for the mother and baby. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to develop an individualised plan that meets the specific nutritional needs during pregnancy.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial time for foetal development, and it is important to consume a balanced and nutrient-rich diet to support this process. The best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester include lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, and legumes, as well as nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, and whole grains. 

Turn to HexaHealth and get expert consultation from our seasoned professionals, that can help make your entire pregnancy easy. With the right diet chart to the integral exercises for the effective development of the baby, you can explore all the essential aspects with us. Get in touch with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods to eat when pregnant first trimester?

Knowing the foods to eat when pregnant first trimester is extremely crucial. Eat nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins, and citrus fruits. This is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and also helps keep up the effective development of the baby.

Dairy products are also integral for fulfilling the need for calcium in the body.

What foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant India?

Sugary and processed items often come under the list of foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant India. These foods can cause severe health impacts like gestational weight gain (GWG) that can lead to complicated childbirth.

What are the best fertility foods when trying to get pregnant?

The best fertility foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These keep your body healthy and provide all the essential nutrients to your body. This helps in preparing your body for nurturing a child and enhances your chances of getting pregnant.

What is the recommended food chart for a pregnant lady?

A recommended food chart for pregnant women should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Some dairy products, eggs and legumes can also be effective in making a balanced diet.

Are there more food cravings when pregnant with a boy?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that food cravings differ based on the sex of the baby during pregnancy. You may experience the same food cravings while pregnant, irrespective of having a girl or a boy.

What are the benefits of iron-rich foods for pregnant women?

Iron-rich foods are essential for pregnant women to prevent anaemia and ensure the proper development of the baby’s brain, immune system, and blood cells. They help enhance the production of RBCs in the body, facilitating the overall growth of the foetus.

What are the foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant?

Foods to avoid when trying to conceive include high-mercury fish, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods high in sugar and trans fats. They tend to have a negative impact on the health of women and thus must be avoided when trying for a baby.

What are the recommended protein foods for pregnant women?

Recommended protein foods for pregnant women include lean meats, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. These are crucial for levelling up your blood supply, allowing the baby to get adequate blood. It also helps in the development of the baby’s tissue cells.

What foods to avoid to get pregnant?

Foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant include processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-mercury fish, which can negatively affect fertility. You should also have a regular workout as it tends to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

What foods to eat to get pregnant with a boy?

The sex of the baby has no correlation to the food you consume. You must eat the right food to ensure safe and healthy childbirth. This does not influence the gender of the child.

How does the Anganwadi food supply for pregnant women help?

Anganwadi food supply for pregnant women provides essential nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins for proper foetal growth and development. They ensure that all expecting and lactating mothers get the required nutrients for an easy childbirth experience.

What foods to eat when trying to get pregnant fast?

Foods to eat when trying to get pregnant fast include whole grains, leafy greens, lean protein, and healthy fats while avoiding processed and sugary foods. They help in keeping the hormones and metabolism of your body in place, thereby increasing your chances of getting pregnant.

What foods to get pregnant with twins?

Having twins has no relation with the food you eat. Your diet will make sure that the baby is healthy alongside a safe delivery. Your food has no role in determining the number of children you get pregnant with.

What are protein foods for pregnant vegetarian females?

Pregnant vegetarian females can get protein from sources like beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, nuts, and seeds. All these foods are rich in protein and contribute to making a balanced diet for vegetarian pregnant women.

Is it safe to eat spicy food while pregnant?

Spicy food is generally safe to eat while pregnant unless it causes discomfort or heartburn. If you suffer from indigestion or any allergies, it is best to minimise the intake of spicy food during pregnancy.

For women at 27 weeks pregnant, what food to eat?

For women at 27 weeks pregnant, it’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins C and D. This is a time when your body needs an adequate amount of energy alongside all the essential nutrients required for the growth of the baby.

For women at 6 or 5 weeks pregnant what foods to avoid?

For women at 6 or 5 weeks pregnant it’s recommended to avoid foods that may contain harmful bacteria or toxins. This may include raw or undercooked meat, fish, and eggs, as well as unpasteurised dairy products. It is best to satisfy your food cravings with healthy snacks like fruits and nuts.

What are the best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester?

The best foods to eat during the first trimester of pregnancy include lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. They provide the much-needed nutrition to both the mother and baby while ensuring a smooth pregnancy.

Which fruit is best for the first trimester?

The best fruits for the first trimester include bananas, oranges, apples, and berries, which provide vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants. All of these help in enhancing the metabolism of your body while preventing the chances of gastric issues.

What are the best foods to eat while pregnant with morning sickness?

The best foods to eat while experiencing morning sickness include small, frequent meals high in protein and complex carbohydrates. These can be crackers, nuts, plain yoghurt, or whole-grain toast.

What are fibre-rich foods while pregnant?

Fibre-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables help prevent constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. These also enhance the metabolism level of the body while maintaining the hormones.

What are the best food supplements for pregnant mothers?

Prenatal vitamins containing folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D are most commonly recommended for pregnant women. It is advised to consult a doctor before taking any supplements to ensure it does not have any negative effects on your body.

What are the foods to eat to lower blood pressure while pregnant?

Foods high in potassium, such as bananas and sweet potatoes, can significantly help in lowering your blood pressure. You must also reduce your overall salt intake while staying hydrated to help improve the condition.

What are recommended foods to help gain weight while pregnant?

Healthy weight gain is crucial during pregnancy. Protein-rich foods, whole grains, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds can help. Increasing weight with unhealthy fats can lead to detrimental effects.

What is considered good food for 4-month pregnant women?

A well-balanced diet including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products is good for 4-month pregnant women. All these foods play a vital role in the growth of the foetus.

What are pregnancy superfoods?

Pregnancy superfoods include leafy greens, berries, eggs, salmon, and avocados for their high nutritional value. They are often the go-to for pregnant women that are effective for both the mother and the child.

List of Foods to Include in 1st Month Pregnancy Diet Chart.

A 1st month-pregnancy diet chart for women can include the following:

  1. Fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges
  2. Green leafy vegetables 
  3. Whole grains like oats 
  4. Dairy products like milk, yoghourt, and cheese
  5. Protein-rich foods like eggs, lean meat, and legumes
  6. Healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado
  7. Plenty of water to stay hydrated.

How many extra calories do you need during the first trimester?

Pregnant women need about 340 extra calories per day during the first trimester. These calories are utilised by the body for the development of the baby.

What nutrients do you need during the first trimester?

Nutrients needed during the first trimester include folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. One may opt for natural food items that are the source of these nutrients or can leverage supplements to fulfil the need.

What are the healthy eating tips for the first trimester?

Healthy eating tips for the first trimester include consuming a balanced diet, staying hydrated, avoiding harmful foods, and taking prenatal vitamins. Every pregnant woman must be mindful of these habits to ensure a smooth delivery.

What is the best homemade food for pregnant dogs?

The best homemade food for pregnant dogs is a balanced diet with lean protein, vegetables, and fruits, as recommended by a veterinarian. It is crucial to fulfilling the need of the dog’s body, and these foods can help with it.

References

All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.


  1. Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrientslink
  2. 13 Foods to Eat When You’re Pregnantlink

Updated on : 5 August 2023

Reviewer

Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Certified National Diabetic Educator

6 Years Experience

Dr Rajeshwari Panda is a well-known Dietitian currently associated with SRV Hospital, Chembur. She has 6 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics and worked as an expert dietitian in different cities in India. She has worked i...View More

Author

About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

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