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Foods to eat when planning a pregnancy

Eating well before becoming pregnant will help your body adjust faster to the changes pregnancy brings. You will need nutrients to help you stay healthy and help the growth and development of your baby.

Folic acid, iron and calcium are especially important. Women who can become pregnant are advised to take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement every day.

Foods to eat when trying to get pregnant

If you are planning to get pregnant, make some changes to your diet and lifestyle in the months before you conceive.

Choose a variety of foods from the 4 nourishing food groups every day.

These groups are:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • wholemeal and wholegrain carbohydrates
  • dairy
  • protein

Eating a wide variety of nourishing foods provides the energy and nutrients you will need every day to stay healthy.

Try to limit less nutritious foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

The food pyramid (PDF, 1 page, 4.3MB) will give you more information on these different food groups.

Healthy eating when trying to get pregnant

Things you can do to eat more healthily:

  • base your meals on plenty of vegetables, salads and fruits - up to half your plate or bowl at every meal
  • choose a variety of colours when eating vegetables, salads and fruits
  • eat regular meals and cook mostly with fresh ingredients
  • use the food pyramid as a guide
  • make sure your meals are balanced by including fruit or vegetables, wholegrains and a protein source so that your body is getting the nourishment it needs at each mealtime
  • be mindful of what you are eating and drinking
  • sit at a table and try not to watch TV or a screen while you are eating

Make sure you are drinking enough fluids - most people need around 6 to 8 cups a day.

Water, tea, milk and sugar-free cordials are better choices. Try to limit drinks that are high in sugar such as fizzy drinks and sweetened juice drinks.

Page last reviewed: 30 September 2022
Next review due: 30 September 2025