Skip to main content

We use cookies to help us improve your experience and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

To find out more about cookies and how we use them, please see our privacy policy.

Iron and calcium when planning a pregnancy

Getting enough iron when planning a pregnancy

Try to eat iron-rich foods 2 to 3 times a week. Red meat such as beef, lamb and pork are good sources of iron. If you do not eat meat, aim to include plenty of non-meat sources of iron in your diet, such as:

  • eggs
  • pulses - beans, peas and lentils
  • green vegetables - spinach and broccoli
  • breakfast cereals with added iron
  • dried fruit - prunes and apricots

Combine these foods with foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwis, peppers and berries. Vitamin C helps your body to absorb and use the iron in your diet. Avoid tea or coffee around the time you are eating iron-rich foods. They reduce your body's ability to absorb iron.

Calcium in your diet when planning a pregnancy

Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth. Try to eat 3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. See the food pyramid for some suggestions on where you can get calcium in your diet.

Page last reviewed: 15/03/2018
Next review due: 15/03/2021