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Power Foods for Pregnant Moms

During pregnancy, you’re working overtime, so you need food that works overtime too! We’ve compiled a list of 10 nutrient-rich power foods for pregnant and lactating women.

Berries

During pregnancy, you’re working overtime — planning, preparing and literally building a new life. To support all this amazing activity, you need food that works overtime too!We’ve compiled a list of 10 nutrient-rich power foods for pregnant and lactating women. You might think of these foods as nature’s original multitaskers, because they deliver multiple essential nutrients for mama and baby in every bite.

The following foods belong at the top of any pregnant mom's priority list. Bonus: they can deliver a powerful nutritional punch to everyone at your dinner table, so now is the time to start incorporating them into your family's meals for life. Click on the linked ingredients for recipes and cooking tips.

Pregnancy Power Foods

  • Yogurt - Calcium and probiotics

  • Dark leafy greens - Calcium, fiber, folic acid and vitamin A

  • Eggs - Vitamin A, iron and protein

  • Fatty fish - Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA

  • Lamb - Vitamin B12, iron and zinc

  • Berries - Antioxidants and fiber

  • Sweet potatoes - Vitamins A and E

  • Avocados - Potassium, folic acid, lutein and "good" fat

  • Legumes - Vegetarian protein, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium and zinc

  • Nuts - Fiber, vitamin E and magnesium

 

Want to maximize the multitasking? The possibilities are endless (and delicious) when you combine these pregnancy power foods. Whip up a frittata with eggs and leafy greens like kale (see Learn to Cook: Frittata for tips). Ladle legumes and sweet potatoes in Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup. Or layer yogurt, nuts and berries for a parfait that’s perfect any time of day (check out the upcoming May-June edition of The Whole Deal for a parfait tutorial.)
Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

Did you know that by eating sweet potatoes with a little fat, you can increase the absorption of vitamin A? Or that it’s best to eat calcium-rich foods and zinc-rich foods at different times for optimal absorption of each? To learn more about the nutritional benefits of the foods listed above, check out our in-depth article on Nutrition for Pregnant and Nursing Moms. It’s loaded with tips about what to eat, how much and when. And if you’re looking for some stomach-soothing smoothies, we’ve got a blender-full of great ideas in our guide to Healthy Pregnancy.

dark leafy greens

While you’re adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet, don’t forget to add a prenatal vitamin too. Consult your healthcare practitioner and choose a product that’s free of artificial flavors, sweeteners and preservatives, such as Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin.When I was expecting, my go-to breakfast was scrambled eggs with spinach. In the first trimester, I was sure my co-workers would guess that I was pregnant, because I couldn’t make it through a single meeting without breaking out the berries and yogurt.

Do you have a favorite pregnancy power food from our top ten list? Or, better yet, a delicious multitasking combination? Please share in the comments below.

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