Are You Meeting Your Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding?


During pregnancy, various healthy food habits will help you stay fit and energetic, and also provide essential nutrients for you and your baby.

Some of the important food groups that provide essential nutrients during pregnancy and breastfeeding are:

  1. 1. Bread, cereals, pasta, rice and potato group

    This food group is your main source of energy. They contain nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin C. Eat at least 6-11 portions per day.


    One portion is equivalent to:

    • 1/2 cup cooked cereal (rice, oatmeal)
    • 3/4 cup ready-to eat dry cereal
    • 1 potato (medium size)
  2. 2. Vegetables and fruits group

    Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of vitamins and minerals, including folate and iron, which can help to prevent anaemia during pregnancy. Eat at least 5 portions per day.

    One portion is equivalent to:

    • 1/2 cup of vegetables (e.g. carrots, beets etc.)
    • 1 cup of green leafy vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, spinach etc.)
    • 1 piece of fruit (medium size)
    • 160 ml fruit or vegetable juice (preferably 100% pure juice)
  3. 3. Milk and dairy products group

    Dairy products are a good source of calcium that is essential for production of your breast milk as well as for the bones and teeth of your baby. Eat at least 3 portions per day.

    Each portion is equivalent to

    • 1 cup of yogurt
    • 1 glass of milk
  4. 4. Fish, poultry, meat and bean group

    This food group is rich in proteins. Some meats are also good sources of iron. Eat at least 2 portions per day.

    One portion is equivalent to

    • 1 cup of beans
    • 2 eggs
    • 70-80 g of cooked lean fish, poultry or meat
  5. 5. Butter, oils, sugar, sweets and salt group

    This food group is high in calories, so do not consume much of it. Try to use oils (such as olive, canola or rapeseed oil) over animal fats. Reduce the intake of salt as it will reduce your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy

  6. 6. Foods for other essential nutrients

    Folic acidSpinach, fortified cereals.lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans
    IronGreen leafy vegetables, peas, cooked beans
    CalciumMilk, cheese, yogurt
    Vitamin DOily fish, butter, eggs, fortified margarine
  1. Health eating during pregnancy and breast feeding. Available from Accessed on 13/05/2016.