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Pregnancy Nutrition in a Nutshell

We have covered a lot in the sections above regarding food, nutrition and balanced eating. In this section we show you how to put it into practice with a handy food checklist and a sample meal plan.

Food Checklist

Eating a wide variety of foods from the core food groups will help give you the energy and nutrients necessary for a successful pregnancy. The table below shows the amount of food from each food group that is recommended during pregnancy.

Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles 4 - 6 2 slices of wholegrain bread
1/2 cup of raw muesli
1 cup of cooked coucous
4 crispbread biscuits
1 cup of cooked pasta or rice
2 thin pancakes
Vegetables and legumes 5 - 6 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables (e.g. sliced carrots, cauliflower florets)
1 cup of salad (e.g. shredded lettuce, sliced beetroot, diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup of soya beans
1/2 cup of peas
Fruit 4 1 medium piece of fruit (e.g. apple, banana, pear, orange)
1 cup of canned/diced fruit (e.g. diced pineapple, fruit salad, grapes)
2 tablespoons of sultanas
1/2 cup (125mL) of orange juice
Dairy & dairy substitutes 3 1 cup of milk (preferably reduced fat) with MILO
200g tub of fruit yogurt (preferably reduced fat)
1 glass of calcium enriched soy drink (preferably reduced fat)
2 slices (40g) of reduced fat hard cheese
1 cup of custard (preferably reduced)
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts 1 1/2 100g of grilled lean red meat
100g of skinless roast chicken breast
120g of steamed fish fillet
2 poached eggs
1/2 cup of baked beans
1/3 cup of cashews
Extra foods 0 - 2 1/2 1 small packet potato chips
1 tablespoon of margarine / oil
1/2 bar chocolate
1 1/2 scoops of ice cream
1 piece of cake

Sample Meal Plan


2 wholemeal crumpets with jam
Bowl of bran flake cereal topped with fresh strawberries
½ cup of reduced fat milk
Small glass of orange juice
Provides: 2 serves of breads/cereals, 2 serves of fruit, ½ serve of dairy.

Morning Snack

Tub of reduced fat, natural fruit yogurt
Provides: 1 serve of dairy


Lebanese lamb salad wrap:
1 large lavash bread
100g thinly sliced roast lamb
1/2 cup tabouleh (salad of parsley, bulgur, tomatoes and onions with olive oil and lemon juice)
1/2 cup canned corn kernels & onion rings
80g of minted low fat natural yogurt
Provides: 1 serve of breads/cereals, 1 ½ serves of vegetables, 1/2 serve of dairy, 1 serve of meat.

Afternoon Snack

Freshly cut fruit salad
Glass of hot MILO with reduced fat milk
Provides: 1 serve of fruit, 1 serve of dairy.


Chicken and vegetable curry:
Grilled chicken breast (100g)
Curry mix
2 cups of vegetables (onion, green beans, carrot, capsicum)
½ cup of chick peas
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 cup of steamed rice
Provides: 1 serve of breads/cereals, 5 serves of vegetables, 1 serve of meat, 1 serve of extra food.

Evening Snack

Freshly sliced peach with a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream
Provides: 1 serve of fruit, 1 serve of extra food.

A folic acid supplement is recommended during the first three months of pregnancy.

Remember, your fluid intake is just as important as the food you eat. Try to drink around 2 litres of water or sparkling mineral water every day