What to eat when you're expecting in the 1st trimester

Updated: Mar 3

I am sure like me you were all quite aware of the expectations that when you're pregnant you should have more fruits and vegetables, less fatty foods and you MUST skip the seafood (NOOO!).

I didn't quite understand how to balance this pregnancy diet with the "cravings". If you are all aware of that term. That means when mommy dearest wanted a hamburger, she WANTS a hamburger and not a stick of carrot (poor hubby)!

I know we all have funny stories for a lifetime. So here I am ready to get you the information you need to set the record straight and have your hamburger if you would like more protein without the stigma attached. What has your experience been? I would love to hear about it in our FORUM section.

pregnant woman with Kale
What to eat when your expecting in the 1st trimester
“Variety of foods during pregancy is the key to ensuring balance in nutrition in the 1st Trimester of pregnancy."

Babies' major organs are formed during the first few weeks of pregnancy in the first trimester. This crucial stage is the time of early fetal development. Rapid growth also occurs here as well.

If you think about it, the baby would need more nutrients from the mom to help in this stage of development.

Therefore, iron, calcium, and folic acid are key nutrients needed at this stage to foster good fetal growth and development. Let's go through each group to give you an idea of what the nutrients are, and their function in your body. I will then give you examples of foods that are rich in iron, calcium, and folic acid.


Your body during pregnancy supplies your baby with blood and oxygen needed. Iron is used to make hemoglobulin found in red blood cells that carry this oxygen to your baby. Therefore because of this increased demand for iron, your diet requires about twice the amount of iron during pregnancy as opposed to before pregnancy.

How much do you need?

You need at minimum 27mg (source: mayoclinic) of iron twice daily. Getting this additional iron can come from a variety of foods and also supplements that can facilitate this increased need. There are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products that offer the iron needed for pregnancy.

Foods rich in iron

Poultry, fish, lean red meat are excellent sources of iron. Others include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, and dried fruit.


  • 1 cup boiled spinach (6.5 milligrams),

  • 3 ounces prime beef tenderloin (2.5 milligrams). Yes, you can have your steak!