Best Foods for Baby Development During Pregnancy

You are probably already aware of the importance of taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Did you know that certain things in your diet can help in your baby’s development? You can give your baby an early start by choosing the right foods for baby development during pregnancy. Likewise, some food choices can actually have a negative impact on baby’s development.


Most of us want to eat healthy during pregnancy, but with morning sickness, food aversions, and wild cravings that isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to eat what you can tolerate. The good news is, morning sickness usually lets up after the first trimester. Here are some healthy snack choices that you can eat during the day to aid in your baby’s development.

Foods High in Omega-3s
fishThis is an important nutrient to get in while you’re pregnant as it helps boost baby’s brain development as well as vision. Taken during the second trimester can make a difference in your baby’s mental development later on. Fish is a great source of obtaining Omega-3 fatty acids, though you have to be watchful of what kind you eat. Fish that may be high in mercury such as shark, king mackerel, and swordfish are a few that you should definitely avoid while pregnant. The recommended serving of fish during pregnancy is 12 ounces a week. If you are not a fish-eating person, there are other ways you can obtain Omega-3s. Here are other foods that you can eat:

  • Flaxseed
  • Nuts, walnuts
  • Peanut butter with Omega-3
  • Enriched eggs
  • Miso

Iron-Rich Foods
grilled meat and veggiesIron is a vital element in your baby’s diet both in-utero as well as out (hence why formulas are all fortified with iron). During pregnancy it’s especially important to obtain an adequate amount in order to help provide oxygen to your baby and avoid anemia. Taking a prenatal vitamin alone is often not enough to supply the recommended amount you should be consuming so be sure you are getting in plenty of iron-rich foods or ask your doctor if an additional supplement is needed. Here are some excellent food choices containing iron:

  • Lean meat
  • Chicken
  • Legumes
  • Fortified cereals
  • Spinach

Protein-Rich Foods
Getting in additional protein during pregnancy is crucial to your baby’s development as protein makes up your baby’s cells. Be sure to up your protein intake to an extra 10 grams per day. If you are a vegetarian, it is very important to obtain protein through plant sources. Here are some foods that are great sources of protein:

  • Turkey breast
  • Eggs
  • Non-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Soy beans
  • Nuts and seeds

You can get away with guilty treats here and there but you definitely want to try and maintain a healthy diet by incorporating these along with other healthy food choices. If you find it difficult to eat enough of the right foods for baby development during pregnancy, you can try smoothies using a combination of these foods such as Greek yogurt and spinach with milled flaxseed and your favorite fruits. You can also try drinking nutritional shakes, such as Ensure Complete with Omega-3s or Carnation Breakfast Essentials that are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. If you like hot chocolate, shoot for Ovaltine which can be enjoyed hot or cold. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your dietary habits so she can help fill in any nutritional gaps you might have.

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