It is ideal for a pregnant woman’s diet to be well-balanced and incorporate nutrient-dense foods to ensure that she and the baby get all the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal nutrition is essential throughout the whole pregnancy, including the first trimester.
In addition to providing mother and baby with essential nutrients, eating the right foods can also help with the management of those dreaded pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, nausea, cravings, and food aversions. Maintaining a balanced diet is also one of the best ways to help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and anemia.
Here at The Prenatal Nutritionist, we know it can be hard to plan and eat healthy meals all the time. This is where a good food shopping list can come in handy before heading to the grocery store. So, today, we’re sharing a first trimester food shopping list for all you soon-to-be moms out there.
This list includes all the best foods to consume during early pregnancy to ensure you and your baby head into your second trimester strong and healthy.
First Trimester Food Shopping List
The vitamin B6 and magnesium found in avocados may help alleviate or reduce morning sickness symptoms. Avocados are also a great source of healthy fats that benefit both mom and baby.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which can help with nausea and is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
If there was such a thing as a pregnancy superfood, berries would be one. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are chock full of nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and folate. Click here to read why folate is so important during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene and many other nutrients which are vital for your baby’s fetal development, such as vitamins B, C, E, folate, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.
Spinach & Other Dark Leafy Greens
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are excellent for your early pregnancy diet because they are rich in vitamins C and A, and folate. Plus, colorful foods, like red bell peppers, are a good source of phytonutrients.
Nut butters like almond, walnut, peanut, and cashew, are a great source of healthy fats and a boost protein for early pregnancy. This pantry item is a great snack for any time of the day, especially when combined with some delicious fruit.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein during pregnancy, especially if meat isn’t sounding appetizing due to food aversions. They also contain a good amount of folate and fiber. Check out the best beans to consume during pregnancy, here.
Seeds – Pumpkin, Hemp, Flax, Chia, etc.
Seeds are a good source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats are important for the growth and development of baby brain’s brain and other organs. Fats are also helpful for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and promoting satiety for the mom to be.
Brown rice contains magnesium and a plethora of B vitamins – all of which are important for baby’s brain development. Getting plenty of these nutrients during early pregnancy will not only benefit brain development now, but in your second and third trimester as well.
Oatmeal has a plethora of benefits during pregnancy, too. It’s a great source of fiber, generally easy on the stomach, and it’s usually well-tolerated when experiencing first-trimester food aversions and morning sickness.
Meat, Poultry, and Fish
Chicken is a meat that is packed with protein and other important nutrients for pregnancy. It’s also a good source of vitamin B6, which as mentioned above, is a helpful nutrient for reducing nausea during pregnancy. Chicken is also a good source of selenium, niacin, and phosphorus.
Salmon is one of the best foods for early pregnancy because it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, protein, and selenium. It’s also a low mercury fish choice safe for pregnancy.
When it comes to getting your daily value of calcium in those early months of pregnancy, full-fat greek yogurt is the way to go. Greek yogurt is also a good source of protein and can help you maintain a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Adding milk to your meal plan helps to supply extra iodine, calcium, and protein. Calcium and protein are important for the proper development of your baby’s bones and teeth, especially during the first trimester.
Dried fruit like apricots, prunes, pears, dates, and figs make a tasty addition to trail mix. Homemade trail mix is a delicious and healthy snack for pregnant people. Dried fruits can also provide a good boost of fiber. We recommend choosing dried fruit free from added sugar.
Morning sickness, food aversions, and nausea can make it hard to eat certain foods. When you’re dealing with these symptoms, grab some crackers. They are easy on the stomach and are typically a well-tolerated first-trimester food choice.
Walnuts have a plethora of advantages during pregnancy. In the first trimester, eat them as a snack to help keep blood sugar levels balanced, aid in the development of the baby’s brain and eyes, and support a healthy weight gain.
Hard boiled Eggs
Eggs are a great source of choline, protein, and many other nutrients. Choline is needed for the closure of the neural tube and baby’s brain development. Don’t leave out the yolk because that is where all the choline is!
Ginger tea is one of the best drinks to consume during early pregnancy because it has properties that help soothe morning sickness and nausea. Research indicates that ginger is safe to consume throughout pregnancy in foods and tea.
Other Herbal Teas
Herbal teas like peppermint and chamomile tea are safe in moderation and can help to provide relief from pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, insomnia, and stress. Drinking tea is also a great way to stay hydrated during pregnancy.
During early pregnancy, women may have trouble staying hydrated due to morning sickness. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes to replenish the body. And, it’s great for staying hydrated when the taste of plain water starts getting old. Be sure to pick an unsweetened option, if possible!
The best part about this first-trimester pregnancy grocery list is that you can mix and match, add, subtract, or choose what you’d like to form all kinds of meals.
You can use your fresh fruit, greek yogurt, and coconut water to make a smoothie. You can combine your nut butter and crackers for a nice afternoon snack. And, you can mix and match the salmon and chicken with all the vegetables mentioned in the fresh produce section. So. Many. Options.
With just this list, there are already so many meal and snack combinations. Let us know your favorite snacks and foods for the first trimester below! For more helpful information to manage those pesky pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and heartburn, join us inside The Prenatal Nutrition Library. In the library you’ll find a full 30-day first trimester meal plan that includes a grocery list.
To start, check out our Pregnancy Grocery Guide PDF below!