Healthy Eating

grain veg fruit milk meats

Daily needs
for women who are:

Grain Group

Make half your
grains whole


Vary your

Fruit Group

Eat a variety
of fruits

Milk Group

Low fat is

Meat and Beans

Go lean with


1st Trimester:
6 ounces

2nd & 3rd
Trimester: 8 ounces

1st Trimester:
2 ½ Cups

2nd & 3rd
Trimester:3 Cups

1st Trimester:
2 Cups

2nd & 3rd
Trimester:2 Cups

1st Trimester:
3 Cups

2nd & 3rd
Trimester 3 Cups

1st Trimester:
5 1/2 ounces

2nd & 3rd
Trimester: 6 1/2 ounces


Only: 8 ounces


Plus Formula:
7 Ounces

Only: 3 Cups


Plus Formula:
3 Cups

Only: 2 Cups


Plus Formula:
2 Cups

Only: 3 Cups


Plus Formula:
3 Cups

Only: 6 ½ Ounces


Plus Formula:
6 Ounces

(not breastfeeding)

6 Ounces

2/12 Cups

1 ½ Cups

3 Cups

5 Ounces

Counting Cups
and Ounces

1 Ounce – 1
slice bread. 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal OR ½ cup cooked pasta, rice or cereal

1 Cup – 1 cup
raw or cooked vegetables or juice, OR 2 cups leafy vegetables

1 Cup – 1 cup
fruit or juice, OR ½ cup dried fruit

1 Cup = 1 cup
milk, 8 ounces yogurt, 1 ½ ounces cheese, OR 2 ounces processed cheese

1 Ounces= 1
ounce lean meat, poultry or fish, 1 egg, ¼ cup cooked dry beans, ½ ounce
nuts, OR, 1 tablespoon peanute butter

*Information for Postpartum women is based on an 1800 calorie diet. This is for most inactive women. If you exercise 30 minutes or more per day, you may need slightly more calories.

Extra Needs for You and Your Baby

Folic Acid (Folate)-600mcg: is a B Vitamin that can help protect your unborn baby from birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

These can occur during the first weeks of pregnancy. All women during childbearing years should receive good source of folic acid daily.

Good sources of folic acid:

Fortified cereals, dark leafy vegetables, dried beans, liver, and citrus fruit

Iron- 27mg: Iron helps carry oxygen to your cells and to your baby’s cells.
Foods that contain iron:
Liver; red meats, eggs, dried beans, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, WIC, cereals and peanut butter.

Vitamin C helps your body use the iron in foods better

Avoid caffeine during pregnancy as it makes it hard for your body to use the iron
Caffeine is found in: coffee, tea. sodas, and chocolate.

Calcium: Extra calcium is needed for bone development in your baby. The baby will take calcium from your bones and teeth of you don’t get enough in your diet.
Good sources of calcium:
Low -fat dairy such as milk, yogurt, pudding and cheese; collard greens, broccoli, and fortified whole grain cereals, and juices.


Weight Gain During Pregnancy:

  • Gain weight gradually during pregnancy.
  • Total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on what you weighed before you go pregnant:
  • A woman at a healthy weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
  • 2 to 4 pounds in your first three months
  • 3 to 4 pounds per month in your fourth through ninth month.

The advice is different for an underweight or overweight woman. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider what is the right weight gain for you.

Ways to Control Your Weight- During or After Pregnancy:

Eat Fewers “extras.” Extras are the foods that are high in fat or sugar.

Examples of these include:

  • Soft Drinks and Whole Milk
  • Candies and Desserts
  • Fried or Fast Foods
  • Sausage or Bacon
  • Fatty Meats
  • Biscuits

Increasing physical activity is another way to control weight gain. Walking or swimming for 30 minutes per day is a good way to burn extra calories. Be sure to check with your doctor before doing any physical activity.

*After your baby is born wait at least six weeks before exercising. And be sure your doctor agrees it’s all right, too.

Food Safety During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

Protect you and your baby’s health by practicing safe food handling. There are many health risks to not preparing foods properly. See the chart below for details on common risks.

Health Risk

Where is it?

How to prevent

Bacteria that can cause stillborn birth, premature birth or severe illness or
death of your newborn

Raw meat,
unpasteurized milk and milk products, deli meats, hot dogs and soft cheeses

*Heat all
foods and deli meats until steaming hot

*Make sure
label states “Made with pasteurized milk”

*Don’t eat
food past the expiration date.

Parasite that might cause an infection that can be passed to your baby.

meats, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and in small animal feces.

*Wash your
hands after touching soil, sand, raw meat or unwashed vegetables.

*Have someone
else clean the animal litter box or cage. Or wear gloves if you clean it.

Mercury: Toxic
metal that can be harmful on your pregnancy or baby


*Do not eat
shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.

albacore “white: tuna to 6 oz per week.

*Eat up to 12
oz of shrimp canned light tuna, salmon, pollock or catfish per week instead.

Content taken with permission from the following informational pamphlet:
Choose MyPlate | © DHEC ML-025495