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Published on July 01, 2009

Eating for Two: Meal Planning for Expecting Women

You may have heard that you are now “eating for two” because you’re pregnant. But the truth is, you only need about 300 extra calories a day, especially later in your pregnancy when your baby grows quickly. That means you should include a couple extra servings of fruits and vegetables a day, an extra glass of milk, or a couple more ounces of lean meat.

For good nutrition during pregnancy, eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups. Below is a list from the Food and Drug Administration of the most common nutrients that you will need to keep you and your baby healthy, along with the foods that contain them:

·Protein: Needed for cell growth and blood production; found in lean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, beans, peanut butter, tofu

·Carbohydrates: Needed for energy production; found in breads, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, vegetables

·Calcium: Needed for strong bones, teeth, muscle contraction and nerve function; found in milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, salmon, spinach

·Iron: Needed for red blood cell production and to prevent anemia; found in lean red meat, spinach, iron-fortified whole grains breads and cereals

·Vitamin A: Needed for healthy skin, good eyesight and growing bones; found in carrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes

·Vitamin C: Needed for healthy gums, teeth, bones and assistance with iron absorption; found in citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, fortified fruit juices

·Vitamin B6: Needed for red blood cell formation; found in pork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananas

·Vitamin B12: Needed for red blood cell formation and maintaining nervous system health; found in meat, fish, poultry, milk

·Vitamin D: Needed for healthy bones and teeth; found in fortified milk, dairy products, cereals and breads

·Folic Acid: Needed for blood and protein production; found in green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, nuts

·Fat: Needed for body energy; found in meat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils. (Limit fat intake to 30 percent or less of your total daily calorie intake.)

Based on the FDA recommendations, below is a one-day sample meal plan that provides the nutrients and calories needed for a mom-to-be:


2 cups fortified cereal

1 cup fat free or 1 percent milk

1 cup orange juice

Hot beverage


1 large bagel

1-2 oz. hard cheese


Sandwich with 2 slices bread, 2-3 oz. lunch meat, 2 oz. American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayonnaise


¾ cup tomato or vegetable juice


3-4 oz. roast beef

1 cup mashed potato

½ cup broccoli

1 cup tossed salad with salad dressing

Dinner roll

Sliced peaches with whipped topping

8 oz. fat free or 1 percent milk

Evening Snack

3-4 graham crackers

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup fat free or 1 percent milk

*Note: Additional water or other sugar-free fruit flavored drinks, caffeine-free/sugar-free soft drinks, or 100 percent fruit juice should be consumed throughout the day.

Every year, more newborn babies are welcomed into the world by the caring professionals at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware County Memorial Hospital than by any other health system in Delaware County. For more information about Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Maternity Services, call 1-800-CK-HEALTH (1-800-254-3258) or visit

Reviewed by Thomas Dardarian, D.O., CKHS obstetrician/gynecologist with Suburban OB-GYN. Office locations in Ridley Park, Springfield and Glen Mills, Pa., (610) 521-4311. Meal plan courtesy of Andrea McHugh, R.D., assistant director of Nutrition Services at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

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