Eating for Pregnancy
A Guide to Healthy Foods
Use Canada's Food Guide to get the nutrients that are important for a healthy pregnancy. To see how, click here.
Foods that are sweet or stick to your teeth can increase the risk of tooth decay. Remember now that you are snacking more, you need to brush more often using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
For more information, see the HealthLink BC file Pregnancy and Dental Health.
Caffeine is found in many products, including coffee, tea, chocolate, cola beverages, and soft drinks. Caffeine is also in some prescription and non‑prescription medications. A small amount of caffeine should not harm you or your growing baby. While you are breastfeeding, caffeine may make your baby restless.
It is recommended that you limit your intake of caffeine to about 300 mg a day while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- One cup of regular coffee has 135 to 179 milligrams (may vary according to the brew).
- One cup of tea has 43 milligrams.
- One 355‑millilitre can of cola has 36 to 46 milligrams.
You can cut down on your intake of caffeine if you:
- replace your usual caffeine drinks with water, milk, or 100% fruit juice
- make only one cup at a time
- change your coffee time into a time for going for a walk
Use caution with herbal teas. Some herbal teas are considered harmful during pregnancy. Choose herbal teas that list the ingredients. Teas made from edible food products are generally safe. These herbal teas are thought to be safe: ginger, bitter orange/orange peel, echinacea, peppermint, rose hip, and rosemary. Some herbal teas may make allergies worse. Limit herbal teas to two to three cups per day. Call Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC at 8‑1‑1 for more information on teas.
Aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose are approved for use in pregnancy, but only in moderate amounts. Be sure that foods made with these sweeteners do not replace more nutritious foods or drinks.
Saccharin and cyclamates are not recommended during pregnancy. Stevia has not been approved for use in pregnancy because there is not enough information to be sure it is safe.
Your community nutritionist will suggest places that can help if you have limited money. If you do not have a community nutritionist, your public health nurse, pregnancy outreach program, or other service agencies can help.
Call Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC at 8‑1‑1 for reliable, confidential information and advice on nutrition for yourself and your baby, during pregnancy and after.