Ngā kai ora me ngā wai ora mō te hapūtanga Healthy food and drinks during pregnancy

It is especially important to eat healthy food during pregnancy. Find out about healthy food and drink choices, healthy weight gain and food safety during pregnancy.

Eat a range of healthy foods

To keep you and your growing pēpi healthy, you need to eat a range of healthy foods from the 4 main food groups every day. 

Fruit and vegetables

  • Eat at least 7 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
  • Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables, and 2 servings of fruit. 

Breads and cereals

  • Wholegrain breads and cereals are best.
  • Eat at least 8 servings of bread and cereals a day. 

Milk and milk products

  • Reduced or low fat milk is best.
  • Eat at least 2 servings each day of milk or milk products.

Lean meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds

  • Eat at least 3 servings each day. 
  • Legumes include beans, lentils and peas.

Safe and healthy eating in pregnancy — HealthEd (external link)

Nutrients and supplements

A healthy diet is important during pregnancy. But, you cannot always get everything that you and your pēpi need from food. 

Nutrients and supplements (internal link)

Drink plenty of fluid

Drink when you are thirsty. Try to drink at least 9 cups of fluid each day. Water or reduced or low fat milk are the best choices.

You may need more fluid:

  • when it is hot
  • after you have exercised
  • if you are vomiting (throwing up)
  • if you are constipated (when you have 3 or less poos in a week)

If you are throwing up, it may be easier to get fluid by sucking on ice blocks or having clear soups.

Healthy weight gain

Pregnancy is a time of changes in your body. It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy because of:

  • your growing pēpi and the fluid around it
  • the whenua (placenta or afterbirth).

While there is no exact healthy weight gain, some people may need to gain more weight, and others less.

Talk to your midwife or healthcare provider if you are concerned about your weight gain. 

Record your weight gain during pregnancy [PDF, 279 KB]

Eating for 2

You can expect to eat more food as your pregnancy progresses. But this does not mean you need to eat for both you and your pēpi. A good appetite and steady weight gain, especially after the first 3 months, will usually mean that you are eating enough. 


Dieting during pregnancy is not recommended. This can make your pēpi less healthy, and it can also affect your health. 

Food safety

In pregnancy your immunity is lower than usual, so you and your pēpi are more at risk of the kinds of food-borne illnesses that affect everyone. 

To keep you and your pēpi healthy:

  • wash and dry your hands thoroughly 
  • be food smart — clean, cook and chill 
  • avoid high risk foods. 

For more information and the latest up to date high risk foods to avoid, visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website. 

Food and pregnancy — Ministry for Primary Industries (external link)