When I am pregnant what meat and other protein sources should I eat?

Lori Maggioni
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help you and your baby get the proper nutrition that you both need. During the 1st trimester, aim for 5.5 oz. of protein per day. Increase your protein intake to 6.5 oz. per day for the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

During pregnancy, your protein intake can come from a variety of sources:

  • Eat a variety of lean beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, and fish (Avoid raw or undercooked meats).
  • You can also try non-meat sources of protein such as beans, legumes, tofu or soy products, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
  • Have at least 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods for adequate protein, calcium, and vitamin D intake (Avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and cheeses).

Fish is safe to consume during pregnancy but limit those varieties high in mercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish). Limit all other fish (including tune) to less than 12 oz. per week. 

Eggs are a low-cost, nutritious food during pregnancy. They provide that highest quality protein available and 18 vitamins and minerals. They are abundant in choline; which may be key in brain development and memory. Make sure eggs are cooked until firm; do not eat undercooked or raw eggs! 

By eating a variety of healthy food and protein, you should be able to get all the nutrition needed to help your baby grow during pregnancy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.