The Do’s and Don’ts For Pregnant Grocery Shoppers

When I was pregnant the grocery store was a dangerous place to shop. I wanted all of the things – and by all, I mean all of the unhealthy things. Sugar cereal, candy, ice cream, chips and bread… the list goes on! I’m a walking example of what NOT to do. Praise God – I lived to tell the story.

I am a preeclampsia survivor. The cause of preeclampsia is unknown, but I could have done a better job at maintaining a healthy diet while pregnant. If I felt better (and not sluggish and exhausted all the time), I may have been more in tune with my body when it was telling me something was really wrong. I thought all of my swelling had to do with all of the salt I had been eating. Did that stop me? No. No it didn’t.

So learn from my mistakes, ladies! Here are a few items that you need to add to your shopping list and a few items you should remove.
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Vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, celery, kale, spinach.. .these are all great items to grab and incorporate in your every-day diet.

Fruits. Replace artificial sugars with natural options such as bananas, strawberries, blue berries, watermelon, apples and cranberries.

Nuts. Add nuts to your grocery list that put healthy fats in your diet and can cure that salty craving without overdoing it on the salt. Peanuts, cashews, almonds and pistachios are great options here.

Tea. Caffeine is a touchy subject when referring intake during pregnancy. My rule of thumb was no caffeine in the first trimester and one coffee a day after that. That’s not everyone’s opinion – just mine. I did find a good alternative to caffeine (and also alcohol for those that partake while not pregnant) and that is hot tea. There are many non-caffeinated hot tea options available on the market.

Fiber. Let’s get real for a sec – pregnancy constipation is no joke. Add beans, lentils, avocados, oats and (my personal favorite) popcorn and dark chocolate. All of these are higher in fiber than other foods and can be quite tasty when prepared properly.

Salmon. Omega-3s are a critical building block for fetal brain, eyes and nervous system development. Salmon just so happens to be chocked full of it! Salmon makes a good alternative to fatty meats.

Prenatal Vitamins. I’m not a pill swallower. I hate swallowing pills and the bigger they are the less likely I am to swallow them. Target has a great prenatal gummy WITH DHA (important for fetal brains) that I really liked.


Candy. Bummer. Especially if you are pregnant during Halloween like I was. I craved sour apple while I was pregnant and it was in abundant supply that time of year. Candy should be replaced with more nutritious foods to help your baby grow!

Soft Cheeses. Are they bad for you? No. However – soft cheeses are more likely to carry listeria bacteria that cause an infection called listeriosis. That’s not something you want to get while pregnant.

Uncooked Lunch Meats. Read above statement.

Sushi. I personally gag at the thought, but I know MANY people deeply enjoy sushi. Raw fish is a BAD idea while pregnant, for the same reason soft cheeses and uncooked lunch meats are.

Raw Eggs. While you aren’t going to crack and egg open and swallow it up like Rocky, you may be consuming raw egg without knowing it. Hollandaise sauce, salad dressings, and some cake icings contain raw eggs. And obvi – raw cookie dough.

Caffeine and Alcohol. Just turn a blind eye to the wine isle. No, actually, just speed walk past the isle. Not having both of these items while pregnant can be lame, but the sacrifice is actually so very small compared to the reward.
grocery shopping while pregnant

Eating {healthy} for two

Remember, just because you are eating for two does not mean you should eat whatever you want and as much of it as you want. Be smart about your grocery shopping trip. Stick to the list and don’t stray – even when you are at checkout and Reese’s sound SO GOOD. Abstain! This doesn’t mean diet while pregnant. You want to make sure you eat a well-balanced meal at every meal time. Don’t skip meals (like I did) or binge fast food and candy at night right before you go to sleep. Drink plenty of water (no matter how many times you have to get up from the couch and pee) and don’t forget to exercise a moderate amount. Sitting on your rear eating cookies in the name of creating a human and eating for two isn’t acceptable. What you put into your body direct affects your baby. Think about it before you gobble it up!


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I am a preeclampsia survivor and a preemie mom making my way through life as a wife, mom, friend and daughter. I enjoy writing, travel and photography, not to mention the Texas Rangers, fishing and quilting!

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