You have to consider how nutrition with a twin pregnancy is different from nutrition prior to pregnancy and how it differs from pregnancy with a single baby. Your nutritional needs will change as the pregnancy progresses, depending on how the babies are developing. So let’s get specific!

Before we get started, I have to say that you should talk to your doctor about any medical questions you have about pregnancy and nutrition. If you’re really concerned, get a nutritionist to help you with your twin pregnancy diet plan, especially if your insurance covers it.

1. Fluids

Get in the habit of drinking a lot of water, early on. This will help with the nausea early on, as well as with the swelling later. Aim for 100 ounces a day. Get as much as you can before noon if you want to not have to pee in the night.

2. Calcium

Get about 1,000-1,500 mgs a day, from things like yogurt, cheese, milk, or if you prefer, from tofu, kale, and salmon. You have to make those bones!

3. Protein

With twins, you need 75-100 grams of protein a day. Chicken has 8 grams of protein per ounce, beef has 7 grams per ounce, and most fish has 7 grams per ounce as well. A cup of lentils has about 20 grams of protein, and 1 ⅓ cups of beans and rice have about the same amount of protein. A serving of greek yogurt or cottage cheese gets you 15 grams of protein and a glass of milk gets you eight. So, you could have yogurt and sprouted grain oatmeal for breakfast (25 grams), beans and rice for lunch (20 grams), cottage cheese for a snack (15 grams), and a kale-and-walnut salad with a 4 ounce chicken breast for dinner (40 grams). Hey! That’s 100 ounces. I made a few meal plans at the bottom of this post. I hope they make you feel like this is actually possible.

4. DHA

This is an essential element in developing brains, so get a prenatal that has it and eat lots of fatty fish. Salmon, halibut, and shellfish are examples of great sources of DHA.

5. Omega-3’s

DHA is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. You can also get Omega-3’s from eggs. You should make sure you’re getting a variety of these fatty acids. You can also get it from algae, flax, walnuts, soybeans, and spinach.

6. Fiber

Fiber will help keep you regular during your pregnancy, and you want that.

7. Vitamin C

This helps reduce the likelihood of stretch marks as well as keeping your energy up. Consume it with the iron you need every day.

8. Iron

You’re at increased risk for anemia — eat lots of read meat and take the pill with orange juice in the afternoon.

9. Folic acid

You need SO MUCH of this to make baby brains! You should be getting 3-4 servings of green or orange veggies every day.

The first time I realized all this, I wanted to cry. How the in the world am I supposed to eat all this in one day? How will I do this? I’m never going to be able to eat enough for my babies. Turns out, it’s actually quite possible.

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If you mix and match these meals you should be getting most of what you need every day! I have Celiac’s and I avoid processed sugar as much as possible, so this diet can be gluten free. It’s dairy heavy, my apologies there. Much of the dairy can be substituted with soy or almond milk, goat or sheep cheese, and goat yogurt.

If you’re vegetarian, check this out.