14 Foods to Eat During Pregnancy to Make Your Baby Smart and Intelligent

What Foods to Eat During Pregnancy for an Intelligent Baby

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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Ever wanted to give birth to a genius? No, we aren’t kidding.

Fostering cognitive development in infancy lays the groundwork for a lifetime of achievement. By cultivating a stimulating environment for your bright baby, you’re not only ensuring immediate success but also sowing the seeds for future gratitude. This early advantage translates into a smoother academic journey, minimizing struggles with schoolwork. Moreover, a brainy child is less likely to contend with learning disorders such as ADHD, providing a clear path for honing retention and absorption skills. This advantage extends beyond the classroom, enriching the overall learning experience and setting the stage for a well-rounded, accomplished individual in the future. Take a look at the list of foods to eat during pregnancy to make baby smart!

Your baby’s cognitive development begins from inside your womb and if you want to raise a naturally intelligent kid with a high IQ right from birth, keep reading.

14 Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy to Make Baby Smart & Intelligent

It’s no wonder doctors recommend that you take your Vitamin D, folic acid, and iron supplements during your pregnancy. The foods you eat are likely to affect how your baby’s cognitive development takes place.

Are you wondering what to eat during pregnancy to make your baby intelligent? Then here are the top 14 foods that are highly recommended for pregnant women.

1. Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are integral to your baby’s brain development. Pregnant women must eat salmon to give birth to intelligent children. Aim to eat at least two or more servings of fish per week. Another option in seafood includes oysters which are rich in iodine. Pregnant women with low iodine levels should note that their baby’s intelligence can be affected negatively if healthy levels of the same aren’t maintained.


2. Green Leafy Vegetables

From spinach and lentils to leafy greens which are rich in folic acid, eating green leafy vegetables and certain pulses is important as it helps keep your baby’s brain protected from tissue damage. Folic acid in vegetables is also known for reducing the risk of neural tube defects, and eliminating cleft lip and various heart defects in babies. You also reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy when you make sure to maintain your intake of foods or supplements rich in folic acid.


3. Blueberries

Blueberries are antioxidant-rich foods which will aid your baby’s cognitive development. Other alternatives for blueberries are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, beans, and artichokes.


4. Eggs

Eggs are high in protein and low in calories, especially boiled eggs. They contain an amino acid called choline which has been proven to aid brain development and enhance memory too. Also, ensure that you avoid unpasteurised eggs since they contain bacteria which may lead to complications.


5. Almonds

Almonds are loaded with healthy fats, magnesium, Vitamin E, and protein. Brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids are found abundantly in almonds. Having a fistful of almonds every day is recommended for giving birth to children who are intelligent right from birth. Eating peanuts during pregnancy can also help the baby develop intelligence; walnuts are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids too.


6. Greek Yogurt

Protein-rich foods are necessary for forming healthy nerve cells in the mother’s womb for the cognitive development of the baby. Probiotic foods like Greek yoghurt are an amazing way to throw in a little calcium for your baby’s bone development as well. Greek yoghurt is also a rich source of iodine, which helps reduce or prevent the possibility of your baby being born with low birth weight.

Greek yoghurt

7. Cheese

Vitamin D is very important for the cognitive development of babies. Pregnant mothers with low levels of Vitamin D in their bodies can give birth to babies with low IQ levels. If you want a smart baby with a healthy IQ, make sure to up your dose of cheese!


8. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc. Zinc is a mineral that’s known to promote proper brain structure and aid in the cognitive processing of information. They are high in nutrition and are a rich source of antioxidants too!

Pumpkin seeds

9. Beans

Iron is needed by the body for transporting oxygen to nerve cells in the baby’s brain. Beans contain a good amount of iron, which is why pregnant mothers are recommended to increase their intake of this food item in their diets. Other iron-rich foods worth adding to your diet are spinach, figs, chicken, and raisins. Eat raisins in moderate proportions to keep your sugar levels in check.


10. Milk

A lack of iron content in pregnant mothers’ bodies leads to mental growth retardation and majorly affects the baby’s overall cognitive development. Milk aids in developing healthy cognitive functions and supports brain development in babies before birth.


11. Avocados

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which contribute to healthy blood flow, crucial for the developing baby’s brain. They also contain folate, essential for preventing neural tube defects.


12. Quinoa

Quinoa is a nutrient-packed whole grain that provides a sustained release of energy. It contains iron, fiber, and protein, promoting optimal brain function and development in the growing fetus.


13. Sweet Potatoes

Packed with beta-carotene, sweet potatoes support the development of a robust immune system in both the mother and the baby. This root vegetable also provides essential vitamins for overall cognitive health.

Sweet Potatoes

14. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. These tiny seeds contribute to fetal brain development and offer a healthy dose of energy for the expecting mother.

Chia Seeds

So, these were the baby brain development foods during pregnancy that you can consume! Go ahead and add them to your diet.

Tips and Precautions

What you eat can affect your baby’s development, so make sure to pay heed to the following.

  • Be sure to monitor everything you put into your mouth and keep in mind about choosing fresh and organic foods to eat during pregnancy for an intelligent baby.
  • Avoid processed foods, and sugary substances and definitely avoid things like alcohol, smoking, and anything that contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle.
  • Avoid raw meat, fish with mercury, raw shellfish and caffeine, since these increase the likelihood of contamination, thereby leading to complications and/or a miscarriage.
  • Ensure that you wash the fruits and vegetables you eat very well before cutting them. Germs, if not removed properly, can enter the flesh of the fruits when they’re being cut and this could cause trouble for you and your unborn baby later on.
  • If you feel like your intake of fruits and veggies needs to be increased, include it in your other meals. Chop up veggies and add them to your omelette or cut up fruits and add them to your bowl of oatmeal or porridge; there are several ways to incorporate them into your daily meals. You can also juice fruits, but make sure that you don’t substitute these juices for the actual fruits.


1. What Foods Can Make My Baby Beautiful?

Certain foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits like berries and vegetables like spinach, can contribute to healthy skin and overall appearance in your baby. A well-balanced diet with essential nutrients supports their physical development.

2. Which Fruits Give Color to My Baby While Pregnant?

Vibrantly colored fruits like berries, oranges, and mangoes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can contribute to a healthy complexion in your baby. These fruits provide essential nutrients that promote skin health during pregnancy.

3. How Do I Know Whether My Baby Is Intelligent or Not?

Assessing a baby’s intelligence is challenging in infancy. However, engaging in stimulating activities, responding to their cues, and observing developmental milestones can provide insights into their cognitive abilities. Intelligence unfolds over time, and early interactions play a crucial role.

4. Which Part of the Brain Is Well Developed at Birth?

The brainstem, responsible for basic life functions like breathing and heartbeat, is relatively well-developed at birth. Other higher-order brain regions, especially those associated with complex cognitive functions, continue to mature throughout childhood and adolescence.

You can consider taking supplements if you have a hard time meeting your recommended daily intake of iron, Vitamin D, and folic acid, but consult a doctor regarding dosages before starting to use them. So, if you’re wondering what to eat during pregnancy for an intelligent baby, make sure to follow these tips and include these foods in your diet to ensure your baby’s healthy brain development and to bring another genius into this world!


1.  Chhun. D, Luo. S, et al.; Nutrition and Health Info Sheet: Fiber; UC Davis; https://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk426/files/content/infosheets/factsheets/fact-pro-fiber.pdf; August 2016

2. Pregnancy and diet; Better Health Channel; https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-diet#constipation-during-pregnancy

3. Zinc; Mayo clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-zinc/art-20366112

4. Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Quick Tips; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/pregnancy/nutrition-and-physical-activity/eat-healthy-during-pregnancy-quick-tips

5. What to eat when pregnant; UNICEF; https://www.unicef.org/parenting/what-to-eat-when-pregnant

6. Oken. E, Wright. R, Kleinman. K, Bellinger. D, Amarasiriwardena. C; Maternal Fish Consumption, Hair Mercury, and Infant Cognition in a U.S. Cohort; Harvard Library; https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/5129834/1281283.pdf?sequence=1

7. Pregnancy Nutrition; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/pregnancy-nutrition/

Also Read:

Healthy Snacks for Pregnant Women
Consuming Tomatoes during Pregnancy
Foods You Must Avoid Eating in Pregnancy
Foods to Improve Development of Fetal Brain

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