Nutrition · Pregnancy

Vitamin A in pregnancy

Assortment of high vitamin A sources. Carrots, nuts, broccoli, butter, cheese, avocado, apricots, seeds, eggs.A diet rich in vitamin A (including fortified foods and beverages) is recommended during pregnancy for the healthy development of your baby’s skin, eyes and immune system.

Food sources of vitamin A are found in most orange coloured vegetables (e.g., sweet potato, carrot, squash and pumpkin), some orange coloured fruits (e.g., cantaloupe, apricot and mango) and some dark green vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale and green leaf lettuce). It is also found in milk, cheese, eggs, margarine, and in certain fish and seafood.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your body, too much vitamin A may cause birth defects, especially during the first trimester. Pregnant women should choose a prenatal supplement that has less than 10,000 IU (3000mcg) of preformed vitamin A (often listed as acetate, succinate or palmitate).

You should NOT take more than one dose of a multivitamin each day to avoid excess vitamin A intake.

It’s also recommended to avoid liver and other liver products, such as, liver sausages and fish liver oil, due to their high vitamin A contents.

Easy and quick recipe to add vitamin A into your afternoon snacks:

Ontario Sweet Potato Oat Muffin


  • ¾ cup oat bran
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup finely chopped apples
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt (2% M.F. or less)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oat bran, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apples.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sweet potato, eggs, oil and yogurt. Add dry mixture, stirring until just combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin until ¾ full.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until tops are firm and tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Nutrition Information
Per 1 muffin: 160 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 15 g sugar, 4 g protein, 90% DV vitamin A, 6% DV vitamin C, 6% DV calcium, 6% DV iron.

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