Nutrition & Diet

The First 1000 Days: giving your baby a healthy nutritional start

The First 1000 Days

This article may help answer:

Why are pre-conception & The First 1000 Days so important?

What are my nutritional requirements before, during and after pregnancy?

How can I make sure my baby is getting the right nutritional support for the First 1000 Days?

What can my partner do?

What can I do to ensure I am getting the right nutrients throughout pre-conception and pregnancy?

What recipes can I make to get the right nutrients during pre-conception and pregnancy?


Pre-conception and The First 1000 Days (conception to a child's second birthday) are a critical window to lay the foundations for lifelong development and health18. It’s a time where the brain, body and immune system develop significantly. To put this in perspective, a baby develops from 1 cell to 500 trillion cells during the First 1000 Days!
There is even evidence to suggest that the protective effects of good nutrition during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding can help maintain health later in life.
Your growing baby will rely on you to get the right nutrition pre-pregnancy and during their First 1000 Days of life. During these different stages of the pregnancy journey, you should try to maintain a healthy diet from a range of food groups, to help ensure you and your baby are getting enough essential nutrients.
It can be difficult to meet your nutritional requirements from diet alone, especially when you’re pregnant, experiencing morning sickness or just flat-out tired! This is where a prenatal multivitamin, like Elevit, can support you in reaching your recommended daily intake with a range of nutrients to help support your baby for the First 1000 Days.
Baby growth chart

Baby growth chart: timeline of the First 1000 Days

What you SHOULD eat to support the healthy growth and development of your baby

Even though 71%21 of Australian women believe that pregnancy nutrition is important before you start trying for a baby, only 48%21 of women who are actively trying for a baby understand what to eat to access the nutrients they need. It is recommended to prioritise a healthy diet prior to trying to conceive to ensure that both mother and baby have access to the nutrients required to support both through pregnancy.

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of iron for a pregnant woman is 27mg, folic acid is 600mcg and iodine is 220mcg along with a range of other important vitamins and minerals. Understanding how much and which foods to eat can feel overwhelming, so we recommend using this easy-to-follow Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Nutrition Pack, consisting of a meal planner, nutritious recipes and a nutrition table, all to help guide women to access the important nutrients through diet to support their pregnancy journey.

To supplement a healthy diet, pre-conception and pregnancy multivitamins (prenatals) have an important role to play. They are specifically developed to support the nutritional requirements of women who are preparing for pregnancy and who are currently pregnant. A range of micronutrients are needed for critical developments that take place during those early weeks following conception – often before you’ve noticed the signs of pregnancy, so diet is vitally important from the first moment that you consider trying to conceive.

A Nutrition Table for Pre-conception and The First 1000 Days

The Preconception and First 1000 Days Nutrition Table outlines the food you can eat to access the important nutrients and vitamins required during a healthy pregnancy. It also contains the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of each, provides a recommendation of which foods to eat to access these nutrients, and outlines how much of each nutrient is contained per serve to help you to navigate what you should eat during this busy time.

How to use:

  1. Download and print out the full version of the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Nutrition Table via download button and stick it to your fridge.
  2. Use together with the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Recipes and the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Meal Planner to support your pre-conception and pregnancy nutrition.

Meal Planning for Pre-conception and The First 1000 Days

During pregnancy, your nutritional requirements can increase by up to 50%1 and so it’s important to have a plan of how you’re going to access the nutrients you need for the critical development that happens during the early weeks of pregnancy.

This pre-conception and pregnancy meal planner has been designed to support the nutrient requirements of both mother (or mother-to-be) and baby, and should be supplemented with Elevit Pre-conception and Pregnancy multivitamin to ensure all nutritional needs are met.

The Pre-conception & Pregnancy Meal Planner template allows you to plan nutritious meals throughout pre-conception and the First 1000 days of your child's life.

How to use:

  1. Print out The Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Meal Planner template and stick it to your fridge
  2. Use the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Recipes along with the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Nutrition Table to help you create your desired meal plan.
Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Meal Planner

Recipes for Pre-conception and The First 1000 Days

Below are some simple and delicious pre-conception and pregnancy recipes to assist aspiring and current mothers. Each recipe contains nutrients to support the increased needs of women during their pregnancy journey, they also provide suggestions of foods that can be swapped out to suit dietary preferences, to offer variety throughout your preconception and pregnancy journey and supporting the First 1000 Days of your child's life.


Download Recipes


Download Recipes


Dark Chocolate Bliss Balls
Download Recipes


Miso Salmon Poke Bowl
Download Recipes

Frequently asked questions:

    A combination of a nutrition-rich pregnancy-specific diet alongside a pre-conception and pregnancy multivitamin, like Elevit, is the best way to access the important vitamins and nutrients you need to support yourself and your baby throughout pre-conception and The First 1000 Days.

    It is important to seek professional advice to make sure you’re accessing the correct nutrients. Many guides exist that provide detailed background on what foods to eat to access the the most important nutrients required at this nutritionally demanding stage. You can view our Pre-conception & First 1000 Days nutrition table, meal planner and supporting recipes above. Elevit also recommends speaking with your health care provider for specialised advice.

    Breastfeeding is the most nutritionally demanding time in a woman’s life, where nutritional requirements increase by up to 88%1. As a new mum, eating healthily will support breastmilk production and provide baby with all the essential nutrients – like DHA, betacarotene & iodine – they need for ongoing healthy development.

    After birth, we recommend switching to Elevit Breastfeeding, to support your new nutritional needs as a breastfeeding mum.

    Learn more about diet & breastfeeding here.

    Various salad bowls on white wooden table
    Various salad bowls on white wooden table

    • Folic Acid – aids growth and development and helps to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida.

    • DHA – supports healthy brain and eye development.

    • Iron – supports immune function, energy levels and helps transport oxygen in the blood. Low iron levels can have an impact on baby’s development.

    • Iodine – required for thyroid hormones and is essential for healthy growth, particularly cognitive development.

    • Magnesium – important for healthy structure of bones and teeth

    • Selenium – an essential mineral with antioxidant properties, which plays a vital role supporting immune system function & brain development

    • Vitamin D – helps the body absorb the calcium it needs to support muscle strength and bone health. It also promotes immune function and cell growth and development.

    • B Group Vitamins – the body needs B group vitamins to help it use the fuel we get from foods, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat, which are all needed for energy.

    • Choline - is required by the body for many steps in metabolism, cell formation and repair, it is not made in adequate quantities by the body and must be obtained through diet. Choline is found in food sources such as red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs.

    Download the Pre-conception & First 1000 Days Nutrition Table for more information

    Having a baby is a team effort, so your partner should be eating well and keeping as fit as they can to help improve sperm quality and fertility. Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol, and remaining fit & active are all recommended.

    A daily supplement can also play its part. Menevit, from the makers of Elevit, can help support sperm health for men, who are an equal partner in the baby making equation.

    Here to support you and your baby’s healthy development


    Elevit celebrates supporting 2 million Australian mothers & babies over last 20 years15


    Elevit is proud to be Australia’s most trusted, No.1 Pregnancy brand in Australia


    Elevit's global formulations are based on 22 clinical studies


    Elevit, together with Vitamin Angels, support 4 million under-served women & babies each year with vitamins & education

    Pre-conception & The First 1000 Days

    Elevit provides nutritional support throughout Pre-conception & The First 1000 Days

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