During pregnancy nutrient demand of the body increases and it becomes critical to imbibe a healthy diet for appropriate growth and development of baby according to period of gestation. One thing is clear that you need to switch to the best diet during pregnancy according to stage of pregnancy so that intake of adequate nutrients is ensured to you and your baby. Instead of focusing on weight gain, one should be concerned about the nutrients to add.
Although there will be plethora of advice available with you time to time during pregnancy, it is always best to go read through resources and discuss with your attending physician or health worker. Your doctor may also recommend a diet during pregnancy chart once you enter your second trimester.
We shall here discuss trimester wise most important food items to be included in your regular diet suitable for most of the pregnancies.
Best Diet During Pregnancy
‘First trimester: Welcoming the new life within you’
- Folate/Folic Acid: The most important ingredient in your diet has to be ‘folate’. Folic acidis the most vitamins from the moment you try for a baby until the end of week 12 of your pregnancy. If not already taking, your doctor shall advice you supplements of folate and also folate rich food like green leafy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, spring greens, kale, okra and fresh peas.
Benefits: Folic acid prevents nueral tube defects in the baby; by taking enough folates you give your baby healthy spine, an active brain and nervous system.
- Bedside biscuits/ banana / some nuts : Do not go to sleep empty stomach. Always keep something ready to munch on for mid night cravings. Yes , you will feel hungry midnight and nauseous in the morning. If you eat a mid night meal in forms of banana, some nuts and some biscuits, you shall be saved from morning acidity attack and nausea.
- Lemonade/ Lime soda : Once a day a few sips of lemonade (sweet plus salt) will go a long way curbing nausea.
- Small and frequent meals. Do not fill the whole plate or bowl with food.
Second Trimester: ‘I feel you as I feed you’
- Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D rich food: Your baby is developing bones now. So food like avocado, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, carrots, yogurt, cheese, and dried fruit should be added and consumed in ore quantity.
- Soups: Make soups with tomato, carrots, capsicum, and cabbage and consume every day. Consume chicken soup.
- Milk: I am sure, now that your nausea is gone, love for milk is back. At least two glasses of milk should be consumed in one day plus one katori of yogurt in afternoon.
- Proteins: During the later stages of second trimester, your baby will be gaining weight as a faster pace. Start having an extra bowl of dal, sprouts each day. This will not only help baby grow but also add to your pregnancy glow and shiny hair.
- Supplements: Do not forget Iron and calcium supplements.
- Lots of water, roughage to avoid constipation.
Third Trimester: ‘The more you kick, the more I shall eat’
Congratulations! Your baby is in full activity mode now. You might feel hungrier and sometime wonder where all the food has gone. Eat every two hours. Have at least 6-7 small meals including snacks.
- Lots and Lots of Proteins: Your baby has developed almost all parts of body by now. It’s time to grow in a healthier manner. It’s the proteins that are going to do the wonders. Your doctor may also prescribe you protein powder for the same.
- Sooji Ki Kheer / Semolina Porridge: Easiest to make, tummy filling, gives right amount of carbs, proteins and Vitamin D.
- Large portions of meals will help baby gain weight. Consume paranthas in breakfast. Extra bowl of pulses and veggies in lunch and dinner, added ghee will go a long way.
- Water, roughage and supplements to continue
What is compromised diet?
There are many myths about pregnancy diet. Diet which is more than or less than recommended is called a compromised diet. By the word itself, we can learn that it will compromise on mother as well as foetal growth. Compromised diet will lead to excessive or less weight gain, foetal growth disturbances also growth retardation in foetus.
What not to eat in pregnancy?
- Uncooked and raw eggs
- Uncooked meet
- Open juice is to be consumed only if it is hygienically prepared at home.
- Canned Juice to be avoided as it will only provide you with calories and very less nutrients. Prefer whole fruit as compared to juice. Read more about what not to eat during pregnancy.