Are you a newbie in the beautiful land of motherhood? What do you mean by healthy eating during pregnancy? Well, for starters, it means consuming good nutritious food rich in all vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. A healthy diet during pregnancy is a lifestyle change that you make to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Your aim should be to consume a blend of all the five essential food groups.
The food you eat helps the baby grow and nourishes the baby. The idea is not to ‘eat for two’, but to eat wholesome, nutrient-rich meals. Typically, a pregnant woman requires an extra 300 calories each day for the adequate growth of the child.
The foods that are rich sources of each of the essential nutrients are to be consumed in varying amounts in your diet. The key is to mix all these food items for a balanced meal.
How to Manage Healthy Eating During Pregnancy?
You can eat healthy by including the following food groups during your pregnancy.
Required for the growth of healthy bones and teeth, calcium is present in dairy, milk products like tofu, cheese, yoghurt, etc. Your rich sources of calcium include black-eyed beans, leafy greens like spinach, fenugreek, broccoli, cabbage, etc. and dried figs, oranges, chickpeas,
- Folic acid
This vitamin is required for the neural development and normal brain functioning of the baby. Include leafy greens like cabbage, spinach, kale, lettuce, turnip, etc. and fruits like oranges, strawberry, lemon, mango, tomatoes, grapefruit, kiwi, melons etc.
All your leafy greens like spinach, fenugreek contain iron in more abundant amounts. Lean meats, beans, etc. are going to give us the company home.
Proteins are a must for proper growth and repair of all the cells in the body. Lean meat like chicken, fish, and all your legumes, all your dals, sprouted foods, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc. are rich sources of proteins.
- Vitamin C
All your citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, lemons, etc., mangoes, lemon, strawberry, melons, grapefruit, kiwi, potatoes, pepper etc. are all rich sources of vitamin C.
Foods to be Avoided for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
- Mould-ripened soft cheeses which typically have a white coating on the outside. E.g. Brie, Camembert, Chevre
- Soft blue cheeses like Gorgonzola, Danish blue, Roquefort, should not be eaten during pregnancy.
- Unpasteurized cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, camel’s milk, goat’s milk etc. must be avoided.
- Any raw or partially cooked food, food items like meat, fish, eggs, etc. should be avoided.
- Alcohol, smoking, coffee, tea, are a BIG NO!
A Sample Meal Plan for a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy
Breakfast – Oats + 1 banana + 1 slice whole wheat bread toast, + 1 cup skimmed milk.
Mid-morning snack – 1 cup yoghurt + 1 fruit of your choice
Lunch – 3 roti + 1 cup dal + 1 cup curd + 1 cup vegetables + 1 cup leafy greens + 1 cup rice (optional)
Evening snack – Raw vegetable sticks + hummus dip or any low-calorie dip
Dinner – 1 cup vegetable rice / dahlia / khichdi + 1 cup vegetable raita
Snack – 1 cup milk + 2 almonds + 2 walnuts
Maintain a proper balance in your daily diet during pregnancy. This will help you continue with a smooth pregnancy and a healthy delivery. Healthy eating during pregnancy becomes a must for the good health of the mother as well as the child.