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Healthy eating during pregnancy

Though I explained about diet in my last post, I wanted to elaborate more on the eating habits during pregnancy in today's post, as it has a significant impact on your baby's growth. Your little munchkin is eagerly waiting to absorb all the nutrients you are going to offer it. So let us go through few tips to have a healthy and well-nourished pregnancy.                                                    

  • Tracking and maintaining nutritional needs seems to be overwhelming, but cannot be ignored as it is essential for both mom and baby. Ensure your food is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, which are required for the proper development of baby.
  • Plan your meals to include fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk products, healthy fats, whole grains, and protein-rich beans, fish and meats.
    • Diary: Include diary products like milk, buttermilk, yogurt (curd), cheese and paneer to get your daily dose of protein and calcium. But choose low-fat version of these.
    • Fruits and vegetables: This food group group is a power house of nutrients and antioxidants and has a huge variety to choose. Plan to include apples, guava, berries, pomegranate, oranges, dry fruits (figs, raisins, dates etc.), green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, beet roots, beans, peas etc. in your diet. Mix up few of these to make a delicious salad and savor as a snack. You can also top it up with boiled chickpeas (chana) or paneer or quinoa to make it a wholesome meal. 
    • Whole grains: Avoid using white and refined grains and flours. Instead use whole grains like wheat, unpolished or brown rice, millets (finger millet (ragi), pearl millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar) etc.), oats, quinoa, wheat bread and pasta. Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates and thereby regulate blood glucose. 
    • Legumes: Ensure to include legumes like lentils (pigeon pea (toor dal), red lentil (masoor dal), green gram (moong dal), black gram (urad dal) etc.), chick peas, soya beans, peas etc. They are great source of proteins and carbohydrates.
    • Fats: Don't ignore this food group in fear of gaining weight. Be aware and choose the right fats, as healthy fats are essential for baby's growth. Almonds, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil etc. are good fats to include in your diet. 
    • Meat: If you can eat non-vegetarian, it is best to have at least one serving of lean meat, eggs and fish, a day. They are rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. 
    • Water: Keep yourself hydrated always, by drinking lots of water, soups, buttermilk. If you are bored to consume plain water, just infuse it with fruits. Take a jug of water and add few pieces of water melon or oranges or lime or cucumbers and mint and let it sit for 1-2hrs in room temperature. Simple isn't it? Drinking water can no longer be boring.
  • Have 6-8 small meals spread over the day, instead of 3 heavy meals, to avoid issues like heartburn, indigestion which will increase in 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
  • Be aware of what you are snacking. Do not slurp empty calories, which results in unwanted weight gain, improper sugar levels and related complications. Yogurt with cut fruits, cut vegetables with hummus, dry fruits and nuts, bread toast with peanut or almond butter, soups and salads are some healthy snacking options. Dry fruits are easy to carry. So have a small box of them in your bag whenever you step out. You are covered in case you are hungry or crave for something during your evening walks or hospital visits.
  • Folic acid, zinc, iron, iodine, calcium, vitamin D are very essential for the development of fetus. Consult your doctor and use vitamin supplements suitable for you. Do not use any medication on your own.
  • It is most common that we all give into food cravings, especially when we are expecting. In case of an uncomplicated pregnancy, treating ourselves to favorite foods like ice cream, fries, pizza, etc. once in a while, is OK as long as it doesn't become our regular go-to food.
  • Do not consume raw or undercooked meat, seafood and eggs, non-pasteurized milk products, sodas, fruit drinks, aerated drinks, energy drinks and alcohol, as they are harmful to the fetus.
  • Limit drinks with caffeine and avoid added sugars. You can replace sugar with brown sugar or jaggery. 
  • Do not follow any sort of dieting to lose weight during this period, as it is detrimental to baby's health.
  • Plan to have your last meal at least 2 hours before your bed time, to aid in digestion and get a good night sleep. You may have a glass of plain milk before you resort to bed.

Note: This article is purely based on my experience and should not be considered as professional advice. Consult your doctor to have a balanced diet plan, based on your health condition and nutritional requirements. 

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  1. wow felt like a doctor appointment, great 👍😀

    1. Not only expecting mom's, but anyone can follow the food habits explained in this article for healthy living.

  2. Good one.... very useful info
    Many expecting mom's become diabetic
    It would be great, if can have an article on that if you have such experience

    1. Thank you.. sure, I shall certainly publish a post on gestational diabetes.


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