Healthy diet chart for a pregnant woman

Pregnancy is an important period of your life and requires special dietary attention. How you eat and what you eat will affect your child in more ways than you think possible. Maintaining a healthy eating pattern is of utmost importance. Discard lifestyle habits such as eating in restaurants too often, smoking and consuming alcohol. Excessive consumption of stimulants such as tea and coffee must be completely avoided during this phase in your life to ensure the healthy growth and development of your child. During the first trimester eating food could be a problem due to nausea, morning sickness or discomfort felt early during pregnancy. Many young mothers tend to lose weight in the first trimester. The second trimester leads to a gain in appetite and by the third trimester eating six or seven times a day may not seem surprising to you.

While a wide variety of food choices are available it is important to understand your requirements and focus more on health foods. A well balanced meal will ensure you and baby receive adequate nutritional requirements such as calcium, vitamins, minerals, folic acid, iron, protein and many others that will help you through the pregnancy and help your baby grow. Deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals are an undesirable situation especially during pregnancy. Pregnant women also tend to get anemic, and therefore it is important to focus on green leafy vegetables and dry fruits. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and milk. Corn, sprouts, nuts, seeds, whole wheat bread, fortified cereals, beans, peas, orange, grape fruits and liver meat is a healthy dietary source of folic acid. Dietary sources of protein include beans, fish, meat and chicken. Avoid eating red meat to reduce the risk of diseases. Fish must be given priority over other non vegetarian foods as it is rich in minerals. Follow the regular diet routine but substitute unhealthy foods with healthy options. Such healthy options may include wheat bread or fortified cereals for breakfast with milk, eggs, dried fruits, fruits or juice. Have a filling breakfast or eat twice within intervals. Lunch can be vegetable salads, steamed or grilled, fish, chicken or meat with whole bread or rice. Give in to sweet temptations with a healthy dessert such as stewed fruits or pudding. Going overboard with sweets can make it difficult post pregnancy to shed weight and regain a normal figure. Have a light dinner such as steamed vegetables and steamed or grilled meat or fish in order to help the baby settle in the sleeping position. Soups and pasta with a light sauce are also among recommended dinner foods. Wrap up the day with a warm glass of milk or a small bowl of mixed fruits.

answered by M W

Fresh fruit and veggies are my choice for a healthy diet, whether you are pregnant or not. Fresh fish and liver are a healthy choice as well. Dark greens, such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc. Stay away from caffeine and sugar as much as possible. Take vitamins daily as well, folate is highly recommended.

answered by B

Cabbage, Cauli-flower, all long green vegetables (Indian names: Tondali, Turai, Louki, Parwal, Spinach, Govari) can be used alternately. Keep balance, rather than eating same vegetable all the time. Reduce brinjal, suran (yam), papaya, shevga, celery, garlic, onion, chilli, ginger, pepper, carom seeds, asafetida (asfoetida), mustard, bajara, jaggery. Those who have previous history of abortion better avoid these. Those suffering from gas, bloating, constipation reduce or better avoid peas and other `heavy to digest' cereals, potato. Green gram cooked is easy to digest and will give protein supply. Tur lentil soup can be taken with dilution and sauting by clarified butter rather than oil. If there is no problem of gas, constipation, cereals can be made into soups and taken in moderate quantity. Black grapes, amalaki, banana, ripe mango are sweet fruits, very beneficial. Dates, cashewnuts, apricot, etc dry fruits are beneficial. Butter, clarified butter, milk, shrikhand, honey, fennel seeds, sweets made from jaggery rather than white sugar can also be taken in small quantity. Rice, pulao, Khichri, Murmure, Chapati, Bhakari, Paratha, Gujarati thepla are the items made from wheat and rice and are beneficial. Items such as bakery bread, bun, sandwich, pizza, handva, dhokla, khaman, steamed rice cake, pancake, tomato, tamarind, curd, kadhi they increase the swellings and acidity. If such problems do not exist, you can take in small quantity. If you are allergic, do not take even if they are tasty. As discussed in recent post on asthma, do not eat unless previous food is digested properly and you are feeling hungry. Frequent eating will cause acidity/gas. Indian women try to carry out fasts, vratas during pregnancy. It is not proper to do such things. Why do you want to please some imaginary god when real god is kicking inside womb? Do not eat left overs. Similarly frozen, deep-frozen food forbidden. Avoid mutton, chicken, eggs, alcohol, smoking, tobacco, betel nut, pan-masala. Tea-coffee, cocoa, cold drinks, ice-creams can be taken in small quantity.

Lifestyle during pregnancy:

  • Do not over exert. Lifting heavy bucket of water or other items should be avoided.
  • Do not undertake travel unless absolutely necessary. Avoid going out in darkness.
  • Do not sleep during day or remain awake during night.
  • Do not undertake blood donation.
  • Avoid enemas, medicines causing vomits/loose motions. They increase the chances of abortion. But they are not good ways to carry out intentional abortion also.
  • Do not look into deep well or from a skyscraper building.
  • Do not sleep on back.
  • Keep dress loose.
  • Do not sit on hard bench or platform. While sitting there should be no pressure on belly.
  • Put high heel chappals or shoes aside. Use thin heel ones only. High heel ones give rise to spinal problems, back ache etc.
  • Keep the environment in house (tempers) cool and lively.
  • The wishes and whims of mother are in reality those of the womb. The way lord Krishna was naughty, the baby inside the womb may also be demanding something unusual. Bow to the wishes of the baby.
  • Avoid fear, depression, short temper. Very tender cells of baby's mind become excited.

answered by S B

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