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What Constitutes The Right Pregnancy Diet?

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  • November 3, 2020
  • MKB Team

When you are pregnant, your body undergoes hormonal changes which can affect your appetite, mood swings, metabolism and overall health. Hence, eating the right foods and a pregnancy diet plan is of paramount importance. Your meals must have sufficient iron, vitamins, calcium and folic acid to keep you energised throughout the day. Here are some guidelines on foods to eat during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Diet Plan

You need to switch to a balanced diet for pregnancy to take good care of your health. This is because your baby will derive the essential nutrients needed from you. You also need a pregnancy diet plan to check excessive weight gain or loss during pregnancy. 

All about pregnancy diet charts

Pregnancy diet charts are weekly pregnancy meal plans to help you through each trimester of your pregnancy. These pregnancy diet charts are made using much needed nutrient-rich foods. If you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant, you should start following a pregnancy diet chart right away. Follow a 3-month pregnancy diet chart initially for the proper nutrition reserve to be built. This will supplement the baby right from the conception stage, enhance your metabolism and make your body and immune system stronger. 

Guidelines to use a pregnancy diet chart: Which is right for me?

We have divided the pregnancy diet chart into 3 parts in which foods to eat during your trimester pregnancy is mentioned.

First trimester pregnancy diet plan (4 - 13 weeks)

In the first trimester of your pregnancy, the most important nutrients needed for your and baby’s health are folic acid, iron, and vitamin B6.

Second trimester pregnancy diet plan (14 - 27 weeks)

In the second trimester, the baby's bones are growing as well as his/her brain, necessitating calcium and vitamin D for growing healthy bones and omega 3 for brain development. Another recommended nutrient is a form of vitamin A named beta carotene that brings about healthy blood and skin. Iron-rich foods are recommended especially for vegetarians as anaemia (low Haemoglobin) is common among them in India. 

Third trimester pregnancy diet plans (28 - 40 weeks)

In the third trimester, your baby’s growth will pick up and you will gain weight speedily. But you need not worry about putting on these extra kilos as long as you are engaged in a healthy and well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that your energy requirements will increase during this period. Vitamin K is needed for blood to clot after childbirth. So, eat lots of food rich in vitamin K. Iron continues to be a vital nutrient during this stage too.  

Healthy foods for pregnant women

It’s absolutely important to keep yourself hydrated and consume as much water or juice as you can at frequent intervals. Fresh fruit and vegetables are important and so are foods prepared with whole grains like jowar, nachni, oats, and barley recipes. Fish oils, walnuts and flax seeds are sources of essential Omega 3 fats that are needed during pregnancy. 

Pregnancy Food Chart – Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you are expecting. A nutritious breakfast can comprise of:

  • 1 bowl of oatmeal, fresh fruits nuts, and a glass of milk – These provide the nourishments of important vitamins and fibre.
  • 1 plate rava upma or poha or vermicelli with eggs or vegetables such as sprouts – These have multi nutrients and fibre.
  • 2 chapatis and an omelette.

A vegetable omelette or a vegetable sandwich with cheese is also an alternative source of proteins

  • 2 parathas with fillings of dal, potatoes, carrots, spinach or mixed veggies with curd – These have fibre, calcium and vitamins.

Pregnancy Food Chart – Lunch

Ensure that lunchtime is a balanced meal, ranging from dishes using pulses, dals, cereals, whole grains, nuts and fresh vegetables. These give you the nourishment of vitamins, fibre, and minerals that you need. Use only healthy oils like rice bran oil, coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil for cooking. You can have salads or a bowl of vegetable soup as a pre-lunch snack. If you are a non-vegetarian, chicken and fish are the recommended pregnancy foods. They have proteins, omega-3 and healthy fats, apart from helping form red blood cells.

Your lunch diet plan could have the following options:

  • 2 rotis with dal, a bowl of curd and chicken or vegetable curry like mix veg, kofta, paneer and other vegetables.
  • A rice dish like chicken/egg or jeera and pea rice, vegetable rice, khichdi or lemon rice with raita or just plain curd rice.
  • 1 bowl of chicken curry with vegetables, roti and rice.
  • 1 bowl of palak paneer with roti or rice. Spinach is rich in folic acid and iron and great for pregnant women. Vitamin C improves iron absorption, so add a dash of lemon to palak.

Pregnancy Food Chart – Evening Snacks

It is normal to experience hunger pangs frequently when you are pregnant. Hence, you need more energy and therefore more food. Make it a habit to eat small meals more frequently rather than 3 big meals in a day. Here are some ideas to snack on.

  • Fresh fruits or a fruit smoothie.
  • A handful of walnuts, almonds or dates.
  • Vegetable or spinach idlis.
  • Multi-grain bread or khakhra or bhakri.
  • Carrot or lauki halwa made with jaggery or less sugar.
  • Daliya or uttapam with vegetables.
  • Roasted chana, peanuts and dates.

Pregnancy Food Chart –Dinner

Have a light dinner and have it early for you to digest your food properly and have a good night’s sleep. You can duplicate the lunch ideas for dinner as well. But here are some more pregnancy food tips: 

  • Roti with dal, a vegetable of your choice, salad, and curd.
  • Vegetable pulao or chicken rice with vegetable raita.
  • Vegetable, cheese, paneer, or egg paratha with buttermilk.
  • Jowar/ bajra roti with ghee, dal/ chicken curry/ vegetables, and raita.
  • Mixed dal khichdi with vegetable curry and bowl of curd.

Do write to us if you have any suggestions regarding Pregnancy Diet Plan. We’d love to hear from you!

Published by

MKB Team

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