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The Pregnancy Plate: A Guide to Healthy Eating for Mommy and Baby

Nourishing yourself and your baby is vital during pregnancy for your baby’s proper development. Focus on our nutrient-rich recommendations with the right types of ingredients from veggies to meats that will provide the adequate building blocks for your child. Embrace this opportunity and give your child the best possible nutrition.

Edited By : Lifestyle Desk | Updated: May 21, 2024 10:57 IST
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Diet for Expectant Mothers

Pregnancy is one of the happiest and best moments of a couple’s life. The mother undergoes huge changes in her body and the experiences are altogether a new one. Just as the happy moments are the best in one’s life, you should also be careful about the expectant mother’s diet which is absolutely crucial in this phase.

The Appropriate Amounts of Calorie Intake

A pregnancy, as is already known, is divided into three trimesters. It is best to know the exact amount of calorie intake that is right in every trimester. So here are the quantities required:

  •       First trimester – This is the first twelve weeks of a pregnancy where the mother requires no extra calories.
  •       Second trimester – This is the period between 13-26 weeks where the mother requires approximately 340 extra calories every day.
  •       Third or last trimester – This is after the 26th week into the pregnancy till the end of it. During this period the mother requires about 450 extra calories a day.

However, you must remember that there is no one-size-fits-all concept here. How much every individual requires is dependent on many factors like your weight before your pregnancy and it is best to consult the doctor in advance for this.

Also read – Ayurvedic Practices to a Healthy Pregnancy

Ideal Foods to be Consumed During Pregnancy

There is a list of ideal foods for consumption during pregnancy. It is advisable that you stick to this list for a safe and healthy pregnancy. The food list includes:

  •       Vegetables – It includes veggies like carrots, cooked green, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, red sweet peppers and other veggies. Leafy greens are a-must. They provide the required intake of Vitamin A and potassium.
  •       Fruits – Fruits like apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, mangoes, oranges, prunes and tomatoes should be consumed in plenty. They provide potassium for the developing child.
  •       Dairy products – Dairy products like skimmed or 1% milk, soymilk and fat-free yoghurt are recommended. They provide the baby with calcium, potassium and Vitamins A & D.
  •       Grains – Cereals are a healthy option and they should be cooked properly. Fortified breakfast cereals are also recommended. They give the benefits of iron and folic acid which is absolutely essential for brain development.
  •       Proteins – Mothers-to-be should consume plenty of beans, peas, nuts & seeds, lean meats, eggs and fish. They provide the benefit of amino acids.

Recommended Drinks During Pregnancy

Just like some foods that are absolutely needed during this phase, so also certain drinks are required. However, the safest drinks for pregnancy are water and milk. Alcohol is a big no for expectant mothers. Low-sugar soft drinks, small moderate amounts of juice & soda and mineral water are acceptable. Where caffeine is considered, there is varied opinion. Small quantities of tea and coffee to the tune of 200mg/day is permissible.

Permissible Food Servings Per Day

It must be noted that serving sizes do not change as a result of pregnancy, rather the variety of foods and serves per day changes. This is done to ensure that both mother and baby get adequate nutrition in this phase. Here is a list of the food servings:

Food Group

Serves Per Day
Vegetables and legumes or beans                                                                                                5
Fruits 2
Grains and cereals 8
Lean meats/fish/poultry/eggs/tofu/nuts 3.5
Milk/dairy foods



Although a healthy diet is totally essential, yet there still remains the need for supplements. The supplement list includes vitamins, minerals and very importantly folic acid which is absolutely essential for proper brain and spine development of a baby. For this your consulting gynaecologist is the best person to turn to. He or she will provide you with the right dosages and types of supplements that your body may require.

First published on: May 21, 2024 10:57 AM IST

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