All that you need to know about ‘healthy diet’ for a healthy pregnancy
Every aspect of life suddenly gains a huge importance once you are pregnant. The key one being the diet. Eating a variety right food plays a vital role in keeping you and your baby healthy. No special diets are required during pregnancy. However, getting a right balance of nutrients from a variety of different foods can help give your baby the right start.
There are 6 key types of food groups which you should aim to include in your everyday meal. No single food group can substitute for others. Following are the details of the food groups:
Food group #1 Dairy Products
Dairy products are rich sources of protein, vitamin B12, and calcium. Whole milk/skimmed milk, yogurt/buttermilk, cheese, cottage cheese, and ghee are some important dairy products.
Food group #2 Lentils, Pulses, Cereals, Whole Grains and Nuts
This food group fulfills the daily requirement of proteins, especially of the vegetarians. An approximate amount of 45 gram of nuts and 2/3 cup of pulses should be eaten on daily basis.
Food group #3 Fruits and Vegetables
Loaded with minerals, vitamins, and fiber, intake of plenty of fruits and vegetables helps in digestion and can help prevent constipation. Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
Food group #4 Fish, Poultry, and Meat
The non-vegetarians can eat this healthy food group as it is loaded with concentrated proteins.
Food group #5 Liquids
Make sure to keep yourself well hydrated from time to time. Fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices, tender coconut water, water infused with fresh fruits, lemons or mint leaves and water are good sources of liquids.
Food group #6 Fats
Fats are an essential food group as they deliver energy to support your growing child and prepare your body for delivery. Vegetable oil is considered healthy as it has unsaturated fats. Ghee and butter can be consumed in limited amounts as they have saturated fats.
Spreading your diet throughout the day
Here is a list of food items that can be shuffled regularly and made into a diet plan to ensure that you intake all types of food groups in various forms and avoid the monotony of eating same food time and again.
Start your day with nutritious breakfast as indicated below:
- 1 glass low-fat milk or buttermilk or fortified orange juice
- Wheat rava upma with lots of vegetables
- Poha with lots of vegetables
- Oats porridge
- Whole wheat toast with butter and omelet
- Vegetable Omelet
- Bowl of fruits
- Cheese toast or cheese and vegetable sandwich
- Tomato soup
- Spinach soup
- Creamy spinach soup
- Carrot and beet soup
- Chicken soup
You can choose from an array of dishes using pulses, dals, cereals, whole grains, nuts and fresh vegetables. You may have salads or a bowl of soup made of vegetables as a pre-lunch snack. Here are a few meal ideas:
- 2 rotis with dal, a bowl of curd and any vegetable curry like mix veg, kofta, paneer and other vegetables
- Any rice dish like jeera and pea rice, vegetable rice, khichdi or lemon rice with raita or plain curd rice
- 1 bowl palak paneer with roti or rice
- Parantha with fillings and a bowl of curd
- Rice, dal, mint raita and a fruit
- Grilled chicken with a bowl of curd
- 1 bowl chicken curry with roti and rice
- Chicken salad with lots of fresh vegetables or vegetable soup
- Fresh fruits or a fruit smoothie
- Munch a handful of walnuts, almonds or dates
- Freshly prepared fruit juices
- Whole-grains and low-sugar granola bars
- Vegetable or spinach idlis
- A bowl of dried dates or dry fruits
- A cup of green tea
- Milk porridge with oats
- Mixed vegetable uttapam
- Daliya or uttapam with vegetables
- Roasted chana
Having a light and early dinner helps. Your dinner can include:
- Roti, a bowl of dal, a vegetable of choice and a glass of buttermilk
- Rice, a bowl of dal, spinach vegetable, and some green salad and curd
- Beetroot or carrot kheer
- Plain parantha with buttermilk
- Jowar or bajra roti with ghee and raita
- Mixed dal khichdi with vegetable curry and bowl of curd
Indian diet usually packs all the right amount of nutrients for a healthy, happy baby. Picking a diet that packs the best nutrients for you and your baby can go a long way in gaining the right weight and energy. Ensure to consult your gynecologist or nutritionist before following any specific diet, to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Remember that a healthy diet and lifestyle can keep you well during pregnancy and give your baby the best possible start in life.