The kind of diet we encourage you to maintain in your pregnancy involves reshaping your eating habits for ensuring that you get enough nutrition for you and your baby’s health. Healthy eating during pregnancy is a must for your baby’s development and growth. 

Check out below the important food groups and dietary complements for a healthy pregnancy diet. You’d typically have to consume an additional 300 calories daily.

What role is played by diet during pregnancy?

When you talk about diet in pregnancy, it is not about limiting calories or attempting to drop your weight. Dieting for losing weight in pregnancy, on the contrary, can be dangerous to both you and the baby, mainly because a weight loss regimen can limit essential nutrients like folic acid, iron and other vital minerals and vitamins. 

Pregnancy diet tips

  • Food groups

It’s vital to have a variety of foods throughout the day. Ensure you consume the nutrients needed by both you and your baby. Below are certain food groups and suggested sources to make a healthy diet during pregnancy:

  • Vegetables and fruits

Veggies and fruits have several vital nutrients for pregnancy, mainly folic acid and vitamin C. Pregnant women require at least 70mg of Vitamin C every day. It’s found in fruits like honeydew, grapefruits, and oranges and veggies like sprouts, brussels, tomatoes, and broccoli. 

Have 0.4mg of folic acid daily for preventing neural tube defects. Its rich source includes dark green leafy veggies (other sources are legumes like veal, black-eyed peas, lime or black beans, etc.) You must have at least 2-4 fruit servings and 4 or more veggies servings regularly. 

  • Grains and bread

The body’s essential source of energy for pregnancy is obtained from the vital carbohydrates in grains and bread. Whole grain products contain important nutrients like fiber, vitamin B, iron, and also protein. The necessary quantity of folic acid is available in fortified cereal and bread. 

According to your dietary requirements and weight, you must eat about 6-11 (Oz) servings of grains/bread per day. 

  • Protein

Beans, eggs, fish, poultry and meat have iron, vitamin B and protein required in pregnancy. your growing baby needs abundant protein, particularly in your second and third trimesters. Iron helps in carrying oxygen to your muscles for avoiding symptoms like depression, irritability, weakness and fatigue. 

You should have 27mg daily. Veal, turkey, liver, lamb, chicken and lean beef are good options. Within guidelines, fish and certain other seafood can be nutritious in pregnancy. Avoid fish containing high mercury levels. Have at least 3 servings of protein every day.

  • Dairy products

Have at least 1000mg of calcium for supporting a pregnancy. it’s needed to improve bones and teeth strength, nerve and muscle function and normal blood clotting. As the growing baby needs a considerable content of calcium, your body will extract it from the bones if you don’t consume sufficient through your diet (it may result in future problems like osteoporosis). 

Rich sources of calcium are puddings, cream soups, yogurt, cheese and milk. Some calcium is also present in dried peas, beans, seafood and green veggies. Have at least 4 servings of dairy products regularly.

A complement to nutrition

  • Prenatal vitamins

Although the nutrients and vitamins required in pregnancy must mainly come from your diet, a regular prenatal vitamin can help in filling small gaps if you unknowingly don’t receive sufficient key nutrients. If possible, have prenatal vitamins up to 3 months before contraception. 

Discuss the most suitable supplement with your health provider. Don’t forget that a prenatal vitamin or other supplements can only complement your healthy diet in pregnancy. 

Sample of a daily healthy menu

A healthy sample menu is given below to provide you with some idea of the typical foods to be consumed by a pregnant woman daily to create a healthy diet in pregnancy. 3 light snacks and 3 small and balanced meals throughout the day can work well as a thumb rule for ensuring that you and the baby’s daily nutritional requirements are adequately met.

  • Breakfast

1 cup of skim milk, 2 tsp of jam, 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, banana and oatmeal cereal.

  • Snack

Grapes and 1 cup of yogurt. 

  • Lunch

Turkey (if it’s deli meat, don’t consume it cold; heat to steaming for avoiding Listeria), 1 cup of skim milk, pear, a small bag of potato chips and a cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread.

  • Snack

Raw vegetables with a low-calorie dip.

  • Dinner

1 cup of skim milk, 1 cup of vegetables, 1 cup of wild rice and 4 Oz of chicken.

  • Snack

Low-fat or frozen yogurt or fresh fruits.