Pregnancy is that phase of a woman’s life when she can gain weight and still be happy about it. You can easily excuse yourself to have one or two extra helpings of your favorite food items. However, there are certain food groups which you must include in your diet for a healthy pregnancy and for your baby to benefit from this nutrition.
Pregnant women need 300 to 500 extra calories per day and they also need additional supplements for calcium, iron and folate as the daily requirement of these vitamins and minerals cannot be met by diet alone.
List of food items to include in a pregnant woman’s diet
It is considered to be a super food and has the highest source of protein, vitamins and minerals. One serving of egg daily will be beneficial both you and your baby. The amino acids in the protein is an essential factor for the regeneration and repair of cells.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
This is one of the best sources of folic acid as they are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals hence, the name. A very tasty and filing snack option, you could have them for breakfast with milk and fruits of your choice or with dry fruits as well for added flavors. Or you could just munch on them as it is. One thing to keep in mind while purchasing breakfast cereals are that they should be low in sugar and should have a high content of fibre and folic acid.
Another food item which falls into the super food category. Bananas are rich in potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6 and calcium. It is also an energy booster so, if on any day you are feeling fatigued or tired or light headed, grab a banana. You can easily have 3 to 4 bananas each day if you enjoy eating them and a better option would be to have it with a glass of milk to make it a complete meal. Bananas also help in easing motions so, if you are constipated (which happens quite often during pregnancy), you can have a few bananas.
Indians normally don’t have a deficit in this nutrition as we all love our ‘rotis’ for our meals. Whole wheat is a good source of fibre, iron and zinc. You could have them as rotis or you can also have whole wheat bread. It is always a better substitute than the white version which has more Maida in it. You could make a filling nutritious whole wheat bread sandwich and one meal of your day is taken care of.
It has a good amount of complex carbohydrates in it which is a food group necessary for pregnant women. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels. You can combine oatmeal with milk and top it with fruits or nuts for a filling and nutritious snack.
They are rich in protein and fibre and they also contain potassium and magnesium. Beans also prevent constipation which is a common complaint during and post pregnancy.
Who doesn’t love cheese? It is one of the best sources of calcium and milk proteins. Plus, it is a super tasty snack. You could have it as it is or top it on a slice of bread or a multi grain cracker or better yet, have a pizza loaded with cheese. One important point to keep in mind while purchasing cheese is that pregnant women should always stick to cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Consult your doctor and he / she will hand out a list of food items that you can include or avoid in your diet. One such item to avoid is Custard. There is no specific reason as such to avoid it but, processed or store bought items are usually best to be avoided when you are pregnant as you are unaware about the ingredients that go in and the process in which it is made.
If you still crave for custard then, you can always make it at home and have it. The internet has a number of home videos to make custard.
Try one of the recipes and enjoy this sweet indulgence.