There is no denying that nutrition is vital during your pregnancy! Knowing what is on your plate is crucial during this phase. In general, you need to have:
- Macronutrients (nutrients needed in more quantities) like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fiber
- Micronutrients (nutrients needed in fewer quantities) like vitamins and minerals
For you to have a “balanced meal”:
- all the components should be included in your food. It is also important that you have the right amount of micronutrients and macronutrients.
- meals should be spaced out.
- the calorie intake based on your BMI (to be decided by your doctor/dietician), as a rule of thumb, in the second trimester you would require an additional 350 kcal and in the third trimester, you would require an additional 400 kcal.
- you should keep yourself hydrated and include 2-3 portions of fruits and vegetables
What should your meal plan during pregnancy consist of?
- Carbs: Rice, whole wheat roti, dosas, oats etc, form a bulk of your food. By incorporating organic and healthier substitutes, you can get the right amount of carbohydrates along with fiber in your diet (with some added vitamins & minerals)
- Nuts: We underestimate the power of nuts. They are a good source of “good fats” and proteins
- Fruits & Vegetables: 2-3 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables will help you manage your hunger
- Proteins: This should comprise 25-30% of your diet. Having protein-rich foods will help you stay fuller for longer and keep your sugar levels in check
- Fiber: It goes without saying that the more the fiber in your food the easier it is on the stomach.
- Diary: Having milk and milk products are beneficial. You need to have 2-3 portions in order to fulfill your calcium requirements
Your diet should comprise of all the micro and macronutrients in the right amount. If you are unable to eat either because of hyperemesis gravidarum or nausea, consult your doctor and find an alternative so that your body gets the right nourishment.
A basic detailed chart has been included in this article so that it can be used as a reference. It is just a rough estimate of what your diet should consist of during pregnancy and not a final meal or diet plan. Each pregnancy is different and some require a personalized diet taking into consideration the mother’s health and other factors. So, don’t forget to ask your doctor what should be incorporated into your diet during your pregnancy.