Pregnancy Meal Plan

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Pregnancy Meal Plan

Pregnant women need to eat healthy foods most of the time and still enjoy the occasional treat. Pregnancy is not a time for deprivation or giving up everything you hold precious and dear. For so many of us, food is a source of great pleasure and to feel as if you need to put your taste buds on hold for nine months is not only unrealistic, it is also very unkind.


Any pregnancy eating plan needs to include the aim of eating a varied, fresh and interesting diet. Think about the foods you eat in terms of what they will be doing for you and your baby. It won’t be until your third trimester when you will need to increase the amount of kilojoules you have each day and, even then, an extra piece of fruit and a glass of milk will meet these additional daily requirements.


It is the quality and intensity of the nutrients in your diet which count during pregnancy, rather than food “bulk”. You would have heard the term “work smart”; well, pregnancy is a time to “eat smart” and with your head, not just your taste-buds.


But eating healthy when you’re expecting can be difficult given your crazy schedules. We’ve made things a bit easier by designing a trimester wise meal plan:


Trimester One

In the first trimester, your diet needs to include food with higher folate, Vitamin B6 and iron content. These are good for your baby’s developing nervous system and helps to ease nausea.


Follow below meal plan for a healthy first trimester:

Food Type

Examples

Importance

Fruits

Fresh and dried fruit or 100-percent fruit juice.

Maintains required nutrition level and keeps body hydrated.

Vegetables

Choose vegetables that are dark green (broccoli, kale, spinach), orange (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash), yellow (corn, yellow peppers), and red (tomatoes, red peppers).

Rich sources of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Also, are rich in fiber, extremely low in fat and carbohydrates and provide an excellent source of protein.

Dairy foods

Drink milk and eat yogurt & cheese.

For sufficient calcium intake.

Protein

Include lean meats, fish, and eggs prepared with minimal amounts of fat.

Provides a wide variety of other nutrients such as: iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins, especially B12, and essential fatty acids.

Whole grains

Include whole grain bread, cereals, crackers, and pasta which are very important during pregnancy.

Grains provide essential carbohydrates, your body’s main source of energy.




Trimester Two

In the second trimester, you must consume food that is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D. This will help you baby grown stronger bones and teeth. It is also important to eat food that is rich in magnesium and omega 3 which is essential for baby’s brain development.


Follow below meal plan for a healthy second trimester:

Food Type

Examples

Importance

Fruits

Include fruits like peach, mangoes (intake when seasonal) a fresh orange juice in your diet.

Maintains folic acid and Vitamin D level in the body.

Vegetables

Incorporate vegetables like broccoli, green beans, carrots, cabbage and okra into your meals. Stir-fry or steam to retain the nutrients, and try not to overcook them.

Contains magnesium and calcium.

Dairy foods

Yogurt, low-fat cream cheese on whole-grain bread. Also, include a glass of semi-skimmed milk.

It will give you calcium, as well as magnesium.

Dry fruit

Dried fruit such as apricots, dates and figs.

It contains calcium and iron. These are a great snack to have during the second trimester.

Grains

Include fortified bread, brown rice, and cereals in your diet.

Grains provide essential carbohydrates (your body’s main source of energy.)

Meat

Stir fry chicken with spring greens and noodles or Salmon with pine nuts, broccoli and sweet potato mash or a dish with chicken and mushroom

Contains Omega-3



Trimester Three

The food that you consume in the third trimester needs to boost your energy levels. It must also be rich in Vitamin K, which is necessary to helping your body to heal well after the birth. The iron content in the food helps preventing premature delivery and low birth weight.


Follow below meal plan for a healthy third trimester:

Food Type

Examples

Importance

Protein Rich Foods

Add a serving of grilled beef or pork for dinner or shredded turkey or chicken soup. Add beans to stew, pasta or tossed green salads.

It boosts your intake of protein, iron and zinc.

Eggs

Have a hard-boiled egg for a snack or eat scrambled eggs as part of a healthy breakfast.

Eggs are rich in selenium, zinc, Vitamins like A, D and some B complex which are required during pregnancy.

Additional Foods

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Fruits and vegetables supply vitamin C for your baby’s immune system, vitamin A to support bone and tooth development and folate for proper DNA formation.



Eating right during pregnancy boost your immunity and keep mood swings at bay resulting in a happy and healthy pregnancy. It is advised that you consult a doctor or accredited health practitioner before starting a supplement programme or changing your diet.