Figuring out what to eat when you're eating for two can be nerve-wracking. Meal planning for pregnant mums is necessary to ensure the growing baby in the womb gets all the required nutrition. Also, remember that the baby’s taste buds start forming after nine weeks. So, the food you eat also covers a range of flavours, as the baby tastes it too. These healthy choices have the nutrients that you and your growing baby need.
Eggs are rich in choline, which helps the baby’s overall growth while also preventing any defects in the neural tube. Eggs are a great source of proteins. The baby cells, which grow at an exponential rate, are made up of protein. Also, as a pregnant woman, you too need protein to sustain yourself.
Of all the vegetables, beans have the most amount of protein and are fairly rich in their fibre content. Fiber-containing food tends to be rich in nutrients. Beans are a good source of iron, folate, calcium and zinc. They also offer varieties to choose from, including lentils, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans and chickpeas. Pregnancy may put you at risk of constipation and haemorrhoids, and fibre helps prevent these problems. Thus, they should be made a regular choice.
3. Greek Yogurt
Greek yoghurt contains twice the amount of regular yoghurt. Therefore, it becomes an essential pregnancy food. It also has probiotics and calcium in rich quantities, which are vital in a pregnancy diet. If the calcium intake is low, whatever amount you have will go to the baby and your bones will be left depleted.
4. Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and other leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as the all-important folate. They've also been found to promote eye health.
5. Colourful Fruits and Vegetables
Eating plenty of colourful fruits like apples, bananas and pomegranates ensure that your baby and you get a variety of nutrients. It is also said by the experts that exposing the baby to fruits and vegetables in the womb increases the chances that the baby may recognise and accept the flavours later on.
Butter is a great source of vitamins A, D, K and E as well as other necessary nutrients like zinc, copper, selenium and chromium. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is essential for your baby’s brain development.
7. Whole Grains
Whole grains are important during pregnancy because they're high in fibre and nutrients, including vitamin E, selenium and phytonutrients (plant compounds that protect cells). Don't be shy about trying different kinds, ranging from barley and buckwheat to oats and spelt.
Other important food items that must be consumed during pregnancy may include walnuts, salmon, sweet potatoes, lean meats, seafood (although be careful of mercury toxicity), coconut oil, bone broth and probiotic foods. We strongly recommend that you consult with a nutritionist or a dietician to make a complete diet chart for yourself that will be best for you and your baby.