During the third trimester, your requirements of energy, protein and other nutrients are increased. Hence, you need to eat extra foods. Here are some general diet tips:
1. It is advisable to take 5-6 small meals in a day, rather than three large meals. Have cereals in combination with pulses for better protein quality. A Few foods to get your hands on are:
- Chapattis and rice with dal
- Khichri with vegetables (the khichri will take care of the rice and dal)
- Idlis and dosa
- Suji-besan cheela
2. Have a snack in between breakfast and lunch and another snack between lunch and dinner.
3. Include milk, eggs, fish, meat for higher quality of proteins in your daily diet
4. Since constipation is a common problem in pregnancy, take fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, dals with husk and plenty of fluids to combat this.
Here Are Some Options That You Can Try Out For Your Different Meals
Early morning snack: As soon as you wake up, once you've had a glass of lukewarm water, have a small snack like a few nuts, or even a glass of your favourite milkshake.
Breakfast: It isn't in jest that we say, "Eat Breakfast like a queen!" Your most important meal of the day needs to be balanced and nutritious. Here are some options:
- Stuffed parathas (aloo, radish, methi, paneer, or even a mix of everything!)
- Poha with veggies
- Steamed sevai (a type of vermicelli) with a dash of lemon juice
- Vegetable idlis with sambar
- Fruit platter with cheese (be careful to have pasteurized cheese only)
Pre-lunch snack: Have a light soup – tomato, spinach or sweet corn before lunch.
Lunch: Here are a few options (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) that you can try for lunch:
- Rice and dal (toor, moong, black urad, or any other dal of your choice).
- Chapattis, vegetable and dal.
- Khichri with raita and roasted papad.
- Salads (chicken or vegetable) and whole wheat bread.
- Chicken curry with chapatti.
- Sambar (with ladies finger or drumstick), and rice, with a vegetable dish on the side.
- Bisibele bath (a type of khichri made in Southern India) with lots of vegetables, and curd on the side.
Evening snack: When it's a couple of hours after lunch and you start feeling peckish, try one of these.
- Fruit smoothie with yoghurt
- Veggie cutlets
- Cheese sandwich made with whole wheat bread
- Uthapam with veggies
Dinner: Eat a light dinner and it shouldn't be too late in the night(at least two hours before bed).
- A cup of rice with dal palak.
- A light pulao with curd.
Things To Watch out For During The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy
While you pay special attention to your diet and general health, watch out for these things during your third trimester:
Pre- Eclampsia: If you have water retention and your blood pressure is going up, consult your gynaecologist. Early diagnosis is important to prevent the condition from becoming severe. Restrict your salt intake and get plenty of rest
GDM or gestational diabetes: When diabetes is detected for the first time during pregnancy or there is a history of diabetes during previous pregnancies, watch out for the signs.
If you have symptoms like excessive urination especially at night, excessive thirst, increased appetite or a tingling sensation felt in hands and feet, the chances are you have developed GDM.
Restrict intake of sugar, sweets and too much of fat. Take whole grain cereals and pulses, and do some exercise to improve your insulin sensitivity. Do take advice from a diabetologist or a clinical dietitian, if you have been detected with GDM
The end of the tunnel isn't too far when you're in your third trimester, and soon you will be rushing to the labour room. Take good care of your health and enjoy your pregnancy before the chaos of motherhood sets in. Have a happy and safe pregnancy