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Updated: December 1, 2012 19:52 IST

Eat right for your baby

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The mother’s diet provides the baby with all nutrients. Photo: Special Arrangement
The mother’s diet provides the baby with all nutrients. Photo: Special Arrangement

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional phases in a woman’s life. The feeling of a new life growing inside you can be both joyful and stressful.

To overcome the stress and strain, the mother-to-be has to eat the right kind of food.

Nutrition is crucial for growth and development of the unborn baby, since the mother’s diet is responsible for providing all nutrients to the developing baby.

Basic tips

Eat a variety of food consisting of cereals particularly whole grains. Other kinds of grains like ragi, bajra and jowar are also a valuable source of nutrients.

Pulses like green gram, horse gram, soya beans and black-eyed beans should form an important part of the diet.

Fruits, vegetables and dairy products are major sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibre and calcium.

Two to three whole seasonal fruits and one cup of vegetables every day is a must. When choosing vegetables, go easy on root vegetables and tubers.

Skimmed milk is better than full cream.

Non-vegetarian food is an excellent source of protein and the best options are chicken, fish and egg white.

Avoid red meats and the skin of the fried chicken/ fish.

Instead of three large meals, opt for small, frequent meals daily and maintain a gap of around two hours between dinner and bedtime.

Those who suffer morning sickness can nibble on plain sweet biscuits, rusk or toast.

Stay away from sweets, deep fried foods, soft drinks, alcohol, ice cream, pickles, processed foods, maida-based foods and fats.

Limit caffeine intake to not more than two cups of coffee or three cups of tea.

Here is a basic diet plan, which can be modified to suit one’s taste.

On waking: 2 almonds + 1 glass water or plain milk or tea/coffee with one spoon sugar.

8.00-9.00 a.m.: 3 rotis or 1 bowl upma/poha or oats with skimmed milk and fruit or whole wheat bread sandwich with vegetables + fruit + 1 egg white omelette or 1 bowl wheat flakes with skimmed milk.

11.00 a.m.: Buttermilk or tender coconut water or fruit.

1.00-1.30 p.m.: Rice (100g) + 2 rotis + sabzi (100g) + 1 cup salad + dhal or greens (100g) + curd (75 ml) + 1 serving of low fat paneer/egg/grilled chicken/fish.

4.00 p.m.: 1 cup tea/coffee + 2 biscuits or wheat crackers.

6.00 p. m.: Whole fruit (guava/apple) or 150 g sprouts or bhel puri (home made) or 1 sandwich (multigrain bread + green chutney + cucumber) or 200 ml Buttermilk/mixed vegetable soup.

8.00-8.30 p.m.: 2 dry rotis + green gram/brown channa/mixed vegetable curry/palak dal/mushroom curry.

Bedtime: 1 glass skimmed milk.

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