Healthy Mom for Healthy Kids: What Should You Eat During Pregnancy?

What should you eat During Pregnancy

Women as soon as they become aware of their pregnancy, start to search what fruits to eat during pregnancy or what foods to eat during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the time of a woman’s life when she becomes extra concerned about the food she is putting in her body and why shouldn’t she be? It is about the health of her baby that is growing inside her. Women need to prioritize a healthy diet in their routine after they conceive.  

What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet? 

Women often have confusion about the foods to eat during their pregnancy. After conceiving women should not try to follow a weight loss diet. When a woman is pregnant she needs more calories than ever before. Women should focus on eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support the development of the baby in the womb. These are some key factors that pregnant women should keep in their mind. 

  1. Balanced Portion in Plate: It is necessary to eat a well-balanced diet during pregnancy. Pregnant women should eat a good amount of protein, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. These nutrients are important for a woman’s and her baby’s health during pregnancy. Women can get these nutrients from a variety of dairy products, grains, fruits, eggs, lean meat, and vegetables.
  1. Drink Full-Fat Milk: Women who are more used to drinking low-fat milk or skim milk should start drinking full-fat milk during their pregnancy. Full-fat milk is dense in nutrients that are important for a pregnant woman’s diet e.g. fat and vitamin D. 
  1. Fill Your Diet with Whole Grain:  Whole grains contain important nutrients and are fiber-dense. Women who were not consuming whole grains should shift to whole grains like whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread. Women can also eat different types of whole grains as advised by their doctor for the extra nutrient benefit.
  1. Put a Limit on Certain Foods:  When considering what foods to eat during pregnancy, one should also consider the food items they have to avoid. It is recommended by doctors to avoid food items that are highly processed and high in saturated fats. Women can replace their food options with healthy and nutrient-dense food items. 

Essential Nutrients for Pregnancy: What You Need to Eat 

Essential Nutrients for Pregnancy

These are the essential nutrients that every pregnant woman should take:

  1. Protein- A pregnant woman should take 60 grams of protein which should be 20 to 25 percent of their daily calorie intake.
  1. Complex Carbohydrates- Carbs are the source of energy and the recommended amount of carbs in a pregnant woman’s diet is more than or equal to 175 grams a day.
  1. Fats and Oils: It is suggested that pregnant women take 5 teaspoons of oil and fats in their first trimester and for the rest of the trimester it can be increased to 8 teaspoons. The fats that women consume during pregnancy give energy and also help in building the placenta and many organs of the fetus.
  1. Iron and Folic Acid: Iron and folic acid are very important nutrients for pregnant women. Pregnant women need 27 mg of iron daily for a healthy pregnancy. The recommended amount of folic acid is 600 mcg a day. It is a bit difficult to obtain this amount from a regular diet, so women can ask their doctor for supplements as per their needs. 
  1. Calcium: The required amount of calcium for a pregnant woman is about 1000-1300 mg a day. Calcium is found in dairy products like milk, cheese curd, and paneer.
  1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for pregnant women and the required amount of daily vitamin D is 600 international units a day. These requirements can be fulfilled with Prenatal Vitamins and foods rich in vitamin D. 

What Foods Women Should Include in Their Pregnancy Diet?

Pregnant woman's diet

The following foods are high in nutrients and definitely should be part of a pregnant woman’s diet. 

  1. Egg- Eggs are one of the healthiest food options for pregnant women because they contain a lot of nutrients that should be part of a pregnant woman’s diet. 
  1. Fruits and Vegetables- Pregnant women should eat fruits and veggies that are high in fiber and micronutrient content like apples, oranges, mango, strawberries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
  1. Whole Grains- Pregnant women should choose whole grains like whole wheat roti, bread, pasta, and brown rice. Whole Grains are packed with micronutrients and are also rich in fiber. 
  1. Dry Fruits- Dry fruits are high in calories and rich in many vitamins and minerals. Pregnant women can consume dry fruits as snack options in low quantities.
  1. Legumes- These include lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, peas, and peanuts. Legumes are a good protein source for pregnant women who are vegetarian or vegan. 
  1. Lean Meat: Pregnant women who like to eat non-veg can eat lean meat to fulfill the requirements of protein and vitamin B12. Lean meat is a rich source of iron and has a low amount of saturated fats, which makes it a better choice for pregnant women. 

Pregnancy Diet: Daily Calorie Intake

Pregnancy Diet: Daily Calorie Intake

The body of a pregnant woman demands extra calories. The prenatal nutrients that pregnant women require in all the trimesters are likely to be the same. In the second trimester, women should increase their calorie intake by 340 calories a day. The women in the third trimester need an extra 450 calories a day. Women pregnant with twins need to increase their calorie intake by 600 calories a day throughout their entire pregnancy. This advice is only applicable to women who have a normal BMI. Women who are underweight or overweight should consult their doctor for advice on their calorie intake. 

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should not just focus on the foods they should eat but also keep in mind the foods they should avoid. There are a few foods that should be avoided by pregnant women as they might impact the growth of the fetus or are generally not good for health. The foods to avoid include certain kinds of fish, milk that is not pasteurized, raw food, undercooked meat, highly processed foods, and trans fats. Pregnant Women should take advice from their doctor about the food items that need to be avoided. 

Pregnancy Diet: Beverages 

Pregnancy Diet: Beverages

Pregnant women should always keep themselves hydrated and try to drink 2-3 liters of fluid daily. Water is going to be the best option but if you like drinking tea and coffee, you can incorporate them into your diet. While consuming coffee or tea, keep the limit of caffeine to less than 200 milligrams a day. Before taking any kind of herbal tea, pregnant women should get approval from their doctors. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol at any cost as doctors say that even a small amount of alcohol can cause potential harm to the fetus. Pregnant women should drink cold drinks and soda in very low amounts because they are full of artificial sweeteners and not good for their health.


Pregnancy is a very wholesome and life-changing journey for every woman. It is the time when they should relax and stay away from the things that can cause stress. Missing one time on the diet is not something to stress over. Women should fulfill their cravings during pregnancy accompanied by a healthy diet and lifestyle. Take help from the above-given tips about what food to eat during pregnancy and what foods to avoid in pregnancy. Women can also take the help of a dietician or doctor to gain knowledge about healthy food options and recipes. 

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