Maintaining the right nutrition during the course of the pregnancy is essential for the good health of the mother and the baby. The food that a pregnant woman takes has a significant impact on the health of the child as well.
A pregnant woman’s diet is the primary source of nutrition for the baby as well. So it is important for an expectant mother to eat right. But the important question that plagues the mind of most pregnant women is, what should they eat? It is important to know the kind of foods that are best suited for a woman during pregnancy for the proper growth and development of the baby.
Best Nutrition for Pregnant Women
Nutritional Requirements of a Pregnant Woman
The body of a pregnant mother demands a lot more nutrition than otherwise for the proper fetal development and healthy functioning of the placenta, amniotic fluids and uterus. During the first few months, an increased consumption of 150 calories on a daily basis is recommended.
By the end of the period, women are recommended to take at least 250 more calories daily than what they would take otherwise. This can be done by taking a glass of milk each day in the first trimester and an extra slice or bread or piece of fruit during the next two trimesters. Though weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but this does not mean that you should start eating for two or more people.
Intake of additional 10 grams of proteins each day during pregnancy is recommended for building up as well as maintaining the body tissues in the mother as well as the fetus. Daily intake of 70 grams of proteins is good enough. Glucose is the main energy source for the fetus. The daily requirement of carbohydrate can be met by eating pasta, fruits, or bread. Essential fatty acids are also necessary for proper development and functioning of baby’s nervous system.
Pregnancy Food Recommendations
Pregnancy requires a woman to take increased amounts of vitamins, mineral, and other nutrients on a regular basis.
Given below are approximate measures of portions that should ideally be taken by pregnant women to ensure proper fetal development.
Oils and Fats
A daily consumption of 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil including corn oil, sunflower oil, canola or olive oil, thistle oil is ideal. Similarly, 2 teaspoons of margarine or butter can be had, besides one meals rich in fats like breaded or deep fried foods, fried potato cakes, cheese dishes, pastry or shortcake dough, pies, cakes, chocolate, or cold cuts.
Snacks / Pastries
Pastries or snacks should only be taken in moderation as sweets contain fats in large amounts. At max, you can have 1 small portion of sweet like 1 pastry or piece of cake, or 1 ice cream or chocolate bar.
Fish, Meat, Eggs and Legumes
Fish, meats, and eggs can be taken 3-4 times a week in small amounts. However, cured meats like bacon, sausage or ham should not be taken more than once in a week. Besides this, not more than one meal a month of brains, kidneys, or tripe should be taken. Liver should be avoided during pregnancy. In the same way, one or two portions of fish and 2-3 eggs are permitted per week.
Milk & Milk Products
3 or 4 portions of whole milk products can be taken each day including 1 cup yogurt, 2 oz soft cheese or 1 oz hard cheese, besides ½ pint milk.
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