Diet for pregnant women

Diet for pregnant women

Diet for pregnant women

Dieting, skipping meals, snacking, eating away from home, consuming fast foods and trying unconventional diets are common eating behaviors which relate to changing lifestyles of increased independence,busy schedules, search for self-identity, peer influence, group conformity and often body image dissatisfaction with a desire for thinness. But when it comes to pregnancy one has to be very careful about what to eat.

Diet for pregnant women

Before going into such dietary chart let us first know about the requirements of a pregnant body.

Energy – Energy s the primary dietary requirement. In pregnancy an additional 300 kcal of energy per day is recommended mostly during second and third trimester .if The energy needs are not met then effective utilization of proteins,vitamins,etc is hindered during the metabolic functions of the body.

Protein – protein needs increases for a pregnant body especially for the maintaining of existing tissues and fro the growth of other tissues. Daily protein recommendation for a mature pregnant woman is 1.3 gm protein/kg of pregnant weight. A careful dietary assessment is the always best way to determine the protein intake.

Sources of protein – Egg, Milk, Meat, and other animal sources.

Calcium – Fetal bone needs enough calcium for development so 1200 mg of calcium is recommended in pregnancy. For younger teenage pregnant females or adolescents 1600 mg is recommended.

Sources of calcium – Dairy products(milk, yogurt, cheese). One quart of milk contains 1200 mg of calcium. One slice of cheese contains 2/3rd of calcium present in one cup milk. Some of the other sources are leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, fish etc.

Iron – The need of iron increases as pregnancy progresses. Iron needs increased from second trimester and reaches its peak in the third trimester. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional problems in women now a days.

Sources of iron – The best source of iron is dried beans ,peas, whole grains, meat, fish, or poultry , green leafy vegetables etc

Zinc – Zinc affects protein synthesis in the body so its requirement is needed specially in the third trimester. So the recommended protein intake is 15 mg per day.

Sources of Zinc – The best food sources are seafood, meat , eggs , legumes and whole grains.

Vitamin A – vitamin A is necessary for growth and development. The recommended dietary allowance for pregnancy is 800 mg/day. But excessive doses of vitamin A may be teratogenic . So it is very important to be careful with the intake of vitamin A.

Sources of vitamin A – Green vegetables and fruits like (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, broccoli, spinach), egg yolks, butter etc.

Food guide for pregnancy (any one of below mentioned substances).

Dairy Product

  • 2 oz meat, fish or poultry/ 1 cup dried beans or peas/ 2 eggs/4 tablespoon of peanut butter/ 6 oz tofu/ ½ cup cottage cheese.
  • Minimum daily recommended servings – 3.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vitamin A equivalents

  • ½ cup greens/ ½ cup spinach/ ½ cup sweet potatoes/ ½ cup carrots/ ½ cup green peppers/ 1 cup broccoli/ 1 cup apricots.
  • Minimum daily recommended servings – 1.

Vitamin C equivalents

  • ½ cup orange juice or grape fruit juice/ 1 orange/ 1 cup watermelon/ 2 tomatoes/ 1 cup cabbage/ 1- ½ cup tomato juice/ 2/3 cup strawberries.
  • Minimum daily recommended servings – 2.

Bread and cereals

  • 1 slice bread/ ½ cup cooked rice/ ½ hot dog or hamburger bun cornbread/ ½ cup cooked macaroni or spaghetti noodles/ ½ cup cooked cereal.
  • Minimum daily recommended servings – 4.

Fats and oils

  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese/ 2 table spoon sour cream/ 2 tablespoon salad dressing or mayonnaise/ 1 tablespoon butter, oil, bacon fat.
  • Minimum daily recommended servings – 2.
  • Above some Diet for pregnant women have been mentioned

To know about change in the body due to pregnancy click.

To know about common pregnancy related problems click

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