Pregnancy diet 101: Cracking the code for a healthy pregnancy

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We help you make the right food choices for a healthy pregnancy, so you gain weight the healthy way.

Eat fish. Don’t eat fish. Have an ice cream. Don’t have an ice cream. You can get confused with the amount of advice that is thrown your way when you are pregnant. You begin to wonder what is safe to eat, how much to eat, how many times to eat…

Relax. Listen to your doctor’s advice and take our tips for food choices for a healthy pregnancy

* Consume as many colours as you can.

Every nutritionist and doctor will tell you to eat as many colours as you can – this just means that you must get different coloured fruits and vegetables on your plate. It’s simple – most vegetables and fruits are green, while others may be orange, purple, red, etc. If you are a non-vegetarian, include seafood, egg and chicken in your diet as well. But stay away from raw, uncooked food as it increases your chances of getting infections.

* Give in to your cravings – within reason!

You will notice an uptick in your cravings when you are pregnant. You might crave pungent or spicy food, or gorge on pizza and cupcakes. Talk to your doctor about your cravings and which foods can be eaten. Your food choices for a healthy pregnancy may certainly indicate eating healthy food, but not giving in to your cravings can drive you up the wall! However, eat sweet and salty food in moderation, following it up with lots of water. Meanwhile, try and stay away from junk food rich in saturated trans fats – it can put your baby at risk.

* Don’t eat for two.

Friends and relatives will tell you to eat a lot because you are now ‘eating for two’. Banish this thought at the outset – eating much more than you used to will only make you gain weight and increase your chances of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, joint pain, etc. Instead of eating larger portions, aim for 300 to 500 extra calories through high nutrient foods.

* Protein and calcium are your friends.

As the baby grows, your body will need higher doses of protein for stronger muscles and calcium to check bone density depletion. Your doctor might prescribe protein, vitamin and calcium supplements during your pregnancy. But your food choices for a healthy pregnancy should include dairy and milk products, leafy green vegetables, egg whites, steamed or boiled chicken and dried fruits like unsalted pistachios and almonds to meet your dietary needs.

* Pay attention to palate sensitivity.

You might gag at certain food smells and even vomit when eating some foods. Your palate becomes extra sensitive during pregnancy, and your nose might pick up smells that others can’t. Certain smells from food, perfumes, places and even other people can nauseate you and throw off your appetite. But if you notice frequent vomiting after meals, then you should consult your doctor.

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