“You’re now eating for two!” is an oft-heard statement from the moment your pregnancy test returns as positive. It’s easy to get carried away when you hear you’re eating for two – maybe you want to indulge in double portions of all your favorite foods. Why not? Hey, you can always play the hormonal cravings card.
But after the first month or two, especially after reading blog posts like these, the books you’re being gifted on what to expect when you’re expecting, and well-meaning elders sounding you out on being careful and healthy, you begin to wonder if the half-litre tub of Baskin Robbins is the best idea you’ve had all day.
Well, no worries! We’ve rounded up a list of foods that will give that fortified shot of nutrition for you and your little one. Customize these foods to your taste, and you can eat guilt-free. And that kick you receive in your belly, you can take that as validation that the baby approves what you’re sending its way.
1. The granary is your ally
But ensure that you are consuming whole grains, instead of the refined flours and polished grains. It’s certainly easier to buy products with whole grains now than even five years ago. Check the ingredients for explicit labels such as whole, unprocessed, single polished to stay safe. Check blogs and websites for easy recipes and tweak them to suit your taste.
2. No excuse to not eat your greens
Greens deliver an essential daily dose of fiber, iron and vitamins. Including them is a must even if you’re not pregnant, so you can imagine how important they are now. A word of caution – check with your doctor if it is safe to eat raw greens, some of us are not allowed to and this is important! Don’t make them just as boring sides, include them in your omelets, your khichdi, and yes, even your morning oatmeal. Creativity is your best friend when eating healthy!
3. Load up on healthy proteins
Every meal should include protein in any form. If you eat meat, consider leaner, healthy proteins such as turkey and chicken. Save the juicy, medium steak for your first dinner out after the baby’s here. If you’re a vegetarian, consider lentils, paneer and other cheeses, beans, and eggs if you eat them
4. If it’s from the farm, it’s for you
Unless you are lactose intolerant, dairy is essential during your pregnancy. However, ensure dairy products are pasteurized and hygienic. Save the soft cheeses for your trip to France sometime later. Save on junk or fried food, and instead reach for a pot of creamy yogurt into which you can add fruits or muesli. If you prefer savory, consider making the yogurt yourself at home.
5. Nuts about you
Good things come in tiny packages, like your baby! Almonds, cashews, pistachios, savor all of them! Include them in your meals, salads, oatmeal, parathas, if you don’t like munching on plain nuts. Roast them with the spices of your choice. Nuts are the shot glasses of nutrition, and especially mandatory for those of you who are vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant.
As with every advice you read, always check with your doctor on how to best incorporate the guidance. If you have health conditions like thyroid disorders, diabetes, and other concerns, then enlist your doctor’s advice on foods that are best for you. Take the guidance of a nutritionist in decoding ingredient labels. Most of all, learn to relish what you’re eating.