Good nutrition is necessary during pregnancy to keep you and your developing baby healthy. The need for certain nutrients such as protein, iron, iodine, calcium and folate increases during this period. It is recommended to have a balanced diet, including five basic food groups such as cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products that provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Foods to eat during winter
1. Eat at least 8 to 10 servings of grains and pulses to meet the additional calories for baby's development.
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants which helps in boosting immunity. It is recommended to have Vitamin-C rich fruits like orange, sweet lime, melons, amla and banana, which ensures better iron absorption. You should also eat more dark green vegetables: broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower. Also add vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and red peppers to your diet.
3. Iodine is an important mineral required for the production of thyroid hormone, which is vital for growth and development. Inadequate Iodine intake during pregnancy increases the risk of mental impairment and cretinism (severely stunted physical and mental growth) in the new-born baby. Good sources of Iodine include seafood, eggs and iodised salt
4. Drink plenty of liquids to keep yourself hydrated. Have liquids in form of fresh juices, lime water, buttermilk, milkshakes, soups and dal water
5. Eat good amount of foods that are rich in iron such as lean meat, beans, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
6. Eat at least 3- 4 servings of milk and milk products to meet the increased requirement of calcium and protein.
7. Constipation is commonly observed during pregnancy. Eat foods high in fibers like fruits, vegetables, salads, beans, grains and oilseeds like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Foods to avoid during winter
1. Foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt are not a necessary part of a healthy diet and should be limited
2. Do not drink Alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol can increase your risk of a miscarriage, stillbirth and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
3. Limit your intake of caffeine to avoid possible health problems. Drinks high in caffeine such as coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, and chocolate should not be taken regularly.
4. Avoid uncooked or raw food, processed meat, raw eggs, raw sprouts, unpasteurized milk and its products. This may increase the risk of bacterial infections.
5. Avoid processed foods during pregnancy as they can increase risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes and its complications.