How This Helps

Are you expecting a baby, well, note that diet during pregnancy is most important for the growth of your unborn baby. Therefore, the objective of this pregnancy diet is to provide the nutrients needed to maintain the mother’s health, support the physiological changes in her body and supply for the rapid growth and development of her baby. Proper care should be taken to prevent any deficiency or excess of nutrients too.

Science and Research

Energy: During the first trimester the additional energy required is small, primarily because of no substantial growth in fetus; hence the RDA is not increased. Additional energy is recommended for 2nd and 3rd trimester only. An addition of approx. 300kcal is required to the normal intake. If the mother is underweight then the requirement may be much higher

Proteins:  Ideally, a normal weight expectant mother should have around 15g more proteins than her normal intake. This protein requirement can be met from a balanced diet. Meeting the extra protein requirement particularly in the third trimester, would require consumption of high/good quality protein derived from milk, fish, meat, poultry and eggs. However, for vegetarians, all amino acids to be supplied by combining grains and pulses, vegetarian source of protein with a non-vegetarian dairy source or by having nuts.

Micronutrients: Some micronutrients are specially required in extra amounts during pregnancy.

Folic Acid:  It is taken throughout the pregnancy, it prevents congenital defects and helps in increasing birth weight too.

Iron: is needed for synthesis of hemoglobin in both maternal and fetal red blood cells.

Iodine: the maternal diet must consist of enough iodine so as to ensure proper mental health of the growing fetus and infant.

Calcium and vitamin D:  involved in the growth and development of bone and connective tissue and the synthesis of new cells are needed in greater amounts.

Points to Note:

- Divide food into small frequent meals to prevent Nausea and Vomiting.

- Heart burns are commonly reported during later pregnancy. This is an effect of enlarged uterus on the stomach. It can be avoided by drinking fluids in between meals and sitting upright for at least 3 hours before lying down.common problem during pregnancy.

- More fiber should be included in the diet to prevent constipation which is again a

- Plenty of water should be taken for regular bowel movement.

- Activities like antenatal Yoga, walking, deep breathing should be encouraged during this time

- Alcohol and Smoking should be totally avoided

Sample pregnancy diet would suit a pregnant woman who is in her 2nd trimester and has no complications. It contains 1930kcal and 80 g proteins.52% of calories comes from carbohydrate sources whereas proteins and fats both provide approximately 25% of calories each. I have kept a note of micronutrients and prepared recipes that are good sources of Iron,calcium and Folic acid.


Egg Toast

Egg, Bread, Milk, Indian spices

Energy- 380 kcal, Protein- 14g, Carbohydrates-42g, Fats-13g

During pregnancy, there are chances of morning sickness. Therefore, many women avoid eating during morning hours and hence go low on energy. The right way to deal with it is to have something dry and not very bulky. Having an egg toast in the morning will give a good combination of proteins and Carbohydrates for cell development of the fetus.

Mid-morning Snacks:

Nutty Apple shake

Milk, pistachios, Almonds, apple

Energy- 300 kcal, Protein- 13g, Carbohydrates-16g, Fats-14 g

Once the morning sickness subsides, one can have a healthy nut Shake with apples, almonds and pistachios in it. This will not only boost the protein intake but will also supply with additional needs of Fiber, iron, omega 3 and calcium during pregnancy.


Sesame Roti + Palak chicken + Beetroot Raita

Whole wheat flour, Sesame seeds, Spinach, Chicken, Beetroot, Curd

Energy- 450kcal, Protein- 26g, Carbohydrates-59 g, Fats-10 g

The energy requirement for an expectant mother is high. However, since she may not have a good appetite energy dense food should be consumed. Adding some sesame seeds to plain roti will provide enhanced nutrition. 

Combining a Vegetarian source of iron with a non-vegetarian source increases the bioavailability of iron of the Veg source. Therefore we have smartly combined chicken and spinach together to make a delicious recipe.For the accompaniments, we have selected raita instead of salads as salads become too bulky and unpalatable during pregnancy.

Snacks 1:

Dates ball

Dates, Coconut

Energy- 150 kcal, Protein- 2.5g, Carbohydrates-32 g, Fats-4g

A healthy option over chocolates would be having dates. Dates are rich in Iron and folic acid.

Snack 2

Moong dal dalia

Split and washed Green gram, Broken wheat, peas, carrot, onion

Energy- 150 kcal, Protein- 4.5g, Carbohydrates-20 g, Fats-5 g

An extra serving of cereal and pulses is required to meet the additional energy needs. Due to the reduced gut capacity during pregnancy one may not be able to have large meals hence dividing food into small frequent meals is a good option. Opting for light cereals like broken wheat in snacks is preferable as it is easy to digest.


Asparagus celery soup + Paneer Pulao + carrot pickle

Asparagus, celery, Cottage cheese, rice, lentils, Carrot, lemon, Spices

Energy- 400 kcal, Protein- 18 g, Carbohydrates-66 g, Fats-8 g

I believe in keeping dinners light as it prevents acidity and heartburns, which is very common during pregnancy. Hence starting the meal with a nutritious soup is what I prefer. This soup would give a high dose of antioxidants. 

For the main course a soft cottage cheese Pulav would be very desirable and nutrient dense.

Along with it to treat her taste buds we can opt for carrot pickle which would be tangy and yummy. And that’s what a pregnant woman wants, right?



Energy- 100 kcal, Protein- 3g, Carbohydrates-4g, Fats-7g

I have personally experienced a lot hunger pangs at bedtime during my pregnancy, hence I believe one should always keep something to munch near her bed. A dry fruit would be a good option and walnuts are a good source of a lot of minerals like copper, manganese etc. that one requires.

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