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Eating for Two

December 3, 2020

“Are you pregnant”? Congratulations, then, you got to start eating for two… At least, this is what used to be strongly believed.

To Consult: The Best Pregnancy Doctor in Chandigarh

Though “eating for two” is not medically advocated in the current millennium, yet, I can state with conviction that it is an “age-old” adage used right royally as “eminent advise” to pregnant women by people across the globe. There is a need to clear the air about this widely used term.

Pregnancy is by no means a self-attested license to eat for two, rather it is not necessary to eat for two primarily because the growing baby is of minuscule size and is definitely not comparable to the size of the adult. It goes without saying that the needs of this baby cannot be matched with that of the adult. The initial weeks of pregnancy are generally dominated by the most common discomforts such as Nausea, Vomiting, heartburn, acidity etc. which can be of varying intensities. The most prominent feature of going through discomfort such as one of those mentioned is that the chances of following an appreciable schedule of eating healthy food are not only a challenge but in many cases, can be impractical too.

With all this in place, it is difficult to draw a route map for healthy eating through the standard recommendation for first trimester would be: eat healthily and drink healthy liquids when you can to the extent you can. “Force-feeding” as a dictum of choice is not necessary since it is likely to worsen the scenario, making you vomit food or start hating the thought of even your favourite foods! But, who wants to listen to this truth? Many women get too stressed about not being able to eat, which is purely unnecessary.

Eating slightly above the normal needs is what is an ideal choice and this is what is medically recommended too. About 300 350 kilocalories more is what is the recommendation, which could be easily accommodated in through two or three nutritious snacks taken in between meals.

Must Read: Avoid eating these fruits if you’re pregnant

Good nutrition for a healthy pregnancy happens by including food from all categories – the Energy giving foods from carbohydrates, fats; the Protective foods from vitamins and minerals; Bodybuilding foods –the proteins. Though this is the nutritional classification of food groups based on their primordial function, yet, it is difficult to converge the roles in a simplified form. Each food group is important to the body.

This discussion on healthy eating does not omit the cravings or aversions for foods that pregnant women experience as a part of pregnancy. Especially in households where pregnant women are holding careers, a weekly once or twice “eating out” is self-prescribed for being on a home kitchen based diet on the other days. There is a need to understand that outside food may not always be nourishing and hygienic. If we discuss the food groups, in general, ensure you have a filling breakfast – not just quick-cooking oats made with water or plain Poha without any veggies/ready-made cornflakes or cereals etc. Breakfast is the deciding factor to a large extent, of your performance, mood, your ability to curb the craving for “sugar” etc., through the day. If you are having Idly for breakfast along with chutney ensure there is some protein as dhal + green leafy sambar and lemonade with mint as an accompaniment to fulfil the meal. Well, this is just an example – This can help in not only quench your thirst but also add some Vitamin C and protein into your diet. Rotis of wheat/Jowar/Bajra or even eating red rice or broken wheat for the carbohydrate portion either in lunch or dinner is a classic example of complex carbs in the diet for the day.

Similarly, a mix of dals and pulses in the diet, eating one egg daily (for those women who are able to tolerate anddigest Egg) and chicken, lean meat and certain types of fish, for those who are able to eat – these are all important to fulfil the protein requirements. Also, always ensure every meal has protein in it.

Fats are not to be neglected or underestimated for its health benefits. A range of fats that can include a combination of different oils being used in cooking, is permissible. The same principle is applicable to fresh fruits and vegetables as well since different nutrients from different vegetables and fruits are very important for a healthy pregnancy.

EATING FOR TWO –Quality for two, not quantity is a key point to remember here.

Planning food for a pregnant woman should target elementary principles such as easy to:

• Procure ingredients seasonally

• Cooking methods and time

• Tolerance

• Timings of meals

• Digestion and absorption.

To Know More: About Eating Out During Pregnancy

Explore options which revolve around simple homecooked food (preferably) with common ingredients. Quality of what you eat in pregnancy literally makes up for minor loopholes in the nutritional status, even if it was average or below, before conception.

All the best for a smooth healthy pregnancy. Remember, everything you eat reaches your little one – so eat right!

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