Second Trimester Diet for Healthy Pregnancy
Second trimester is marked from 13th to 28th week of gestation. It is considered to be the easiest phase of pregnancy as the discomforts from the first trimester have passed. However, the second trimester is equally crucial for the baby’s healthy development, making it very important to eat right in a manner that ensures that both you and the baby receive adequate nutrition.
Nutrition deserves special attention during pregnancy because of the high nutrient needs and the critical role of appropriate nutrition for both mother and foetus. Weight starts increasing in the second trimester.
• Caloric Requirement: Although a pregnant woman is eating for two there is no need to eat double food intake. Caloric requirements increase in the 2nd trimester by 300 kcals/day. Quality of the food is more important than only the quantity. The focus should be to eat a variety of foods to fulfil the nutrient needs.
• Protein: It is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy for growth and development of the foetus. Sources are milk and milk products like curd, buttermilk, paneer, egg, fish, chicken, all dals and pulses, soybean, soymilk and tofu (soy paneer).
• Fats: Healthy fats are essential during pregnancy. Especially DHA & EPA (omega 3 fatty acids) are vital for brain and neurological development of foetus. Include a variety of fatty fishes like salmon, sardine (at least thrice a week), walnuts and chia seeds to meet the requirements.
• Iron: Iron is an essential mineral and its requirement increases during pregnancy. Sufficient iron consumption during pregnancy helps a growing baby receive the amount of oxygen needed to develop a strong heart, lungs and muscles. Fatigue and anaemia are more commonly seen during iron deficiency in the expecting mother. Sources include bajra, masoor dal (lentil dal), red amaranth leaves, drumstick leaves, dill leaves, soya granules & chunks, cowpea leaves, rajma, radish leaves, buckwheat, Malabar spinach (mayalu), roasted chana, horsegram. Iron absorption can be enhanced by adding vitamin C rich sources such as lemon, amla, etc.
• Fibre: It is important as it can prevent constipation and bloating. Include whole grains (cereal & pulse), salad and a portion of vegetable in main meals, fruits as mid-meal snack in combination with soaked nuts.
• Calcium requirement increases during pregnancy. It is required for foetal bone development and growth. Sources include ragi (finger millet), horsegram, sesame seeds, amaranth seeds (rajgira) and dairy products like milk, yoghurt, curd, paneer, buttermilk. However, for better calcium absorption vitamin D is required. Also, vitamin D has vital role in reducing the risk for gestational diabetes. Hence, it is equally important to maintain vitamin D level.
• Iodine is also important to ensure baby’s nervous system and thyroid development. It is recommended to include iodized salt.
• Vitamin B12 is essential for the synthesis of DNA. Deficiency of vitamin B12 increases the risk of gestational diabetes. Sources include milk, curd and egg.
• Drink adequate water to meet body’s requirement and prevent dehydration. It can either be plain water or fluids like buttermilk, lemon water or coconut water.
Indian Pregnancy Recipes
1) Makhana Chaat Recipe
- Makhana- 1 cup
- Onion- ½ cup
- Tomato -1/2 cup
- Peanuts- ½ cup
- Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
- Green chillies chopped- 1 no.
- Coriander chopped- 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
Method( How to make Makhana Chaat ): Mix all the ingredients together and give it a mix. Squeeze lemon and garnish with fresh coriander
2) Rajgira Paratha Recipes
- Rajgira flour/ amaranth flour – 1 cup
- Boiled moong – 2 to 3 small-sized
- Green chili – 1 finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
- Rice bran oil- 1 tsp
- Salt as per taste
Method(How to make Rajgira Paratha):
- In a bowl and add rajgira flour, salt, finely chopped green chili, boiled and mashed moong and chopped coriander. Mix it properly ell, and knead it to a dough. Knead the dough without water.
- Take a small portion from the dough and make a ball shape and flatten it with the palm.
- Dust the rajgira flour and roll it using the rolling pin.
- Heat a pan and keep the flame low to medium, place the roti on it.
- Flip it and apply ghee or butter on both sides. Flip it again until it turns golden brown and crispy.
- Serve the delicious healthy paratha with green chutney or curd.
3) Chia Pudding Recipes
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Method(How to Make Chia Pudding):
- Mix the chia seeds with milk, and cinnamon powder in a bowl and whisk together with a fork until well combined and evenly distributed.
- Cover and keep it in the fridge to chill overnight. Next day it will be set into a pudding. Serve and enjoy yummy chia puding.