What To Eat During Your First Trimester
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Pregnancy is one of the most exciting phases of a woman’s life. Your body is creating a life inside you – it is nothing short of miraculous. But this time can also be filled with anxiety and uncertainty, especially if you are a first-time mother.
The early signs of pregnancy, especially the changes that occur during the first trimester, can be challenging for some women. However, remember that your body is preparing itself to not only accommodate a tiny human being but also nurture and nourish it.
This is the time when your body needs utmost care – for you as well as your unborn child. Eating right, sleeping well, incorporating a wellness routine, and staying active (with your doctor’s permission), will all help you sail through this time.
It is important to understand what your body needs. The first trimester is crucial for your pregnancy and your child’s health and immunity. Following a proper diet and a suitable exercise routine can help you stay positive, stress-free, and healthy.
You can make sure that you give yourself and your baby the right start with the help of the following diet tips, specially curated for your first trimester:
- The First And The Most Important Thing Is To Ensure That You Have Frequent Meals.
Small portions spread out evenly throughout the entire day. During the first trimester, you are likely to feel tired and exhausted. While your body is adjusting to the rapid changes happening inside you, hormones also play a major role in making you feel tired. Frequent meals can help you in keeping your energy levels up throughout the day.
- Take Care As Soon As You Wake Up
Start your day with a handful of dried fruits and nuts soaked overnight. If you can, pair it with a warm cup of cow’s milk (non-dairy milk, if you’re lactose intolerant). If you don’t like plain milk, you can add some cardamom or turmeric to enhance its flavour. Another way to enhance milk’s flavour and its nutritional value is to add 25 g (approx. 1.5 levelled scoops) of Horlicks Mother’s Plus to your milk. Available in Vanilla and Kesar variants, it will add a delectable flavour to your milk, while also making sure that your body gets the nourishment it needs. Horlicks Mother's Plus has been scientifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating mothers. It has 25 nutrients including 21 essential vitamins and minerals in addition to carbohydrates, protein, fat and DHA* that are vital for the mother's wellbeing and the growth of her infant.
- Have A Healthy And Hearty Breakfast
Follow up with a bowl of fresh, seasonal fruits or healthy and filling breakfast items such as vegetable upma or poha, a wholesome oats porridge, different kinds of parathas paired with fresh curd, omelet and toast, vegetable sandwiches, etc. The idea here is to have a healthy, hearty, and filling breakfast, as it is the most important meal of the day.
- Indulge In A Mid-Morning Snack
A couple of hours after your breakfast, try and include a healthy soup as a mid-morning snack. Soups are a great way to ensure optimum vegetable intake – even the ones that you otherwise despise! Go for a classic tomato soup or carrot and beet soup. You can also add some pureed spinach to it. Have a bowl of chicken clear soup, or if you are a vegetarian, a bowl full of vegetable clear soup. Alternatively, you can also have a bowl of fresh fruits to satiate the mid-morning hunger pangs.
- Have A Balanced Meal For Lunch
Chapati with your choice of vegetable curry, a bowl of dal, one bowl of fresh curd, a small portion of rice, and some salad. You can play around with these basic and staple items by having vegetable khichdi, or pulao, replacing chapati and vegetable curries with stuffed parathas and raita. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can also include healthy chicken options such as a chicken salad, or a mildly spiced chicken curry with rice. Additionally, try and incorporate sprouts and a glass of buttermilk into your lunch frequently.
- Always Have A Healthy Evening Snack
It is normal to feel hungrier than usual during your first trimester. Eat to your heart’s desire but make sure you are not unnecessarily munching on junk. Gaining weight during pregnancy is important but eating for two while you are pregnant is a common myth. If you're hungry in the early evening, you can have another cup of milk or a cup of green tea with some light snacks like a whole grain bread sandwich, a couple of steaming idlis, sevai upma with lots of vegetables, vegetable daliya, roasted foxnuts, a handful of dried fruits or dates, or even a bowl of fresh seasonal fruits.
- End Your Day With A Nutritious Dinner
It is important to keep things light during your dinner. A light meal such as some dal rice with a small bowl of green salad, or chapati with some vegetable curry and a bowl of dal, mixed dal khichdi loaded with veggies, chicken rice, or vegetable pulao with some raita. However, always consult your doctor/gynecologist in case of specific conditions like gestational diabetes before making any changes in your diet.
And there you have it. A healthy diet for your first trimester. It is important to keep your diet simple and healthy. You might crave unhealthy food sometimes and that is completely normal! Indulge your cravings in moderation and try to strike a balance between healthy food and indulgent cravings.
Fill your diet with lots of fresh, green vegetables such as spinach, bottle gourds, ridge gourds, etc., as these are easy to digest and packed with nutrients. Also, add a lot of seasonal fruits to your diet. Focus on homemade, fresh meals and avoid packaged food items. Most importantly, stay hydrated. Additionally, always make sure to consult your doctor before choosing a diet, especially in case of specific pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes etc.
Apart from ensuring a healthy diet and adopting a suitable exercise routine, it is equally important to monitor and regulate your sleep cycle. A relaxing bedtime routine with a cup of warm milk or a calming tea of your choice, with soft music or any other calming sounds that you prefer, will help you sleep better.
Most importantly, remember that pregnancy is a beautiful time in every woman’s life. Slow down, relax and enjoy this special journey. It is extremely rewarding and fulfilling to create a new life and watching a piece of your heart grow up in front of you.
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