If you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy, food is probably the last thing on your mind! You might be exhausted, have food aversions that don't tempt you to eat, and even if you do eat anything, you probably end up throwing up! Know what to eat in the first trimester of your pregnancy.
Don't worry. Right now, you do not need to concentrate on eating a lot or gaining weight. Just eat whatever you can. But there is one golden rule to this – Make every calorie count. Don't fill yourself up with empty calories. Ensure that as far as possible, everything you take in is nutritious, since the first trimester is very crucial for the development of the child.
You need not eat big meals if you cannot eat much or keep from throwing up. Eat many small meals through the day. This will also help keep your energy levels up.
What you should eat:
1. Grains: Grains provide carbohydrates, which is your main source of energy. To maximise nutrition, try to go in for whole grains. For examples, eat chapatis made with whole wheat atta, and buy unpolished or semi-polished rice. Oatmeal is also a great food choice, especially for breakfast, because it contains complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly, and keeps you from getting tired quickly. Whole grains also contain the necessary fibre that helps keep your bowels functioning well.
2. Fruits and vegetables: They provide vitamins and minerals and fibre. Eat fresh fruits, and if you must drink juice, homemade juice is preferable to those available in the markets. Don't add sugar to your juice, though. Eat 3-4 servings of vegetables a day, and make sure you get plenty of green leafy vegetables (washed well!).
3. Proteins: Though not as crucial in the first trimester as in the second and third trimesters, proteins are essential for your pregnancy. Eat any kind that you feel like. Avoid uncooked meat and seafood, though. Also ensure that your meat and fish is not cooked with too much fat. Besides dal, adding beans to your diet is a good idea. Eat lots of nuts, especially walnuts which contain Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the baby's brain development.
4. Dairy products: The calcium in your food helps build the bones and teeth of the baby. It keeps you strong too. If you find milk difficult to digest, choose curd/yogurt. Paneer is also an excellent option, and so is cheese, taken in moderation.
However, don't deprive yourself of sweets or fatty food entirely. Eat these by all means, but remember – in moderation!
Here are a few easy recipes for the first trimester:
Quick and Nutritious Vegetable Soup
1. 2 cups diced vegetables of your choice – choose one, or mix them up (carrot, tomatoes, beetroot, string beans, chayote, spinach, etc.)
2. 1 small onion
3. 1 small potato, peeled
4. 2-3 cloves of garlic
5. A handful of moong dal
7. Seasoning of your choice (Pepper/Garam Masala/Oregano/Kitchen King Masala)
1. Pressure cook all the vegetables and dal together, with salt and water. Allow it to cool, and then blend into a smooth puree. Put this puree in a pan, add a little butter/ghee to it, some water to adjust the thickness, and then add the seasoning of your choice. Let it come to boil, and then turn off the heat.
2. Eat with buttered, toasted whole-wheat bread for a wholesome, tasty meal.
1. 1 cup assorted nuts (Almond, Walnuts, Cashew, Pistachios, etc)
2. 1/2 cup dry fruits (dates, dry figs, raisins)
1. Powder the nuts coarsely. Grind the dry fruits (pre-cook for a minute in the microwave with water, to make it easy to grind). Combine the nuts and dry fruits in a bowl, and make little balls out of them. Store in the refrigerator, and snack on them throughout the day. Carry one or two balls in your purse – great for satisfying sudden hunger pangs.
2. Optional: If the mixture is too dry to make balls, add a little ghee while rolling them.
3. If you need more sweetness, increase the quantity of dry fruits. Or alternately, add a little jaggery syrup, and then roll them up.
1. 1 cup of chopped/grated vegetables (Carrots, chayote, capsicum, sweet corn)
2. A fistful of sprouted moong
3. A pinch of salt
4. 2-3 tbsp Dry-roasted groundnuts
5. 1-2 tsp lemon juice
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Eat with lunch or dinner.
1. 1 cup yogurt, which is a great source of calcium
3. A couple of strands of saffron or elaichi powder
1. Blend thick yogurt with sugar/jaggery. Add a pinch of cardamom/saffron.
2. You could make a batch of it to last the whole day, and store it in the refrigerator. Take several small drinks all through the day. It keeps you fresh and energetic
3. Optional: Make it with salt, and add dry pudina powder, or dry curry-leaves powder for flavour.
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