Must Foods during Pregnancy

Foods During Pregnancy
(Last Updated On: September 27, 2017)

You need to take extra care about what you eat during pregnancy because the choices you make will affect your health and your baby’s health. 

Key Principle 

Eat well balanced healthy meals and snacks. Eat a variety of foods. You need not make any major changes in your food choices if you are already eating healthy balanced meals. But you need to cater for the growing baby by increasing the quantity and frequency of use of different foods. 

An individual diet plan can be worked out for you, by your dietician depending on your lifestyle, pre- pregnancy weight, age, body size and presence of any medical condition. Here are few tips for you. If you have further queries, chat with a doctor via Portea’s mobile app – Download now. 

General Guidelines about Foods during Pregnancy

  • Eat one extra meal a day to get all the extra nutrients
  • Eat more whole grains, sprouted grams and fermented foods
  • Eat meat, milk and eggs regularly to meet body building foods (protein) requirement
  • Have extra pulses and ½ liter milk if you are a vegetarian
  • Eat plenty of different colored vegetables and fruits
  • Try to eat meals with your family 

What are the main Foods that you must eat 

Energy giving foods(carbohydrates)

  • Whole grain cereals- Rice, wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra etc
  • Vegetable oils, ghee and butter
  • Nuts and oil seeds

Body building foods (proteins)

  • Pulses, oil and oil seeds
  • Milk and milk products
  • Meat, fish and poultry

Protective foods (minerals and vitamins)

  • Green leafy vegetables(100 g everyday)
  • Other vegetables (200g vegetables + 50 g roots and tubers)
  • Fruits (200 g everyday)
  • Eggs, milk and milk products
  • Flesh foods (meat, fish)

What are the food supplements that you must take?

Folic acid

  • Reduces risk of congenital malformation
  • Increases birth weight
  • Helps in the production
  • Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and liver provide folic acid in your diet


  • To meet the increased demand for formation of blood cells
  • To prevent anemia
  • Green leafy vegetables, legumes and dry fruits are rich sources of iron
  • Meat, fish and poultry products are also a source of iron
  • Use fermented and sprouted grams with citrus fruits like orange, amla, guava to increase iron absorption


  • Helps proper formation of bones and teeth in the baby
  • Helps production of breast milk rich in calcium
  • Prevents osteoporosis (thinning of bones) in mother
  • Milk, curd, nuts, green leafy vegetables and ragi are good sources of calcium in diet

 What additional care is to be taken while choosing foods?

  • Eat fiber rich foods (Eg. whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables; Prevent constipation)
  • Have lot of fluids in form of soups, milk, butter milk etc.
  • Must include 8-10 glasses of water everyday
  • Also help prevent dehydration and constipation
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains
  • Have fermented and sprouted foods
  • Prefer seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. They are more healthy and tasty.
  • Have fruits rich in Vitamin C like amla, guava and citrus fruits to increase iron absorption
  • Avoid taking beverages like tea before,during or soon after a meal because they bind to iron and decrease its absorption
  • Prefer fresh fruits over fruit juices. Avoid packed fruit juices because they contain too much sugar and other additives.

 What are the foods to avoid?

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Commercial protein supplements
  • Any medicines without doctor’s advice
  • Outside food especially roadside and unhygienic food
  • Too much tea and coffee

Take care of yourself till you deliver the baby. Post that, you can always reach out to Portea for Kanga and Roo service – our specialized post-natal service for mother and baby care.

Health Queries? Chat with a Doctor for Free! Download Portea’s Mobile App today.


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