Did you know that you can tailor your meals according to each stage1 of your pregnancy? In the first trimester, morning sickness is a common problem that can be minimised by eating things like starchy foods. In the second trimester, cravings will intensify so you need to find healthy alternatives to snacking. In the final trimester, your body adapts to absorb as much nourishment as possible from the foods you eat, so it’s important to load up on vegetables and fish.
1st trimester: Veggie baked potato
Your baby’s brain and nervous system are developing, which means you’ll need a good amount of folic acid2 (vitamin B9) in your diet. Broccoli is a great source for this. Folate contributes to normal blood formation, the normal function of the immune system, and is essential to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy. It’s important to note that a low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in a developing foetus.
Vitamin B63 found in foods like cheese is also a great addition, as it helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system, the immune system, as well as in the formation of normal red blood cells.
Servings – 1
- One potato
- Broccoli – cut and lightly steamed
- Cheddar cheese* – ½ cup grated
- Cherry tomatoes – 5, halved
- Spring onions – 2 tbsp, chopped
- Olive oil – 1 tsp
- Pepper and salt – to taste
- Butter – a pat
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Cover the potato with a thin layer of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and poke all over with a fork. Bake till a fork goes in smoothly (around 45 minutes).
- Cut an opening at the top of the potato, fill with broccoli and cherry tomatoes, top with cheese and grill till the cheese melts.
- Top the baked potato with spring onions and butter.
The focus during this period of growth is on your baby’s bones and teeth4. This means lots of calcium and vitamin D – both of which can be found in foods like walnuts and dark, leafy greens. Omega-3 fatty acids in foods like spinach and fish are also necessary for brain development.
Servings – 1 large/2 medium
- Avocado – ½, flesh only
- Walnuts – ½ cup, crushed
- Berries or cherries – ½ cup, frozen
- Spinach or kale leaves – a handful, washed and dried
- Banana – 1 medium, frozen
- Frisomum* – 4 scoops
- Water – ½ cup
- Ice – 1 cup
- Natural vanilla essence – a few drops
- Honey – to taste
- Layer all the ingredients in the sequence listed above in a blender.
- Blend and serve.
In this last stage, foods you consume need to boost your energy levels and have a lot of vitamin K, which is essential for blood to clot and help you heal well post-delivery. Have plenty of leafy vegetables and be generous with your chili and hot spices – they too have plenty of vitamin K5.
Servings – 1 large/2 small
- Firm tofu – ½ cup, dried, cubed
- Black-eyed peas – ¼ cup cooked
- Bok choy (Chinese cabbage) – 1 cup
- Vegetable oil – 4 tsp
- Garlic – 4 cloves, finely chopped
- Ginger – ½ inch piece, finely chopped
- Water – 1 cup
- Pepper and salt – to taste
- Hot sauce – 3 tbsp
- Roast the tofu in 1 tsp of oil till nicely browned and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok and brown garlic.
- Add water, hot sauce, pepper and salt, greens, tofu and peas. Cook for 30 minutes or till the peas are soft to the touch.
- Taste and add more seasoning if required.
- Serve hot over brown rice.