Got a little one on the way and being more careful about the food you’re eating? Eating at home is always the safest option. There, you’ll know exactly what and how much you’re eating.
Important nutrients during pregnancy
Folate is important for the growth and development of the fetus. Where can mums find it? Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, choi sum, spinach and okra, legumes, beans, nuts and fruits such as oranges, papaya, grapes and bananas.
Vitamin A plays an important role in general growth, the immune system and vision. Sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, spinach, broccoli and egg yolks are rich in vitamin A.
Iodine contributes to brain development. Mums can find it in egg yolks, dairy products, seaweed and seafood.
Calcium helps with the growth of bones and teeth. An inadequate intake of calcium increases the risk of preterm labour and gestational hypertension, which is characterised by high blood pressure during pregnancy. Mums are advised to increase their intake of dairy products, tofu and dark green vegetables (in which calcium is even better absorbed than in milk).
Eating out safely during pregnancy
Stay away from streetside food stalls
Most food items at streetside stalls (like fish balls) have been continuously cooked in the same boiling water that has been sitting out all day under the scorching sun. The hygiene at these stalls might not be up to par, favouring the growth of certain bacteria that could be harmful to your baby.
Raw/undercooked meat and fish are big no-nos
Do not consume these foods. Ensure that all food is served hot – this signals thorough cooking. Undercooked eggs should also be avoided.
Choose the right fish
Ensure that the type of fish you eat is low in mercury in order to protect your baby from mercury poisoning. You can always ask your server if they know which fish on the menu has the lowest mercury level. Fish such as salmon, cod and catfish are good options.
Stay away from unpasteurised dairy products
This means a heartbreaking goodbye from cheeseaholics to Brie, Camembert and Gorgonzola for nine months…
For a healthy pregnant woman, the recommended increase in calories is approximately 90kcal, 290kcal and 450kcal per day in the first, second and third trimesters respectively. So, for example, in the first trimester, you will be consuming an extra 90kcal per day as compared to your normal intake pre-pregnancy.
In terms of weight gain, you won’t gain a lot of weight in the first trimester, with only 0.5–2kg gained during the first three months. The weight gain will really start in the second and third trimesters, when you will be putting on around 0.4–0.5kg per week.
At Eatology, we care about providing a healthy and balanced diet to everyone. If you’re finding it hard to eat healthy or just don’t have enough time to cook healthy meals for yourself, head over to www.eatologyasia.com/how-to-start to get the help you need. We make healthy eating easy and convenient!