National Nutrition Week: Healthy diet for Pregnant ladies

 What is the need?

During pregnancy extra food is required to meet the nutritional requirement of the baby in the womb. Extra foods are required to improve the weight gain in pregnancy (generally 10-12 kgs) and birth weight of infants (about 2.5kgs-3kgs). The nutritional requirement of a pregnant lady keeps changing depending upon the various trimesters of pregnancy. Micronutrients (like folic acid/ iron tablets) are specially required in extra amounts to reduce the risk of malformations in baby and increase birth weight of baby and to prevent anaemia in expecting mothers.

When National Nutrition Week is celebrated?

1st to 7th September every year in India to focus on various aspect of Nutrition among all age groups.

What should be included in diet?

Make healthy food choices for healthy you & baby:

  • Make half your plate fruits & vegetables: Choose fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice. Include dark-green, red, and orange vegetables; beans and peas; and starchy vegetables. They provide vitamins, iron & folic acid.
  • Make at least half your grains as whole grains: Try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread, and brown rice. They are good sources of carbohydrate & proteins.
  • Move to low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, or cheese:Take milk and dairy products like curd, buttermilk, paneer-these are rich in calcium, proteins and vitamins. Fortified soy beverages also count. 
  • Vary your protein routine: Choose seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. 
  • See the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients: List to limit items higher in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. 
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Choose vegetable oils instead of butter. 
  • You need to eat one extra meal a day during pregnancy.  
  • A handful (45 grams) of nuts and at least two cups of daal provide daily requirement of proteins in vegetarians. 
  • For non-vegetarians, meat, egg, chicken or fish are good sources of proteins, vitamins and iron. 

Important Points:

  • Eat more food during pregnancy both in quality and quantity.

  • Eat more whole grains, sprouted grams and fermented foods. 

  • Eat plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables.

  • Do not consume alcohol and tobacco. It is harmful for the health of mother as well as child.   

  • Take medicines only when prescribed by doctor.

  • Take iron, folate and calcium supplements regularly as prescribed by the doctor.  

  • Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and liver are good sources of folic acid.


  6. Park, K. (2019). Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine. 25th. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarsidas Bhanot.
  7. Kadri AM. (2019). IAPSM's Textbook of Community Medicine. 1st. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
  10. photo credit


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