As you complete your second trimester, you may notice that some of the pregnancy symptoms have subsided, while others have become more noticeable. One of the associated changes that definitely stands out is the increased appetite at six months of gestation.
Your body is working extra hard in making a new life and this makes you hungry all the time. But, you must keep in mind that whatever you consume contributes to the growth and development of your baby. So, you need to be mindful of your eating habits. The healthier, the better for you and your baby too.
Since you feel hungry often, you should have mini-meals in between your main meals to keep up your energy levels. The key is to have a main meal, which is a combination of protein, carbs, and fat. This is not only healthy but ensures your energy levels don’t deplete too soon. When making healthy choices, don’t go overboard with too many salads and juices. You may not be getting enough nutrition with just the greens or green juices, even if they are freshly made. Although, you may have these as mini-meals, never as your primary meals.
Try and include a proper home-cooked dish that has some form of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. You should listen to your mothers and grandmothers. The best advice often comes from experienced women and their traditional cooking habits. Even specialized dieticians may not be able to guide you well in formulating what’s best for your body.
What to include in diet?
You must be aware that you need to have foods rich in iron, calcium, folic acid, omega 6 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and other vital nutrients. Here’s how you can include different foods to create a balanced, main meal of the day.
You can have eggs, milk, fortified cereals, pasta, soups, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, and fresh fruits for breakfast. Milk and eggs are good for the bone development of the baby. Eggs also fulfill your protein requirement. Whole grains, fortified cereals, and fruits such as avocados, bananas, strawberries, grapes, oranges are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, and other minerals. You can also have a handful of peanuts, which is a healthy fat to go with your breakfast or as a side snack.
Cook up a hot dish using vegetables, chicken, lean meat, fish or eggs. You may combine your veggies with a meat source or choose to cook them differently. Vegetables and leafy greens such as beans, spinach, lentils, okra, turnip leaves, beetroot, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli corn and others are high in many nutrients including folic acid. If you are a vegetarian, you can have a variety of beans and lentils to make up for protein. You may also have some rice, bread, or tortilla sandwich to go with it.
You can have vegetable soup or any meat soup to go with your supper. Have any protein source along with vegetable stew or curry. You can have meatballs, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potato, eggs frittata, stuffed spinach or zucchini, bread and butter, and other dishes. Make sure to add the necessary herbs and spices to make your meal more wholesome and relishing.
Try to have a variety of seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. Dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews are also healthy mini bites. Include lots of whole fruits of your choice. You can have fruit yogurt too, which is an excellent probiotic. You may also grab a sandwich if you feel like it.
You should listen to your body and eat accordingly. When you balance your meals well and have mini-meals in between, you can observe that your cravings diminish. Plan ahead, prepare and eat on time, to avoid unnecessary binging.