5 Must-Eat Foods for Your 1st Trimester

Pregnancy changes your body in many ways. A healthy pregnancy diet should include a well-rounded first-trimester diet plan as well as vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure that the baby is receiving the correct balance of nutrients required to grow healthily. It is also important to note that in the first trimester, your baby is quickly developing some of the most vital organs —  brain, spinal cord, heart, arms, and legs.  It is essential to consume the right foods, so that you and your baby both stay healthy.

To meet the nutrient requirements essential for good health, you need to eat a variety of foods from each of the five food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. Here are 5-nutrient-rich foods to include in your first-trimester diet plan: 


8-9 servings of cereals should be consumed per day of which a major portion should be whole grains. Whole grains have more vitamins and minerals than processed grains, as well as fibre. Fibre helps in maintaining proper bowel function and lowers the risk of developing constipation. You may consume it in the form of brown rice, whole wheat, broken wheat, millets (ragi, jowar, bajra, foxtail, millets, quinoa), oats, and whole grain bread

2.Pulses/Legumes & Meat/Fish/Poultry

Focus on having 2- 3 servings every day. You may include chicken & fish (lean meat), whole eggs, beans/legumes/sprouts (Bengal gram, green gram, kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed beans, peas etc.), lentils/pulses/dals and soybean products. Inclusion of a cereal -pulse blend enhances the protein quality. Take a blend of wheat flour and soya bean flour or wheat flour and roasted channa flour in the ratio of 4 :

3.Dairy Products

As dairy products contain calcium and protein, 5 servings (each 100ml ), approximately 500 ml per day are necessary during the first trimester. Calcium is needed for the healthy development of the baby’s teeth and bones. You may consume low-fat or non-fat dairy products like cheese, yoghurt/curd, milk and paneer.

4.Vegetables & Fruits

You must have around 3.5  servings of vegetables daily. Vegetables contain essential vitamins like folate and minerals like iron and fibre. You can include vegetables like spinach, amaranth, gogu, fenugreek, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, gourd, squash, cauliflower, capsicum/ bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, corn, and peas. Daily consumption of fruits is necessary during the first trimester.  Whole fruits provide fibre and are preferable in comparison to juices. Fruits are a rich source of vitamin C, fibre, folate, vitamin A and potassium. We recommend oranges, sweet lime,  guava,  apples,  bananas, grapefruit, melon, berries, ripe papaya, pomegranate, watermelon. Make sure to include at least one vitamin C rich fruit in your daily meal plan.

5.Fats and Oils
Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat  and  include healthy fats to your plate. Total quantity of cooking oil to be used is 5-6 teaspoons (30 ml) per day. Preferably use plant based oils (groundnut, rice bran, sesame ,soya bean oil, sunflower,corn or olive oil. Include nuts such as cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, groundnuts, flaxseeds and sesame seeds(til) that are good sources of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and essential fats (MUFA & omega -3 fats) in your diet. Other sources of healthy fats are avocado and some types of fish like salmon, herring, tuna( Have 1-2 servings a week  of these fish to get essential omega-3 fatty acids.)

The recommendations are based on Dietary Guidelines for Indians, ICMR, 2011.  Number of portions will vary if a woman has BMI > 35 kg/m2 or < 18 kg/m2.

Nausea and morning sickness during the first trimester can make it difficult to eat but you must try your best to. Proper nourishment can lower the risk of postpartum complications. A healthy balanced diet during pregnancy should be rich in good quality proteins, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, B complex vitamins and vitamin C with optimum calories. Folic acid is especially important during the first trimester. Although weight gain during pregnancy is normal it should be based on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). There’s no weight gain recommended in the first trimester; a healthy weight gain is recommended in  second and third trimesters. If you are starting pregnancy at a healthy weight, a weight gain of 0.42  kgs per week is recommended  in the second/third trimester. The focus is on having a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.

6 Immunity-Boosting Foods for your Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy brings with it great many food cravings. While we wish we could live on cakes and other delicacies forever, it is also important to consume a healthy dose of immunity-boosting foods. Pregnancy is known to weaken a mother’s immune system, which makes the moms vulnerable to infections like common cold, UTIs, Covid-19 etc. Prevention is better than cure. Since most medication is to be avoided during pregnancy, catching an infection can be somewhat daunting. Luckily, nature has provided us with an abundant supply of “Immunity-boosting foods” that help our bodies stay strong from within.

Here is a food list of 6 superfoods that you can include in your pregnancy diet.
  1. Garlic
    Research suggests that the antimicrobial allicin found in garlic is known to strengthen immunity and decrease the risk of developing common cold. Garlic is also great for gut microbiota and is, therefore, a highly recommended superfood.
  2. Milk
    Lactoferrin is a compound found in milk that boosts immunity by interrupting the interactions between viral cells and body cells to lower the impact of viruses on the body. Expecting mothers can consume dairy in the form of buttermilk, ghee, yoghurt, whole milk etc for a steady dose of calcium.
  3. Vitamin C- Rich Foods I
    t is well-known that vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system, but it is important to note that we only need moderate amounts of it. Many fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C: oranges, guava, kiwi, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes. Two of our favourites are Guava and Kiwi fruit, both rich sources of Vitamin C. One kiwi provides around half of your daily vitamin C requirements, and it is much more delicious than a tablet!
  4. Vitamin E- Rich Foods
    Vitamin E helps with cognitive function and development. Mixed nuts and oil seeds are powerful sources of antioxidants that help protect your immune cells from damage. Food rich in vitamin E are almonds, olive oil, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanut butter.
  5. Zinc Rich Foods
    Zinc plays an important role in maintaining our body’s immune system. Low levels of zinc can lead to a higher susceptibility to various infections. Zinc is found in a variety of foods- whole grains, milk products, lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood (oysters, shellfish), beans, chickpeas, nuts (such as cashews and almonds), seeds and soy products. Take your pick!
  6. Gut-Friendly Foods
    Eating foods rich in probiotics, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, oats, barley, legumes, nuts maintain a healthy gut microbiota. This is essential to prevent constipation, a common pregnancy concern. A healthy gut equals better immunity.

Overall, just remember that a balanced nourishing diet containing whole grains, lean proteins, dairy products, nuts /seeds and fresh fruits, veggies together serve as the best recipe to boost immunity during pregnancy.

Consult the qualified dietitians at Fernandez Hospitals to build an optimal, nutritious diet plan based on your specific pregnancy needs.