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Nutrition During First Trimester of Pregnancy

Congratulations! We are joyful to know that you have recently conceived and are all set to ensure that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. As soon as you get to know that you are pregnant, a mix of thoughts are what you start playing with all day long. Excitement, worries, enthusiasm, fear all come in together. Excitement about the future, worry about how everything will turn out to be, enthusiasm to be mommy and fear of the unknown. All these feelings are normal and must be embraced positively since these are the pillars which guide you throughout your pregnancy if acted upon in the right manner. One of the biggest dilemmas of pregnancy is what to eat, how much to eat, what to avoid, why to avoid, how to control and so on. Don’t worry, we are here to guide you and make things simpler for you so that you can completely focus on enjoying your smooth pregnancy ride. Let us take it one by one. In this section, we will talk about what you should eat and how during the first trimester of pregnancy. First trimester of pregnancy covers your pregnancy right from the time you conceive up to the end of week 12. It’s an important trimester in terms of your baby’s development – organs take shape, your baby starts moving and muscles form. Baby enters the second trimester as a fully formed fetus who is a size of a peach. This little peach requires all the quality nutrients that make it what it is by week 12. In fact, there is no recommendation for extra calorie intake during your first trimester. But certain nutrients are needed more than others, and these include: Folate (or Folic Acid), Iron, Zinc, Iodine, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) - a type of omega-3 fatty acid (healthy fat). Folic acid is one of the most crucial of all nutrients and is required in recommended quantity daily for the baby to develop a strong brain and spine. Deficiency of folic acid at this stage often leads to congenital disorders in babies like spina bifida. Most cases of neural tube defects can be prevented if you eat enough folate before and during your early pregnancy. Do not worry if you have already passed 2-8 weeks of your pregnancy before getting to know that you are pregnant since most women get to know about their healthy pregnancy at this stage itself. Your doctor must have or will put you on 400 mcg of folic acid supplement soon. Most women need 400 mcg of folic acid every day, as well as eating foods that are rich in folic acid. Some women who have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect are advised to take a higher dose of 5 milligrams of folic acid per day during the first trimester. Women have an increased risk if: they have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect they have diabetes they or their partner have a neural tube defect they or their partner have a family history of neural tube defects Also, women on anti-epileptic drugs should consult their doctor for advice on folic acid supplement intake because they may also need to take a higher dose of folic acid during first trimester of their pregnancy. If you have any of the above-mentioned conditions, tell your doctor immediately so they can prescribe a higher dose of folic acid. Folic acid is readily available to you in diet. Rich sources of folate include vegetables like spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, sweet corn etc, all citrus fruits especially orange, breakfast cereals like whole wheat bread, oats, nuts and eggs. Incorporate them in your diet on a regular basis to never fall short of folic acid in diet. Iron is a vital nutrient for every girl and women on this planet. India is a hub for iron deficiency anemia in the world reason being women in India give least preference to their own diet over others in the family. Irony is that they are the ones who cook food, feed all, conceive, give birth, lose blood during delivery, lose blood during periods and require to replenish their iron stores each day but they don’t! You may be one of those many women suffering from iron deficiency. Doctor gets all these relevant tests done as soon as s/he knows you are pregnant to ensure that any nutrient gap that needs to be bridged is bridged in time before it is too late. Your needs for iron increase as you enter second trimester to provide proper nutrients and oxygen to baby’s blood supply through yours. It is important for you to maintain good iron stores from the beginning as and when you know you are pregnant. Doctor usually starts iron supplements when you are starting with your second trimester since first trimester is already over loaded with anxiety, nausea and vomiting which can worsen with iron supplements. So, go natural on iron during first trimester. Egg yolk, mutton, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, cauliflower greens, colocasia leaves (arbi leaves) and garden cress seeds (halim/aliv), til seeds, bengal gram etc are some of the rich sources of iron. Make sure that while consuming vegetarian sources of iron, always take vitamin C (lemon juice, amla, orange juice etc) with them for better absorption of iron. Zinc during pregnancy is required for proper development of the placenta, keeps intra-uterine infections at bay, keeps your immune system strong, promotes proper growth of baby’s cells and boosts baby’s DNA production and functioning. Zinc can be made available to the body from sources like nuts and seeds- til seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, mutton, curd, pulses and lentils like rajma and chana. Iodine is another essential nutrient that is required for proper brain development of the fetus. If you use iodized salt, you are not likely to develop iodine deficiency. If you use senda namak or rock salt, like in many traditional Indian families, you need to shift to iodized salt immediately. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain.  It is found in the cell membranes of neurons and it is involved in forming the chemicals that neurons in the brain use to send messages.  And since a baby’s brain starts to form between 6 and 7 weeks of pregnancy, DHA is needed from the first trimester itself.  DHA intake is crucial for this period to ensure adequate levels for you and your baby. Most pregnant women do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids because the major dietary source, seafood, is restricted to 2 servings a week. For you to gain enough omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of sources should be consumed: vegetable oils, 2 low-mercury fish servings a week, and supplements (fish oil or algae-based docosahexaenoic acid). Morning sickness and Vomiting are very common during first trimester of pregnancy and experiences may vary from one woman to another. Some may feel nauseated during morning hours and others may vomit throughout the day. You may be having a different experience altogether. Almost 70% women face nausea during pregnancy. It is important to stay hydrated during this time since vomiting may diminish your fluid stores. So, it is advisable to keep drinking water, fresh soups, coconut water, fruit juices throughout the day. Also, morning sickness can be relieved by taking rusk, crackers, roasted murmura, dry roasted makhana or other dry roasted cereals early in the morning.   Content Source Featured image source

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Tips to make an effective pregnancy diet plan

Having a little soul in you is a feeling of magnificence that brings along so much of joy and love to your life. But with all this comes greater responsibility that starts as soon as you become pregnant. We know you are exactly in this phase of your life and as a loyal partner, we promise to support you under take all your responsibilities precisely and effectively. With the same note, let us help you on how to prepare a healthy diet plan for your pregnancy since nutrition for you and your baby will go a long way in keeping you both healthy. Though advising an accurate dietary plan is the responsibility of your health care providers, but the tips that we are providing will only compliment to whatever you are told by your dietician and make your life easier. Diet for pregnancy is not different from a normal healthy daily diet except for increased macro and micro nutrient requirement and restricting certain food items that may cause harm to your baby. Before moving further, here are some highlights to help you get a brief picture of nutrition in pregnancy: Key Highlights: Protein requirement during pregnancy goes up from the second trimester onwards to take care of the growing needs of your pregnancy tissues and your baby’s growth and development Folic acid is very essential during the initial months of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects Iron is important for carrying oxygen to you and your baby’s blood supply Calcium and vitamin D requirement are high during pregnancy for development of the baby’s skeleton It is essential to take omega-3 fatty acid- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for proper cell and brain development of the baby Items to avoid- Alcohol, tobacco, unripe papaya (may induce contractions), sea food (contains harmful mercury), raw or undercooked meat and eggs, unpasteurized milk and milk products, unwashed fruits and vegetables and soft cheese (may lead to bacterial infections) Fluids should be consumed in plenty Nutrients that are a definite during pregnancy: Proteins: Insufficient protein intake can lead to malnourishment or low-birth weight baby. Proteins provide the building blocks for bones, organs, muscles, tissues and blood of the baby. An additional 0.5 g per kg body weight protein is required during the first trimester, 6.9 g during the second trimester and 22.7 g during the third trimester. Food items that are rich in protein are milk (200 ml contains 7 g protein) and milk products- paneer (30 g contains 5.6 g protein), egg (1 contains 13.28 g protein), meat, chicken (100 g contains 19 g protein), fish (fresh water), beans and legumes, dal (1 bowl contains 7 g protein). Folic acid: Folic acid very important for avoiding spinal and brain related abnormalities. The recommended daily allowance of folic acid is 400 mcg. Foods rich in folic acid include broccoli, spinach (100 g contains 142 mcg folic acid), breakfast cereals, mango (100 g contains 90 mcg folic acid) beans, chicken liver (100 g contains 1032 mcg folic acid), egg etc. Calcium: Calcium is required to build strong bones of the baby. It will save you from osteoporosis too in future. Per day calcium requirement for you is 1200 mg. Sources of calcium include milk (100 ml contains 180 mg calcium) and milk products, amaranth leave (100 g contains 330 mg calcium), fenugreek leaves (100 g contains 274 mg calcium), ragi (30 g contains 109 mg calcium), bony fish (100 g contains 320-650 mg calcium), chicken, banana etc. It is important to note here that milk is one of the best sources of calcium keeping in mind that it provides biologically available calcium. Iron: Iron is required in increased amounts during pregnancy to meet up the needs of growing fetus. Your per day iron need currently is 35 mg/dl. Iron rich food items are kala chana (1 bowl contains 2.6 mg iron), methi leaves (100 g contain 5.7 mg iron), tamarind pulp (100 g contains 9 mg iron), soya bean (1 bowl contains 2.5 mg iron) etc. Plate method to design a main meal: Your plate should consist of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% whole grains and 25% proteins. Other points to consider are having plenty of fluids, consumption of 3-4 servings of dairy products, consumption of 4 tsp oil (use combination of oils instead of just one oil) and 2-3 healthy snacks in between main meals. Make your own diet plan: Pregnancy diet plans are prepared by taking into consideration your height and weight at various stages of pregnancy. For instance, during first trimester no additional calories are required, if woman is normal weight, during second and third trimester, an additional 300-350 kcal are required and in case woman is underweight, an additional 500 kcal are required. Here’s a sample diet plan for a healthy pregnant lady. Sample plan of 2000 Kcal which includes additional 350 Kcal for second and third trimester   Early morning                                                                4-5 Almonds with skin   Breakfast                                                                        2 medium bowl dalia or poha with lots of vegetables or                                                                                                   2 slice whole wheat bread toast with 1 egg or                                                                                          2 medium size besan or ragi oats cheela +                                                                                          1 glass milk or butter milk   Mid-morning                                                                 1 Fruit + 1 glass coconut water or vegetable juice + 50 g                                                                                          50 g paneer   Lunch                                                                              1 plate salad +                                                                                          1 medium bowl dal or chicken + 1 big bowl vegetable +                                                                                         1 bowl vegetable raita + 2 bran rich roti or 2 small bowl                                                                                           Brown rice   Evening snack                                                                150 ml milk + ½ bowl roasted chana or 1 boiled egg or                                                                                           1 bowl roasted chana murmura salad or 1 moong                                                                                            Cheela with vegetables   Late Evening                                                                    1 Fruit   Dinner                                                                               1 plate salad + 1 bowl green leafy vegetable +                                                                                            1 bowl dal or curd + 2 mix flour roti   Bed time                                                                            1 cup milk (150 ml)   This is how your day’s diet should look like. You may keep changing the pulses, vegetables and fruits you eat daily. Try to consume organic foods to minimize consumption of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. In case you have gestational diabetes, meet your endocrinologist to get your diet managed. In gestational diabetes, incase you are on insulin, do not skip your meals since that can lead to low blood sugars which are dangerous and break your breakfast into two parts to control blood sugar levels well. In normal pregnancy also, skipping a meal is not advisable. If you don’t feel like eating, drink something but try not skip meals. Feature Image Source

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Eating well in your third trimester: 37-40 weeks

Some women do not prefer eating at all at this stage but there are women who face the first stage for very long period; so, they need snacks and drinks from time to time. Here are few tips that can help you through. Eating Healthy With Your Baby In The First Two Weeks Once the baby is born, it’s not over yet. You still need to continue to have healthy food to recover and to breastfeed your baby. However you cannot cook alone; so, take help of your relatives or cook and keep it in your fridge. You can use it for a week and eat in batches. If you don’t have enough support or you are living just with your husband then you may want to hire a cook and a maid. Let them look after the kitchen till you recover and are able to do the household works. Some also prefer to order food from reputed restaurants. So, think about it and choose an option appropriate for you. Breakfast As always keep your breakfast simple yet healthy. Prefer a bowl of milk with cereal like cornflakes or sandwiches with lots of veggies. Salads are also good to start but make sure to have a glass of milk for energy. Keeping your breakfast simple will help you a lot by saving time and energy. Lunch Soups can be a good idea to go for. Beetroot is rich in folate, magnesium, potassium. Avoid adding cream or yogurt while preparing beetroot juice and freeze it so that you have it in batches. You need beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion, olive oil, vegetable stock, bay leaves, etc. to prepare this. Once you peel the beetroot grate it or process it and cut carrot into small pieces. Add celery and potato pieces and blitz it. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and stir in some chopped onion. Once it turn light brown add vegetables, stock and bay leaves. Boil and cover the lid. Let it boil over low flame for 25 minutes and then blend it to smooth liquid using food processor. If you add cream or yogurt then do not store it. Snack Try having fruity flapjacks in the evening as oats present in it is rich in fibre. It can be stored in the freezer for few days. You will need sunflower margarine, demerara sugar, golden syrup, porridge oats and chopped dates. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and heat margarine and sugar till they melt completely. Stir in the golden syrup, oats, dates and mix the ingredients well. Take a greased baking tin and press into it and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove and keep it aside to cool down. Cut the flapjacks and leave it to cool down. You can also have fresh fruit juice, smoothies like mango smoothie, tomato apple juice, baked banana chips, etc. Dinner Have you ever tried ragu sauce before? On freezing it, ragu sauce will can be stay for a couple of days. Have it with pasta, lasagne sheets and cheese sausage. You need lean minced beef, finely chopped onion, crushed garlic clove, smoked bacon pieces, chopped tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, red wine and oregano. Take the beef in a non-stick pan and heat it; keep stirring while breaking up this mixture. Add chopped onion, bacon, garlic and heat it to fry. Keep stirring and cooking till onions turn soft. Chop the sundried tomatoes and add them to the pan along with chopped canned tomatoes, herbs and some wine. Let this boil for some time and then reduce the flame. Cover the lid and leave it for 35 to 40 minutes and then stir well. Alcohol in the wine you added will cook off slowly. Take it out and let it cool down before you have it. This was easy to prepare this; similarly, you can try many simple yet healthy recipes to get nutrients from the food.   Feature Image Source  

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25 Foods to increase your breast milk: How your body produces nature's perfect baby food

After you become a mother, all you are worried about is your baby's food. That is, breast milk. Some women are lucky, while some struggle to produce the right amount of breast milk. But thankfully, there are certain foods that increase breast milk and enhance lactation. Breast milk contains all the prime nutrients required for an overall growth and brain development of a newborn. Here is a list of the top 25 foods that you must include in your diet to increase breast milk and also keep you healthy. 1. Oatmeal: Oats are easy to prepare as a meal. 2. Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds boost the quantity of your breast milk. 3. Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are known for boosting breast milk supply. 4. Unripe Papayas: Unripe Papayas are part of the South Asian cuisine. 5. Spinach And Beet Leaves: Spinach and beet leaves contain iron, calcium and folic acid. 6. Garlic: Garlic is considered the best food to increase breast milk, as it is well-known for boosting lactation in nursing mothers. 7. Black Sesame Seeds: Black Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and believed to increase milk supply. 8. Carrots: A glass of carrot juice with breakfast or lunch will work wonders in lactation. 9. Water And Juices: Drinking water and juices is supposed to boost lactation. It increases the total milk volume per feed. 10. Barley: Barley not only boosts lactation, it also keeps you hydrated. 11. Asparagus: Asparagus is considered a must-have food for nursing mothers. 12. Brown Rice: Brown rice enhances breast milk production. It has hormone stimulants which boost lactation. It also gives nursing moms the extra energy that is required post delivery.  It also helps increase the appetite so as to enable the mother to eat nutritious food. 13. Apricots: During and post pregnancy, there are hormonal imbalance that takes place in your body. Dried apricots have certain chemicals which balance out the hormone levels in your body. 14. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of EFA (Essential Fatty acids) and Omega-3. 15. Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds boost milk supply. Make sure you have them in moderation though. 16. Basil Leaves: Basil leaves are a great source of anti-oxidants.   17. Dill Leaves: Dill leaves look like a bunch of fine, dark green, silky hair. They have a distinct odor. 18. Bottle Gourd: Bottle gourd is generally not a preferred vegetable, but is high on nutrition. 19. Sweet Potato: Sweet potato is a major source of potassium. It has energy producing carbohydrate which is needed to fight the fatigue. 20. Almonds: Almonds are rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin E. 21. Chickpea: Chickpea is a protein snack and lactation booster for nursing mommies. 22. Drumstick: Drumstick has high iron and calcium content. 23. Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus): It is very important for nursing mothers to relax completely during lactation. Poppy seeds have sedative properties that help you relax and calm down. 24. Cow Milk: Cow milk has calcium and EFA. It promotes lactation. In fact, by consuming cow milk during lactation, you will help your child avoid developing an allergy to cow milk. 25. Oils And Fats: It is recommended to keep fats and oils in your diet to a minimum, post pregnancy. All the above foods have been traditionally used to improve milk flow in new moms. However, while some have scientific backing the others don’t. Consume the foods in limited quantities, and note the side-effects, if any. Also, go for organic products as the pesticide residue in the foods and herbs can increase the lead content in your milk. Feature Image Source

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10 Homemade pregnancy drinks to keep you healthy and hydrated throughout

Water- During pregnancy, your body needs more water to cope with the demands of your changing body. Water is essential for healthy blood cells and to keep your body hydrated. Water is also a key component of breastmilk, and essential for good lactation. Coconut water- A natural isotonic beverage, coconut water helps prevent dehydration. It also relieves exhaustion by replenishing the natural salts lost by the body when you sweat. It is an extremely healthy option for quenching your thirst when pregnant. Limeade (nimbu pani)- The eternal favourite! Nimbu pani keeps you hydrated and provides vitamin C that helps your body to absorb iron more effectively. You can sip nimbu pani during the day or with your meal. And, if you're struggling with morning sickness nimbu pani with some mint (pudina), crushed ginger (adrak) and even chaat masala can be a welcome alternatives. Fresh fruit juices- Fresh juices from sweet lime (musambi), oranges (santara), pineapple (ananas), musk melon (kharbuja), and watermelons (tarbooj) are great for hot weather. If you have them fresh, these juices are packed with all the nutrients that fruits bring. If you buy juices from a store, make sure they have the label ‘100 per cent juice’ on them. Otherwise the drink might contain more sugar and artificial flavours than real fruits. Milk based drinks- Milk products are high in calcium, protein and Vitamin B-12. During the summer, chilled skimmed milk, lassi and buttermilk (chhaach) are a great way to keep cool and stay hydrated. Milkshakes or fruit smoothies made with some milk, curd, ice and fruit are packed with minerals and nutrients. All these are great as a healthy snack in between meals.  Traditional home-made drinks- Jal jeera, aam panna and fruit sherbets have a special place in most homes. Apart from providing various nutrients, these healthy drinks are believed to cool, hydrate as well as help cope with morning sickness. Home-made vegetable juices- If you're having trouble getting enough veggies in your diet, try drinking your vegetables instead. In the heat of summer when you are looking for something other than water to quench your thirst, you can have cold vegetable juices. These will be refreshing and provide you with nutrients. Fruit mocktails- Fruit mocktails are a great alternative when you're at a party, holiday, pub or social gathering and looking for a non-alcoholic drink. Fruit mocktails help you get some of the nutrients you and your baby need. Plus, you save money, because non-alcoholic drinks cost less and there are no arguments about who's driving back home. Water with frozen fruits- Make a plain glass of water more refreshing by adding frozen fruit such as orange (santra), lemon (nimbu), kiwi, peach (aadu), apricot (khubani) and plum (aloo bukhara) instead of ice cubes. The frozen fruit looks colourful floating about in the clear water and it chills your drink, giving it a hint of fruity flavour. Do make sure you use filtered water and fruits washed with filtered water. Ice tea- In the heat, iced tea might be more welcome than a cup of hot chai. Slices of lemon added to iced tea can also provide some relief from morning sickness. But iced tea does contain caffeine so you will need to count it in your daily allowance. Find out more about how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy.

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Your pregnancy diet guide (week 33-36)

The wait is about to get over and soon you will be holding your baby in your arms. That’s awesome! But since you are in your ninth month, still your baby is completely dependent on you for nourishment. Baby’s growth is almost through except for the brain and lungs which will keep developing post delivery also. Now your baby’s focus is on steady weight gain. Some vital nutrients that are required include: Protein: Responsible for body building and repairing, protein is an energy giving nutrient. It is a must to take enough protein currently since baby is gaining weight and development is still on. Make sure you take enough protein in each meal to ensure healthy growth of the baby. Ignorance here may mean a low birth weight baby. Protein rich sources are Beans, lean meat, whole pulses and legumes, milk and milk products, egg etc. Healthy fat: Since your focus right now is weight gain of your baby, energy dense foods are essential. Take enough fat in diet to help the baby accumulate fat in the body. But over eating of fat is also to be monitored. You may indulge in consumption of unhealthy fats like margarine, vanaspathi etc. which should be avoided since these fats are only calories which will only lead you to gain unnecessary weight. Instead, opt for healthy fats- a combination of ghee 1-2 tsp, mustard oil 2-3 tsp, olive or canola oil 1-2 tsp, vegetable oil 1 tsp can provide you with enough healthy fats essential for your baby’s brain development, and over all growth. You may even like to have healthy nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios as source of healthy fatty acids. Complex carbohydrate: Complex carbohydrates are ones with fiber which is super important at this stage for proper digestion, consistent release of energy, relieving constipation, and healthy weight gain. With so many benefits, complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables with edible peel, whole cereals- dalia, brown bread, whole wheat noodles, bran rich roti, brown rice, bajra etc are your resorts to good health. On the contrary, simple carbohydrates like sugar, refined wheat flour may lead to increased release of glucose and may cause gestational diabetes, unhealthy weight gain and related problems in the baby. Folic acid: Still essential, this nutrient can be derived from dietary sources like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, kiwi, citrus fruits like orange, sunflower seeds etc. Iron: Iron is one essential nutrient at this stage since baby’s circulation is fully developed and additional blood volume needs to be compensated for. Iron supplements are continued by the doctor at this stage, but dietary iron is also essential. Sources include Beetroots, Dark green leafy vegetables, red meat etc. Make sure to have vegetarian sources of iron with vitamin C rich foods like lemon and orange for better absorption of iron in the body. Calcium: An important nutrient for the development of strong bones and teeth of the baby, calcium is also required by your body for avoiding osteoporosis at a later stage. Calcium can be received from milk and milk products, bony fish, meat, spinach, banana, ragi flour etc. Try to consume 3 glasses of milk during this time or and equivalent milk product. Some general dietary tips for 33-36 weeks: Drink a lot of water to prevent or relieve constipation Along with food, exercise is important too. A half an hour normal walk is important for easy labor and for keeping other health problems at bay Having 5-7 servings of lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy weight, provide you with essential micro-nutrients, relieve constipation and give you satiety Fruits like papaya can also be freely consumed for ninth month to induce labor if the baby’s growth is normal Spicy food should be avoided since it may lead to acidity to which body is prone during this time Small frequent meals at a gap of 2-3 hours can help with healthy weight gain, and proper growth of the baby Some dietary restrictions during this time are: Sea food (due to high mercury content in it), unpasteurized milk and milk products like soft cheese, raw egg and undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, food from outside, excessive sugar and salt, saccharin, caffeine (not more than 2 cups coffee or tea in a day), tobacco and alcohol. These items if consumed, may cause harm you and your baby. Some may even lead to still birth, small for date baby, low birth weight baby, mentally and physically retarded baby and worst consequences. So best is to avoid these temptations! Some healthy snack ideas for your ninth month: Recipe 1: Avacado mint smoothie Ingredients: ½ avocado pulp 3-4 mint stems 1 tsp-soaked chia seeds 1/4th cup curd 1 tsp honey Method: Blend all the above listed ingredients to a smooth paste. You may add some crushed ice to it. Nutritional value: This recipe provides enough omega 3 fatty acid, fiber, calcium and protein to you. Recipe 2: Egg pizza Ingredients: 1 egg 1/4th cup Chopped vegetables like capsicum, sauted mushrooms, bell peppers, spring onion 40 g minced paneer Oregano, salt and pepper 1 tsp pomace olive oil Method: In a heated pan, heat olive oil. Once hot, break open the egg into the pan at a low flame. Sprinkle all the vegetables, paneer, and seasoning to it. Cover the egg with a lid and cook for-3 -4 minutes. You may remove the lid to check if the egg is completely cooked or not. Don’t flip the egg. Let it completely cook. Once the yolk is set, turn off the flame and serve it hot with 1 brown bread toast or with your favorite healthy beverage. Nutritional value: This recipe is rich in protein, calcium, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and folic acid. We know your baby is on the way to your arms. Make sure you hold a healthy baby in your strong arms! Eat healthy, be healthy.  

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Foods to avoid during breastfeeding

You remained on a healthy diet and avoided many foods for nearly 9 months thinking about the safety of your baby. Now when the baby is finally here, your protective instincts will get more strengthened. Therefore, it is normal to wonder if there are foods to avoid while breastfeeding as particles from the food you eat make their way through the breast milk to your newborn system. Given below are some of the foods that nursing or breastfeeding mothers should completely avoid and why: Seafood: In present times, mercury levels are high in different water bodies which get translated to high levels of mercury in seafood. High levels of mercury are present in shark and king mackerel, unlike other seafood which have lower levels of mercury. Hence doctors advice nursing mothers to completely avoid seafood. Processed food while breastfeeding: Processed foods are quick and easy to prepare especially when you have a baby. But these foods contain preservatives and additives that are toxic for the baby. Additives can also make the baby colic and cause some allergies. Your baby can also turn fussy. Spicy food and flatulence causing food: Spicy food and flatulence causing foods can cause a shift in your baby’s reaction. Though this research is in its rudimentary stage, it would help keep a diary of your diet and your baby’s behavioural change. Sugar and artificial sweeteners: On the whole, it is safe to consume sugar and artificial sweeteners, but in moderation. You can use it occasionally in your food. There are several internal barriers that prevent the baby from consuming excess sugar. The sugar first passes through your blood vessels, plus your baby should want to consume it. As of now there is no conclusive theory to prove that artificial sweeteners are bad for the baby, but it’s best to consume it occasionally. Caffeine and breastfeeding: Avoid consuming caffeine as it can make your baby agitated and prevent your baby from sleeping. You can consume two – three cups of coffee a day, but consult your doctor on the same. Alcohol consumption while breastfeeding: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and post pregnancy is a complete, NO. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can hamper your child’s growth. If you want to consume a glass of alcohol, stop breastfeeding till the alcohol is completely washed from your system. Meat and non- vegetarian products: Meat that has fat absorbs toxins, plus it makes you gain unhealthy weight. It is recommended to consume lean meat for healthy living.   Content source Featured image source

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10 foods to increase lactation

Lactating women often face issues when they are unable to meet their baby's milk demand. Here are 10 foods that can help to increase lactation in breastfeeding moms- Water OK, so water is not technically a food, but it is the most essential aspect of ensuring you will have an adequate milk supply. According to studies, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. You do not need to drink gallons a day, but you do need to be adequately hydrated. 8 glasses (64 ounces) of fluid a day is an absolute must. In the early stages of your breastfeeding journey its a necessity to have a bottle of water next to where you are going to nurse. You might not be thirsty when you sit down, but it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by thirst after a few minutes. Oatmeal Oatmeal is fantastic for building and maintaining your milk supply. Whether you enjoy a hearty bowl of hot oats in the morning or you sprinkle granola on your yogurt, make sure you are eating some oats. You already know that oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and can aid blood pressure regulation, but increasing your supply is another awesome benefit of chowing down on oats. Cookies Not just any cookie, but special lactation cookies. This recipe has been making the rounds for decades, and we are sharing it with you.  Garlic You don’t need to go overboard, but adding garlic to your foods not only adds another layer of deliciousness, it also boosts your milk supply. Garlic has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their milk. A modern bonus for moms who don’t like garlic: garlic pills are commercially available and are said to have no aftertaste. Carrots Get your Bugs Bunny on, mama! Carrots are full of beta-carotene, which just happens to be in extra demand when you’re lactating. Carrots are a healthy source of carbohydrates and will boost your potassium, too. Snacking on carrots is also a great way to help you lose some of that stubborn baby weight. Peel and slice a bag of carrots at a time and store them in your fridge for easy snacking. Fennel Whether you sauté it, stew it, or toss it raw into a salad, fennel is an herb that is widely believed to be an excellent galactagogue. If you particularly dislike anise or black licorice, this herb is not for you. For those with an adventurous palate, fennel is full of healthy phytoestrogens. Bonus for those with queasy stomachs—fennel is also known to be fantastic for aiding digestion and settling an upset belly. Nuts Sometimes being a new mom can make you feel a little nuts. Take a breather, grab a handful of nuts, and enjoy a snack that will help your supply. Cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts are the most popular choices for giving your milk a boost—they’re also high in good fats and antioxidants. Read labels and go for raw nuts when possible. Many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted—opt for low sodium, or salt-free versions when possible. Green Papaya Yes, we’re talking about eating unripe papaya… In Asia, green papaya is a traditional galactagogue. If you have a favorite Thai restaurant, order Som Tam, which is a green papaya salad. If you’re not a fan of Thai food, try steaming or stir-frying on high heat until tender. Green papaya is also available in tablet form. Sesame Seeds Sesame seed bagels are delicious, and we’ve all had a burger on a sesame seed bun, but you need to get more than just a dash of seeds to help boost your milk. Tahini is a delicious buttery paste made of sesame seeds that you can add into recipes and sauces for a Middle Eastern flair. For those with a sweet tooth, halvah is a delicious sesame seed snack—just don’t eat too much of it because it’s also loaded with sugar. Sesame seeds are not only tasty but high in calcium to boot. Ginger Do you still have ginger ale, candied ginger, and ginger pops left over from your days of morning sickness? They won’t be going to waste after all--ginger is another widely used milk-boosting food. Many Asian and Indian recipes call for ginger, so expand your menu and try cooking some international cuisine. If you’re tired and have no time, enjoy a few ginger snaps instead. Featured Image Source

Healthy diet plan for breastfeeding mothers

Most Important Tips for Successful Breastfeeding 1. Have Lots of Porridges Why? Because they are easy to digest. According to Indian traditional method, nursing women are given kheers/soups more than usual food, though your dietician will tell you, eat whatever you want. You have to eat a lot and digest it too. These special porridges prepared for Indian women by their moms has many galactogouges like Cumin, fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds, Ghee, almonds etc. You will not get bored of eating. 2. Stay Away from Spicy and Oily Foods Though they say whatever you eat has no direct impact on baby, it is not true. Your baby will show you how your eating affects him/her. The spicy and oily food upsets baby’s stomach, and provides no significant amount of nutrients. 3. Eat Short Meals Frequently If you eat heavy 2-3 meals, your digestive system will suffer. so take small meals with increased frequency. 4. Early Morning and Late Night Kheer Take one bowl of kheer at night just before sleeping and also one more just after getting up. The Date Kheer/Almond Kheer/Aliv Kheer are best for nursing mothers. List of Foods Must to Have: Secret of Successful Breastfeeding Below are the foods you should include in your diet. For details on Healthy Foods for Breastfeeding these 1. Fenugreek Seeds Indians are lucky to get fresh fenugreek Leaves and Seeds, in rest of the world nursing mom take fenugreek supplements. The sprouted seeds are blessing for you during 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Add fenugreek sprouts to your regular subzi everyday. Or just try stir fry of it with onion and garlic. They do not taste bitter due to sprouting. 2. Garlic Use Garlic in all your curries and soups 3. Cumin Seeds, Poppy Seeds and Fennel Seed They are Galactogogues 4. Bottle Gourds Gourds help to boost milk production. 5. Dill Leaves Healthy for you and baby 6. Almonds Soak them in water overnight and have them in morning, make your baby more intelligent. 7. Coconut Water Full of nutrient and keeps you hydrated 8. Milk and Desi Ghee Desi Ghee for DHA and Milk for Calcium. You must have these to avoid any knee and back pain in future. 9. Edible gum/ Dink (Gondh) They make yours and baby’s bones stronger 10. Water After whatever you eat, water is must to digest and to make milk from it. 11. Whole Grains Sprouted Sprouted grains are much more healthier than usual dry grains. Try Wheat/Ragi/Bajra/Jowar. Make flour of sprouted and dried grains. Use it for making porridges. Moringa Leaves They are super healthy. Try Shatawari Kalp after first 3-4 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Let your body make milk from the healthy regular food before you try any supplements.  

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12 Benefits Of Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy

Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, prevents dehydration, lowers the acidity of the body, and is simply loaded with nutrition as well. It’s no wonder that many doctors encourage their patients and pregnant women to drink coconut water. There is some evidence that coconut water may help build up immunity, improve kidney function, prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) and lower high blood pressure, but more research is needed before we can say for certain.  Here are some more benefits of the humble Coconut that will interest you: 1. Healthy Breast Milk Drinking coconut water (and eating fresh coconut meat) will help you to produce plenty of healthy breast milk for your baby. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a single meal containing coconut oil will affect the fatty acid makeup of a woman’s breast milk for as long as 3 days, with the maximum concentration occurring within the first 10 hours. 2. Improves Immunity Coconut water is naturally sterile since it is kept safe from contaminants inside the shell. Coconut water contains anti-viral, antibacterial, and antifungal compounds that can help to prevent you from becoming ill or catching the flu while you are pregnant. 3. Natural Relaxant One of the great things about coconut water is that it naturally relaxes the muscles and nervous system because it contains magnesium. Coconut water can help to relieve joint pains and the itching sensations that often come with pregnancy. 4. Zippo Cholesterol Coconut water contains absolutely no cholesterol, which makes it a heart-healthy drink. Yes, plain water also has no cholesterol, but it also has no magnesium or other nutritious compounds. Consumed regularly, coconut water can even increase the good (HDL) type of cholesterol in the body. 5. Improves Energy Levels Carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy can leave you feeling tired a great deal of the time. Coconut water can help to restore energy levels by increasing the metabolism and stimulating thyroid function. 6. Improves Amniotic Fluid If you would like to improve the overall environment and health of your baby, coconut water can help to improve, and boost the levels of, amniotic fluid. 7. Stops Heartburn Many pregnant women complain about indigestion and heartburn. Drinking coconut water lowers the acid level of the stomach, preventing heartburn, indigestion, and sour stomach before they start. Enjoy half a cup of coconut water before meals. 8. Prevents Constipation You can’t beat coconut water while looking for what to take for constipation. This delicious drink is a natural but mild laxative that can help to prevent the constipation that tends to plague pregnant women. 9. Great Nutrition Coconut water improves blood circulation and is a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the immune system and fiber is important for the prevention of constipation. Coconut water has potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Both potassium and electrolytes are important for pregnant women. Coconut water and other coconut products are a great source of lauric acid, which can help to protect your body from disease and viruses. 10. Natural Diuretic For treating and preventing urinary tract infections, coconut water can come to your rescue. Since it is a mild diuretic, coconut water can help to prevent these painful types of infections. Coconut water also has antibacterial compounds that can stop urinary tract infections when they are caught early. Drinking coconut water on a regular basis can also help to prevent kidney stones. 11. Low Calorie Drink Packed with healthy electrolytes that the body needs, coconut water is a great low-calorie drink as well! Since this refreshing drink has healthy amino acids and other enzymes, coconut water can help to fight the dehydration and exhaustion that are common problems for pregnant women. 12. Can Lower Blood Pressure Consuming coconut water on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure levels due to its high level of potassium. Potassium binds with salt and helps to remove it from the body. Lower sodium levels in the blood mean lower blood pressure. Always remember that moderation is the key. Clean, filtered water should always be your main drink. Don't substitute it with coconut water or other drinks at all times. Always pick fresh, clean, green coconuts and make sure they are cut in front of you. Drink the coconut water as soon as the coconut is cut so that it is fresh and nutrient rich. Use a clean straw or pour the coconut water into a clean glass. Skip drinking coconut water if you feel you don't like the taste or if it doesn't agree with you.   Content Source  

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14 Lifesavers For Your First Trimester

The first trimester can be a brutal introduction. These tips will help you keep your sanity – Coconuts have a zillion beneficial properties, and some of those are really handy when you're pregnant. Coconut water has tons of potassium, prevents dehydration, and is loaded with electrolytes. All things you'll need while pregnant. And coconut oil can help with stretch marks and boost your baby's immune system. Ginger - They are insanely strong, and sometimes even just the smell when I opened the tin was enough to curb the nausea. Buy a case and keep them in your car, your purse, your nightstand, your work desk, on the coffee table Pregnancy dressing is a whole other art form, especially in the first trimester. Your body will start changing, but you'll be too small for "bump" clothes. You might not want the pressure of tight clothes against your body, though, and you may just not be ready for the world to know what's up. You may not grow a belly until the second trimester. But at some point you are going to want to unbutton those pants. Bellaband lets you keep your current jeans while also keeping you comfortable. Water - You will get sick and tired of hearing people tell you to drink plenty of water while pregnant. Dehydration is no joke, especially during the first trimester. But it can also be really hard to get excited about H2O for nine months straight, especially when morning sickness can leave your mouth tasting gross. Skin care - Most doctors will tell you to avoid putting salicylic acid and retinoids on your skin while pregnant: It can be absorbed right into the bloodstream, which is so annoying because one of the first visible signs of all those hormonal changes will be breaking out like a 15-year-old. Ask what ingredients are safe, and start reading labels. Pillow - It's not cheap, but the Comfort-U Maternity Pillow will help save your sanity during those inevitable sleepless nights. It takes up more than half the bed, though, so be warned that your spouse/significant other will not be happy about its arrival. But you are two people now, and the majority wins. Sleep tight! Your feet will get bigger while pregnant, there is no point in denial. And it might be permanent. While the need for comfy flats might not be urgent for a few more months, you may feel your feet changing already. Be prepared to invest in some flats that will support your new body and give you some flex room while your feet expand. Your boobs could definitely start to feel sore and achy in the first trimester. You might even need something comfortable to sleep in. Whip out that coconut oil for sore nipples, but also think about shopping for some comfy maternity bras Fact: You will have the weirdest dreams of your life while pregnant. There's definitely some science behind it. Curb your nighttime anxiety and vivid subconscious by writing it all down. You might just make yourself a hilarious memento of these nine months to enjoy for years to come. Massages are a great lifesaver for many pregnant women, however do consult with your doctor before getting it done! If you're going to be queasy for 12 weeks, you might as well be cute about it. The Barf Boutique makes these sealable, waterproof bags in five colors. Keep them everywhere. It's important to exercise during pregnancy, but even more important to do it safely. Lots of expectant moms talk about walking for exercise, but Tai Chi has a surprising number of pregnancy benefits. There will be a lot racing through your mind during these early stages, and it can be overwhelming. So many decisions, so many options for baby gear you didn't even know existed. Baby Bargains will help you identify all the gear and track it down without bankrupting you. Thus, it is necessary to think of the above and to follow the suggestion provided in this wholesome article! Feature Image Source    

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Baby food: 7-9 months

When your baby hits the seven-month mark, he gears up for some important physical milestones like sitting up, teething, etc. Providing the right kind of nourishment in this crucial growth period is very important for the baby. During this time, the baby receives the essential nutritional supplements from both the breast milk/formula milk and from solid food. Here are some helpful options for healthy food for a 7-month baby that you can include in your child’s diet: Best Foods for Seven Month Old Baby: After introducing a few solid foods to your baby at six months, you can slowly diversify the options and incorporate more variety in their food by the next month. Here are some interesting options for solid food for 7 month baby. Fruit Puree: Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fruits like apple, chikoo, papaya, banana, watermelon, avocado, etc. are great options for a snack or a meal. Vegetables: Vegetables contain essential multi-vitamins and minerals. It can be given as a meal by steaming it and making a puree. Steamed vegetable wedges can also be given as an excellent snack. Porridge: Porridges made from single grain cereals make for a great nutritional supplement for babies. Cereals like rice, wheat, oats, barley, millets etc. can be processed and powdered to make a porridge mix. Meat Puree: Meat and chicken are high protein and carbohydrate foods that can be introduced to babies in the form of puree. Egg: Egg is a popular source of healthy fat and protein. It can be given to babies as bite-sized pieces after boiling it. Cheese: Cheese made from pasteurised milk is available widely in the market. It is a food rich in fat, protein and vitamins. Kichdi: Kichdi made out of rice, wheat or dal with mild spice and salt is a filling and nutritious meal for small babies. This also serves as their first taste of adult food. Keep these in mind while introducing the Solid Foods You can offer the three times a day meal to your baby. Food should be well cooked, soft and easy to digest. Solid intake will increase gradually. Once baby starts eating proper solid foods, his milk intake will reduce. Don’t expect your baby to consume the milk as before. Sometimes, your baby doesn’t like the new food. He may take few days to adapt the food changes. Your baby’s digestive system is still developing so sometimes, introducing the solid foods can disturb his bowel movements. Feed your baby when he is sitting in a proper position. Always refrain your baby from distractions like watching Tv, playing some rhymes or cartoon on mobile while feeding. Offer the finger foods to let your baby start eating by himself. Every child is different and every parent is unique so don’t compare your child’s food intake with other babies. Content source Featured image source

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Second month diet guide (5-8 weeks)

So, you have got to know you are about to become mommy. One of the biggest confusion you are about to face is what to eat, and what not to eat. We will help you sort this out beforehand only. In this section, we will talk about what you should eat during the second month of your pregnancy. It’s an important period since your baby’s organs are developing right now for which various key nutrients are required: Folic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) - a type of omega-3 fatty acid (healthy fat) are some important nutrients for this phase. Folic acid is required for the baby’s strong brain and spine development. Deficiency of folic acid at this stage often leads to congenital disorders in babies like spina bifida. Your doctor must have or will put you on 400 mcg of folic acid supplement soon. All you need is to consume it daily, and eat foods rich in folic acid. Rich sources of folate include vegetables like spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, sweet corn etc, all citrus fruits especially orange, breakfast cereals like whole wheat bread, oats, nuts and eggs. Zinc is required for proper placenta development, avoid intra-uterine infections, keep immune system strong, and promote proper growth of baby’s cells and boosts baby’s DNA production and functioning. Rich sources of zinc are nuts and seeds- til seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, mutton, curd, pulses and lentils like rajma and chana. Iron is another crucial nutrient from the bunch. Doctor usually starts iron supplements when you are starting with your second trimester since first trimester is already over loaded with anxiety, nausea and vomiting which can worsen with iron supplements. So, go natural on iron during first trimester to prevent and combat anemia. Egg yolk, mutton, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, cauliflower greens, colocasia leaves (arbi leaves) and garden cress seeds (halim/aliv), til seeds, bengal gram etc are some of the rich sources of iron. Make sure that while consuming vegetarian sources of iron, always take vitamin C (lemon juice, amla, orange juice etc) with them for better absorption of iron. Iodine is another essential nutrient that is required for proper brain development of the fetus. If you use senda namak or rock salt, like in many traditional Indian families, you need to shift to iodized salt immediately. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain.  And since a baby’s brain starts to form between 6 and 7 weeks of pregnancy, DHA is needed from the first trimester itself.  DHA intake is crucial for this period to ensure adequate levels for you and your baby. Most pregnant women do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids because the major dietary source, seafood, is restricted to 2 servings a week. For you to gain enough omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of sources should be consumed: vegetable oils, 2 low-mercury fish servings a week, and supplements (fish oil or algae-based docosahexaenoic acid). Morning sickness and vomiting are very common during this time. It is important to stay hydrated right now since vomiting may deplete your fluid stores. So, it is advisable to keep drinking water, and other fluids throughout the day. Morning sickness can be relieved by taking crackers, rusk, or roasted murmura early in the morning. Image Source

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Baby's Food Chart This Month: Quantity and routine

Finally, your baby has turned 6-months-old and your wait to feed him with solids is also over. Many mothers wait for this important moment eagerly when their little one can enjoy variety of foods and stimulate their taste buds. It is pure fun to watch how the expression on your little one’s face changes as he/she tastes new flavours. However, you also need to remember that at this age breast milk is still considered to be most important part of your baby’s diet. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age, and breast milk to complement solids for the next year or more. Nutrient Requirements of 6 Months Old Infant: Here are the nutritional components in baby food for 6 months old: Calcium: Calcium in food is essential for their bone and teeth development. Iron: Iron helps carry oxygenated blood to all the developing parts of the body. Zinc: Zinc helps cell repair and growth. Fat: Fat insulates the baby and helps in brain development. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and fuels their day-to-day activities. Protein: These are a must for growth as they act as building blocks for cells. Vitamins: Different vitamins contribute to the growth of the baby differently, and almost all the vitamins including Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K are essential to the baby. Minerals: Minerals like sodium and potassium directly influence the growth of the baby.   Best Foods for Six-Month-Old Baby: Options for healthy food for six month old baby include the following given below: Fruits puree: Fruits can be steamed and mashed or pureed to be given as their first solid food. The popular fruits that are given as baby foods are apple, banana, pear, avocado, chikoo and peach. Vegetable puree: Vegetables such a sweet potato, potato, carrot, sweet pumpkin, french beans etc. can be steamed and given either as finger food or as a puree. Pulses Soup: Variety of pulses, especially dals can be boiled with water and the soup of the dal, which contains the nutrient extract of it, can be given as a source of proteins to babies. Rice porridge: Rice is a good source of carbohydrates and vitamins for babies. Broken rice can be given as porridge, made in breast milk or formula milk. Cereal porridge: Porridge can also be made from a variety of single grain cereals like wheat, millets, barley, oats, etc. in breast milk or formula milk. These cereals can be dried and powdered together or separately, to make a mix for the gruel. Vegetable soup: A variety of vegetables can be boiled in water, and the stock can be used for making soup. Yoghurt: Although cow’s milk is not allowed until the age of one for babies, unsweetened yoghurt can be given in moderate amount as an alternative to purees. Content source Featred image source

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