A nutritionally balanced diet is the foundation for getting all the important nutrients to the foetus, as it develops throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Making good nutrition choices ensure you get quality nutrients, not empty calories.
This illustrates a balanced diet, with a variety of different food choices from each of the 5 food groups in the Malaysian Food Guide Pyramid. If you’re active or pregnant in your 2nd or 3rd trimester, you should eat a larger portion to meet your daily energy needs.
One day sample meal plan
- Breakfast – Wholegrain cereal, milk & sliced fruit
- Morning Snack – Egg sandwich with sliced vegetables & a cup of fruit juice
- Lunch – Noodle Soup with shredded chicken, vegetables and egg
- Afternoon Snack – A slice of fruit, wholegrain crackers & yogurt
- Dinner – Rice, fish and vegetables
One day sample meal plan for a vegan
- Breakfast – 1 bowl fortified wholegrain cereal with milk topped with nuts, malt beverage with added milk
- Lunch – Rice, leafy green vegetables and stirfried chickpeas, 1 glass soya bean milk, slice of fruit
- Dinner – Stir fried noodles cooked with 2 squares tauhu and assortment of vegetables, slice of fruit
- Midmorningsnack – Wholegrain crackers with a slice of cheese
- Teatime – 1 small bowl bowl lightly sweetened bubur kacang
- Bedtime snack (optional) – Slice of bread with peanut butter, glass of warm milk
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION FOR ANAEMICS
Iron rich foods in your daily diet will complement your iron supplement intake:
- Red meat (beef, lamb & mutton)
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Soya beans, tauhu or tempeh
- Dried fruits
- Iron fortified products such as crackers, bread, wholegrain cereals and orange juice
DEALING WITH MORNING SICKNESS
- Observe the trend of your morning sickness. Most are confined to certain times. Eat your meals and supplement when you’re least likely to throw up.
- Avoid greasy meals. It worsens the nausea.
- Prevent dehydration — sip on soups, fruit juices, porridge, milk, malt drinks, or eat foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables.
- If your morning sickness is severe, see your doctor.
You’ll need more protein, iron, calcium, folic acid, beta carotene (a form of Vitamin A) and Vitamin C. As the required can be difficult to get from food alone your doctor will prescribe antenatal supplements. All antenatal supplements contain iron. If you are anaemic, an additional iron supplement to take daily will be prescribed as well. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on dosage at all times.
- Never take iron or antenatal supplements with coffee, tea or milk (dairy). They inhibit the absorption of the nutrients. Water is best.
- Iron is better absorbed when taken with a Vitamin C rich food or drink. For example, take your iron supplement together with a fruit juice.
- Already drunk a cup of coffee? Wait 2 hours and then take your antenatal or iron supplement.
- For full benefits, take your supplements consistently every day. Have a routine you can follow.
- Don’t forget to pack the supplements if you travel.