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 Nutritional Requirements during Pregnancy

  Last Updated : Oct 26,2018

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Nutritional Requirements during Pregnancy

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) 

Wondering what RDA is all about? Well, it’s the daily requirement of nutrients that your body needs as recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), suggested for Indian women with a moderate activity level is given below along with an explanation of the functions and sources of all the major nutrients required during pregnancy.
Before conception, you should consume approximately 1900 to 2200 kcal/day. This is your daily energy requirement. However, during pregnancy, your energy requirements are higher and you will need to consume between 2200 to 2500 kcal/day.

These requirements should be supplemented by a balanced combination of carbohydrates (cereals like whole wheat, ragi, jowar and parboiled rice), protein (pulse and legumes), vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) and fat in moderation.

The keyword here is quality and not quantity. It’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat.

1. All food groups provide energy, which is expressed in technical terms as kilocalories or what we commonly refer to as Calories. You require an adequate amount of energy to keep your strength up. You need to provide your body with 2200 to 2500 kcal of Energy per day.

2. Protein (65gm/day) in your maternal store is required for a good overall growth and development of your fetus.
Good source of protein are
• Pulses like moong dal, chana dal, matki etc.
• Dairy products (milk, pasteurized cheese, paneer, curds etc.)
• Soyabean and its products e.g. tofu and soya chnunks are an excellent source of vegetarian protein.
Try Subzi Dal which is a very good example for this group.

3. Calcium (1000 mg/day) is required for the development of fetal bones and teeth.

So stock up by eating plenty of these foods
• Dairy products (milk, pasteurized cheese, paneer, curds etc.)
• Soyabean and its products e.g. tofu and soya chnunks
• Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, mint and fresh coriander etc.
• Til (sesame seeds) and ragi (nachni)
Try Paneer, Palak and Methi Stuffed Roti which are a good combination of a dairy products and leafy vegetables and Kalakand is loaded with calcium.

4. Iron (38 mg/day) is an essential component of haemoglobin that supplies oxgen to each cell of the human body. In addition, it is required for the fetal red blood cell production. So do have iron in the required quantity or else you might become anaemic. Have no fear on that account for Mr. Iron’s here!!

Foods with high iron sources are
• Dried beans, peas and lentils
• Cereals and pulses
• Dried fruits like raisins, dates and figs
• Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, mint, fresh coriander, cauliflower greens and vegetables like broccoli and pumpkin
• Til (sesame seeds), nuts (almonds cashewnuts) and jaggery Try Usli and Vegetable Stew. Do not forget tempting dhokals made of Methi Palak Dhoklas to enrich your iron stores.

5. Folic acid (400 mcg/day) is an essential vitamin required almost 12 weeks before you conceive and also during the first trimester for the growth and development of the brain and spine of the fetus. Folic acid is also required throughout the pregnancy for the formation of blood. Its deficiency leads to anaemia in the mother.

Raise your folic acid levels by enjoying
• Potatoes eaten with their skin on (i.e. unpeeled). Be sure to scrub the peel very clean.
• Vegetables like cluster beans (gavarfali), spinach, peas, broccoli, beetroot and ladies fingers
• Cereals and pulses
• Soyabean and its products e.g. tofu and soya chunks
• Nuts(almonds, cashewnuts and walnuts) and sesame seeds (til)
Try Soya Mutter Ki Subzi which is a good storehouse of this vitamin.

6. Fat is a concentrated source of energy and a daily requirement of 30 gm/day is essential. The fat that accumulates throughout your pregnancy acts as an energy reserve. When the supply of kilocalories is inadequate, the accumulated fat is used to support the needs of your rapidly growing fetus.

7. Vitamin C (40 mg/day) is imperative to make yourself immune against infections and diseases. It is also required for the formation of collagen which is a protein that provides structure to the bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels.

Boost your vitamin C levels with
• Citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime and lemon
• Amla
• Vegetables like cabbage, coriander leaves and capsicum Try Fruity Bean Salad which will nourish you with plenty of vitamin C and Add that zing you need.

8. Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene 2400 mcg/day) is required for clear vision, healthy skin and immunity for both you and your baby. Excessive vitamin A can however lead to toxicity and can be harmful. It is usually not necessary to supplement your diet with any other form of vitamin A (e.g. in tablet form). If you consume the following natural food sources mentioned below.

Maintain your vitamin A levels with
• Yellow orange vegetables like carrot and pumpkin
• Fruits like mango, papaya and tomatoes
• Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, mint and fenugreek
• Whole milk
Try Stuffed Carrot Halwa Pancake which will provide you plenty of vitamin A.

9. Vitamin D is synthesized through sunlight which aids the absorption of calcium in the body. Hence, there is no dietary recommendation for this nutrient in our tropical climate.

10. In comparison to non-vegetarian foods, vegetarian diets are deficient in Vitamin B12. But don’t let that hamper your spirits as soya milk and soya products in particular provide an appreciable amount of this vitamin. Try Soya Upma which will perk up your vitamin B12 levels.

11. Iodine is one of the major important minerals which is required for your baby’s brain development. To maintain adequate iodine levels in your body, use iodised salt in your daily cooking.

You can also get iodine from the natural sources like
• Cereals (rice, wheat, jowar etc.)
• Nuts and oilseeds (til etc.)

nutritional requirements during pregnancy

 by Tarla Dalal
It is difficult to pass by guavas in the market without buying some. With their pleasant aroma and unique flavour, guavas are perfectly poised to please your palate. This fruit is a boon during pregnancy, especially if you are having digestive problems like constipation. This is because guava, with its high fibre content, is a natural laxative. This unusual drink is made by cooking and blending guavas, without straining, to retain most of the fibre. With shades of ginger and lemon, this Guava Drink also has an awesome flavour. Even though some amount of vitamin C might be lost during cooking, this Guava Drink is still a very good source of the nutrient. Remember to use fully-ripe guavas as they taste best and will also require less sugar, helping make this drink even healthier. Besides guava check out our drink recipes with other fruits and fruit combos like Muskmelon, Orange and Coconut Drink , Pear and Apple Drink , Sweet Lime, Pomegranate and Apple Juice , Honey Banana Shake , Black Grape Shake , Apple Magic , Grape Lassi and many more that are healthy refreshing to drink during pregnancy.
Elegantly flavoured and pleasing to the palate, this Almond Honey Cinnamon Milk is a glassful of goodness! It is easy and cost-effective, yet tasty and brimming with nutrients. After several trials, we have arrived at the perfect blend of ingredients, so we suggest you go with it without any modifications. Since whole cinnamon is blended with the almonds, you get a really rich flavour. It doesn’t taste good with cinnamon powder, so stick to the cinnamon stick! We have used honey as a natural sweetener, but vegans can go for maple syrup instead. Almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain blood cholesterol levels. It is also a great source of protein and high calcium , making this a wonderful choice for everybody including kids. You can also try Saffron Cardamom Almond Milk or Chocolate Almond Milk .
This is an elegantly-flavoured, soul-warming breakfast that is sure to gear you up for the day ahead. Oats, cooked with almond milk, laced with cinnamon and topped with apples and walnuts, this is one bowlful that you are sure to enjoy. Moreover, this vegan recipe is also very easy to make. However, you must serve the Apple, Cinnamon and Oats Recipe with Almond Milk immediately after cooking because it tends to get very thick. We have sweetened the oats naturally with chopped dates. If you want it sweeter, you can add a little more dates. Chock-full of fibre, oats is sure to keep you satiated for a long time. It also reduces quick hikes in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, almond milk gives loads of protein for your bones and keeps all the cells of your body healthy. Walnuts add some omega-3 fatty acids to your breakfast, keeping your heart healthy and happy!
These nutritious idlis are slightly heavier than the regular idlis as the batter is not fermented. They are very nutritive because of the combination of 3 dals and vegetables like methi, green peas and carrots. These are great for an early pregnancy boost and being an excellent source of iron, fibre, folic acid and vitamin c, they will ensure that you and your baby get plenty of goodness. You can even make sumptuous pancakes with the same batter instead of steaming them into idlis.
 by Tarla Dalal
An unusual combination of veggies makes this simple vegetable stir-fry seem quite exotic! Broccoli, carrot and paneer are a pretty sight to behold, with their contrasting colours, and quite exciting to munch on because of the varied textures they bring to the table. Broccoli is a very good source of folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre, while paneer contributes calcium and protein to this dish. This ginger-garlic flavoured Broccoli, Carrot and Paneer Subzi is a wonderful match for hot phulkas .
A creative way to include nutritious veggies into your diet, the Broccoli, Spinach and Zucchini Stir-Fry is a treat for your taste buds, with a burst of colours and herby flavours. The combination of vegetables like broccoli, spinach and zucchini with other crunchy delights like cabbage and capsicum tremendously increases the vitamin A and folic acid content of this recipe, while also offering a range of textures to relish.
Watermelon apple drink, cool off on hot afternoons with this refreshing, icy and nutritious drink. Iron rich watermelon and fibre rich apple help maintain good bowel function. Those keen to lose weight will relish this healthy, fruity option to sugar laden high-calorie drinks. Easily made, quickly consumed!
 by Tarla Dalal
Indian style celery soup recipe | cream of celery soup | healthy celery soup | with 15 amazing images. Indian style celery soup recipe or ajmoda soup is a healthy celery soup. Made with just 4 ingredients, celery, milk, onions, butter, this cream of celery soup is easy and quick to make. Here is a Indian style celery soup that can perk you up even on a gloomy day. It is both flavourful and soothing, which works wonders to cheer up the soul. This healthy celery soup has neither corn flour nor cream, but is amazingly tasty. Wholesome milk gives the soup a balanced and rich flavour, which also providing you with calcium and protein. Celery, on the other hand, gives you loads of calcium and vitamin A , which spells more goodness for pregnant women. A dash of pepper is all that’s needed to make the Indian style celery soup a very tasteful experience! Notes on Indian style celery soup. 1. Ensure to use good quality, light-colored, crisp celery that’s very fresh and full of flavor. We are just using the stalk and not leaves for the cream of celery soup. Chopping the celery finely will prevent fibrous texture. 2. Add 1½ cups of water. The liquid should be just enough to cover the veggies. Instead of water, you can make use of vegetable broth if available. 3. If blending warm soup, fill mixer jar halfway, cover tightly with a lid and kitchen towel, hold it firmly and then blend from low to high mode to prevent a blender “explosion”. 4. Add the milk. Traditionally, it is made with butter and heavy cream but we are using milk for that creamy texture. If you are vegan, make use of cashew cream, almond or soy milk. You can add more or less milk to attain consistency of your desire but, generally, cream soups are thick. Learn to make Indian style celery soup recipe | cream of celery soup | healthy celery soup | with step by step photos.
 by Tarla Dalal
The taste and nutrient value of jowar is seldom remembered, but after you try this recipe, it will stay in your memory forever! A perfect combination of jowar and methi, along with flavourful onions, coriander and green chillies, makes this sumptuous Jowar Methi Roti a tasteful way to boost your haemoglobin levels.
 by Tarla Dalal
You would have tasted sheeras made out of various flours or semolina. Here is a unique sheera made with walnuts! It has a fantastic texture and interesting flavour that is worth savouring. Just place a spoonful of the Walnut Sheera on your palate and keep it there for a few seconds to enjoy the special taste. However, take care not to have more than 1 to 2 tbsp a day, as this is quite a rich treat despite the low amounts of ghee and sugar used in the recipe. Even this quantity is enough to do wonders for you, as walnuts are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which help in the overall development of the baby, especially in the early months of pregnancy. It also abounds in the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps the body to get rid of harmful free radicals. If you are looking out for more nutritious calcium and protein rich recipes for pregnancy check these out Multiflour Idli , Chick Pea Tikkis , Stuffed Paneer Green Pea Paratha and Palak, Methi and Corn Subzi .
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Nutritional Requirements during Pregnancy
 on 23 Jan 18 02:52 PM

Expecting little angel in few months...Article is well professionally written. Tried Broccoli Spinach and Zucchini Stir- Fry, Walnut Sheera, Dal and Vegetable Idli, liked them very much.