Pregnancy
October 20, 2020
• Updated on
26 Jul

5 Nutrient-Dense Foods To Eat When Pregnant In Your First Trimester

Your body is the first home of your baby. Nurturing and protecting a human life inside your womb is nothing sort of a miracle. And a healthy diet is one of the key factors that make this miracle possible.

A mother’s diet has to contain the right foods to eat when pregnant, first trimester: loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for baby’s optimum growth. The more nutrition you have on your plate, the better it is for the baby.

When it comes to food, the first trimester is quite challenging for most mothers-to-be. The morning sickness and nausea makes it difficult to eat well. At the same time, the first trimester is the time when your little one’s brain and spinal cord begin to develop.

First trimester foods are important because this is a crucial development stage for your baby. Even major organs such as the heart start developing in the early months. 

foods to eat when pregnant first trimester


So it is all the more important to pick healthy, nutritious foods that will help ensure the health of you and your baby. Focus on small meals but choose your foods wisely. Here is a detailed explanation of what a first trimester diet looks like along with tips on how to incorporate first trimester pregnancy food into your meals.

We suggest that you focus on foods that are rich in these 5 essential nutrients - the must-have for the first trimester of the pregnancy.

1. Folic Acid

This is one of the best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester and after. Folic acid required for foetal brain and spine development. When it comes to conception and early weeks of pregnancy, no nutrient more vital than Folic Acid.

It might surprise you, but a regular intake of Folic acid reduces the risk of neural-tube defects in the baby by 70 percent. A B vitamin, it is important in the production of blood and protein. It also supports the placenta.

Sources: Spinach, beetroot, broccoli and citrus foods.

foods to eat when pregnant first trimester


2. Calcium

For your and baby’s bone health, calcium is crucial.  The foetus leaches calcium from your body, so getting enough of this nutrient can protect your bones too. Besides bones, calcium is also important to build baby’s teeth and to grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles.

Most importantly, your baby needs calcium to maintain a normal heartbeat. Other body functions like hormone secretion, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting also depend on calcium intake, so it’s one of the essential foods to eat when pregnant first trimester. 

Sources: Milk, green leafy vegetables, oranges, nuts, figs, and apricots.


3. Iron

It is going to stay throughout your pregnancy. However, it is most crucial in the first trimester.  Iron is critical for oxygen transport, healthy growth and the development of the foetus and placenta.

Sadly, most women start their pregnancy iron deficient and once you are pregnant, the high demand for iron depletes a mother’s iron stores. As a result, it increases the risk of maternal anaemia.

Did you know? Iron deficiency is linked to poor immune system in mothers and increases the risk to preterm delivery and low birth weight - so this is definitely one of the foods to eat when pregnant first trimester. 

Sources: Pomegranate, spinach, cashews and pumpkin seeds.

first trimester diet


4. Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and a must-have in the list of foods to eat when pregnant first trimester. Protein is essential for foetal growth and development.

It affects the growth of foetal tissue, including the brain. For mommy-to-be also, it is required as it helps the breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy and plays a role in increasing blood supply. 

The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your baby’s body so it is important to get enough protein throughout the pregnancy. During pregnancy you need to have 55-60 grams of protein in a day.

Sources: Paneer, dahi, dal

indian diet chart for pregnant lady in first trimester


5. Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D is one of the crucial foods to eat when pregnant first trimester, but is often overlooked, especially with our sedentary lifestyles these days.

Did you know that Vitamin D supplementation is linked to reduced childhood wheezing and type1 diabetes in children? Yes, it is that important. 

Vitamin D helps with the development of strong bones and healthy immune function in the baby. It aids in the absorption of calcium to help build baby’s bones and teeth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, and preterm birth. 

Also, researchers at the University of Southern California have found that kids born to mothers with very low vitamin D levels during their first trimester had bigger waists than peers whose mothers had enough vitamin D in early pregnancy. These kids also had 2 percent more body fat.

Sources: Egg yolks or supplements


A pregnant woman’s nutritional needs are important and have some extra protein and calorie requirements. A basic health chart includes: 

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables in both cooked and raw form (raw foods to be consumed in moderation as part of foods to eat when pregnant first trimester)
  • Well-rounded meals with adequate amounts of starchy foods, but in wholegrain, skin-on form (whole wheat aata, potatoes with the skin on)
  • Moderate amounts of beans, pulses, fish, eggs, lean meat and other proteins
  • Moderate amounts of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Minimum consumption of packaged and processed foods, high-fat, high-sugar foods and refined foods.

 

These foods to eat when pregnant first trimester can be taken along with supplements based on your doctor’s advice. 

Pregnancy Programs At Nutrition By Lovneet

So if you are looking for an Indian diet chart for pregnant lady in first trimester, we have a range of options suited to your needs. 

indian diet chart for pregnant lady in first trimester


We understand what foods to eat when pregnant first trimester and beyond and we offer specialised pregnancy and postnatal nutrition programs, taking over all your nutrition needs during this journey.

We design the chart according to your specific health needs, and preferences, and hold your hand throughout, guiding you along the way.

FAQs

What should not be eaten during first trimester of pregnancy?

Avoid processed and packaged foods, refined sugars, alcohol. Foods to eat when pregnant first trimester should be whole foods that are high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. 

What should I eat to have a beautiful baby?

Foods to eat when pregnant first trimester for a healthy baby include foods rich in folic acid, iron, calcium, protein.

What fruit is good for early pregnancy?

Include citrus fruits in your list of foods to eat when pregnant first trimester, along with figs, apricots and pomegranates. 

Which food can cause miscarriage?

Studies suggest raw eggs, smoked fish, unpasteurized milk, animal liver can cause miscarriage. 

What vegetables should be avoided during pregnancy?

Raw or uncooked beans and sprouts should be avoided, along with alfalfa and clover. Consult your doctor if something makes you feel unwell. 


Lovneet Batra
Founder
Lovneet Batra is a clinical nutritionist with over a decade of experience treating patients and educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet. One of Delhi’s most sought-after nutritionists...
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