Diet During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important phase in a woman's life wherein she not only has to care for herself but also for the growing foetus inside her. A lot of growth, development and maintenance processes take place simultaneously during the course of the nine month pregnancy cycle. 


The pregnancy phase is divided into three trimesters with most dietary requirements changing with the beginning of the second trimester. The daily calorie requirement increases along with need to additional intake of certain vitamins and minerals. 


As a standard, an additional 300 kcals per day increase in calories is recommended during pregnancy. Additionally, a 30% increase in protein intake per day is what should be aimed for. Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Iron and Calcium are generally the micronutrients which need special attention during pregnancy. Based on individual cases we might look into recommending increased intake of other vitamins and minerals, if severe deficiency and/or malnutrition is detected.

Folic acid during pregnancy is to be given special attention as its deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anaemia, neural tube defects, maternal erythropoiesis.

Vitamin B6 can help with severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. 

Other micronutrients such as Vitamin D, A, C, K and Minerals like phosphorous, zinc, iodine and sodium require an individualised recommendation by a qualified health care professional. 


Pregnancy can also be lead by certain complications such as Toxaemia, Anaemia, Nausea, Vomiting, Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Constipation, Hypertension, Gestational Diabetes, PICA, etc. 


Exercise is generally not restricted during pregnancy unless there is certain underlying condition present which restricts the mother from doing regular exercise. A gynaecologist or similar qualified health professional should be consulted before starting / changing exercise routines during the course of pregnancy. 


Diet in Pregnancy 

Following is a sample diet plan, given as an example, for pregnant women (without any complications) based on North Indian cuisine. Keep gap of 2 - 4 hours between each meal. 



  • 1 medium size fruit 
  • 1 egg cooked with spinach
  • Whole wheat chapatti
  • 200 ml milk 


Mid Morning:

  • Handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Pomegranate juice



  • 1 cup cooked dal
  • Rice/Chapatti 
  • Vegetable curry
  • Curd


Early Evening:

  • Poha topped with veggies and roasted peanuts
  • Lemon Water or Lemon Tea



  • Chicken or Paneer cooked 
  • Seasonal vegetable 1 cup cooked
  • Whole wheat chapatti 



Additional food options:

  • Turmeric milk
  • Tomato palak soup 
  • Paneer parantha
  • Fruit milk shake with dry fruits
  • Dry fruit lassi


Clinical Dietitian Keshav || MSc Dietetics (DFSM), PGND, CNCC

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