At the onset of pregnancy, the entire family is so overjoyed that sometimes it gets out of hand. The mother and mother in law insist on a regular and heavy intake of ghee, almost a national malady. Then there are other instructions, depending on the region and area of the country. Eat curds; the baby will have better hair, eat coconut, or fish, for better brains, or even stronger eyes. Have fruit juices for a better skin. The only point to be noted here is that what you have eaten in your entire life will go up to make your baby healthy or unhealthy, not only the nine-month diet. This is the reason why it makes a lot of sense to ensure that girls are kept on a regular diet of milk and fruits, they need larger amounts of calcium and iron at the time of motherhood. Drinking milk the day a pregnancy is discovered is just not enough.
Another important thing is that any amount of extra health inducing foods will, at best, give the baby a generally good health. What is essentially needed is a carefully balanced diet, consisting of a fair amount of minerals, iron, vitamins and most importantly, proteins, to make a healthy, active baby.
This nutrition will best come from a well balanced diet of rice/bread/rotis, some vegetables, (a green leafy vegetable like spinach should be, as a rule, there on the plate) some meat / fish, dal and lots of fresh fruits and salads, whenever possible. The golden rule is that milk can and should be consumed in a large quantity, at least half a litre a day. Fat inducing foods like ghee or butter will not ensure a chubby baby, only an uncontrollably fat young mother. This is the main problem that young women face, ` I’ve lost my shape’, is a common refrain. The pregnancy is not to blame for it, food habits are. One should have much more of green vegetables and citrus fruits, to have an active child. Vitamin C is required to absorb the iron in the body, so along with at least 200 grams of palak, half a glass of citrus juice is essential. The idea is a good circulation of oxygen to the foetus.Another important precaution is that gas-inducing foods should be taken with proper anti-flatulents either during cooking (like ajwain or ginger), or after eating. Most pregnant women complain of two problems, gas and constipation, both of which can be best handled by proper food habits. Eat well and surely you will have a healthy baby!