Protein is the most important food category that every pregnant women must focus on, given that proteins are the building blocks of your body’s cells as well as your baby’s. With all the changes that are taking place in your body to accommodate your growing baby, the adequate intake of proteins is indispensable.
Protein intake needs to be monitored even more closely in the second and third trimester since that is the time when the baby is growing at a rapid pace along with the brain development taking place. More importantly, the biggest danger of a lack of protein intake is low fetal weight.
The required protein intake for a pregnant women is around 70gms per day which may be difficult to meet with a standard vegetarian diet and hence one needs to be conscious while making food choices as well as preparing dishes so as to increase the protein content in everything that you eat.
Smart eating and cooking tips for a vegetarian diet
Protein packed breakfast
Pack your breakfast with proteins so that you are already on your way to achieving your daily target early in the morning. Replace carbs with proteins. Instead of an alu paratha, have a paratha stuffed with paneer, chesse or dal. Besan and moong dal chillas are excellent breakfast options. Replace butter on your toast with cheese spread. A glass on milk at breakfast time is a must. You can also add a few nuts to your breakfast.
5 small servings of protein
Ensure one serving of protein with every meal and mini meal. This could include a glass of buttermilk or a smoothie, a bowl of yogurt, a paneer dish, a sprout or a bean salad, nuts, a glass of milk with proteinex, a couple of threptin biscuits or a slice of cheese. This will help reach your protein target with ease.
Add soya to your regular meals
- Chapatti atta
- Cutlets or patties
- Stuffed Parathas
- Thick north Indian gravies
- Rice preparations
Proteinfy your soups and salad
Adding a bit of protein to everything that you eat will help you reach your protein goal rather easily.
- Add some yellow moong dal to your soup while cooking
- Add pieces of paneer or cheese.
- Add boiled moong, channa or rajma to your salad
- Dress your salad with some yogurt
- Add cubes of cheese or paneer to make it interesting
We tend to pack in too many carbs while snacking and hence to replace these with proteins is rather easy. Smart snacking options could be a handful of nuts, a slice of cheese, paneer dishes like a paneer tikka or stir fried paneer/tofu or a fruit smoothie.
Satiate your sweet craving with dried figs or dates. An occasional rasgulla or sandesh also contribute to your protein intake but get accompanied with a good amount of unnecessary sugar.