Eating Healthy: Recipes

Eating well is essential because intake of food must match the requirements of your and your baby’s body.

During this period a lady must eat for two. The first trimester and the last trimester of pregnancy are very important as most of the physical and mental growth of the baby takes place during this period.

Your pregnancy diet should be made keeping in mind the requirements of your and your baby’s body. The pregnancy diet should consist of a variety of foods selected from the five basic food groups. It should include fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grain products; meat or fish or other protein alternatives, milk and other dairy products etc.

Spicy food, sodas, canned, processed foods must be avoided and salt intake must be drastically reduced. Also, avoid tea, hot chocolate, coffee and any sugary eatables like cakes.

Try to have three meals in a day. You can even have six smaller meals if you suffer from disorders like nausea or acidity. Besides the natural diet, prenatal vitamins especially iron, calcium, folic acid are often prescribed routinely throughout the pregnancy by the doctor.

Some of the essential nutrients are,

  • Folic acid: Folic acid is the most vital nutrient for pregnant women as it helps in the development of the baby’s nervous system, particularly in the first few weeks. Folic acid is vitamin B which prevents baby from neural tube defects (the spine, brain, or their covering defects) and other birth defects like cleft lip and congenital heart disease. Folic acid is found in dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach, liver, yeast, beans, citrus fruits, fortified cereals and bread. These foods should be steamed or eaten raw as the content of folic acid is lost by cooking. Iron: Iron is needed to fuel haemoglobin production and deficiency of iron can lead to anaemia. Get your haemoglobin regularly checked by your gynaecologist. You can help prevent anaemia by eating more iron-rich foods like potatoes, raisins, dates, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole-grain breads and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Calcium: The baby’s bones and teeth start growing in the eighth week; hence intake of calcium needs to be doubled. Green leafy vegetables and dairy products are a good source of calcium. The recommended calcium requirement during pregnancy and breast feeding increases significantly by 800-1200 mg. Protein: Protein rich food must be consumed during pregnancy. Vitamin B6 must be included in the diet. Fish, meat, nuts, peas, beans and dairy foods such as milk and egg supply contain adequate amount of protein. Animal sources are high in fat, so limit your intake of these. Vitamin C: It helps in building strong placenta, which enables your body to fight infection along with the absorption of iron. Food loses vitamin C when stored and cooked long, so eat fresh cooked or steamed green vegetables or eat them raw. Foods rich in Vitamin C include papayas, strawberries, bell peppers, oranges, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, to name a few.
  • Water: Water consumption is extremely vital as water carries the nutrients from the food you eat to the baby. It also helps in preventing constipation, excessive swelling, and urinary tract or bladder infections. Most importantly, it prevents expecting mothers from dehydration, which can lead to contractions or premature delivery or early labour. Pregnant women should drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day. Fiber: Fiber prevents constipation and piles which are common during pregnancy. Fruits and vegetables, brown rice, nuts, cereals including oats, beans, peas & pulses etc. are good sources of fiber.


Every Gynaecologist recommends a pregnant lady to have a pregnancy diet rich in nutrients like proteins, calcium, etc. Below are a few such healthy recipes that are also very easy to make.

Soya Upma (Protein rich recipe)

Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

Nutritive Upma, is rich in vegetables. If you are using nuggets instead of granules, chop them into small pieces after boiling them. Vegetarian diets are deficient in Vitamin B12, but Soyabean and its by products are an excellent vegetarian source of B12. Soya granules not only provide protein but also provide calcium. Always add Lemon juice in the protein diet, it helps in absorption of iron from food.

3/4 cup Soya Granules
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (jeera)
1 tablespoon Urad Dal (split black lentils)
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
1 to 2 chopped Green Chillies
1 chopped Onion
1/2 cup grated Carrot
1/2 cup chopped Cabbage
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tablespoon Oil
Salt to taste


  • Soak the Soya Granules in hot water for approximately 15 minutes. Drain all the water from the Soya Granules and keep it aside.
  • Heat the Oil in a pan and add Cumin seeds to it. When they crackle, add Urad Dal and sauté till it turns light brown.
  • Add the Asafoetida, Ginger, Green Chillies and Onion.
  • Sauté the Onion pieces till it turns golden in colour. Then add Carrot and Cabbage and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the Soya Granules and mix well.
  • Add Salt and Lemon Juice according to taste.
  • Mix well and serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander.

Nutritive values per serving 

Amt Energy Protein Cho Fat Vit- A Vit – C Calcium Iron F.Acid Fibre
63 gm 107 kcal 5.5 gm 8.2 gm 5.8 gm 400.4 mcg 18.7 mg 55.5 mg 1.5 mg 18.9 mcg 0.8 gm


Stuffed Bajra Roti (Iron rich recipe)

Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Makes 8 rotis

Stuff the Bajra Rotis with a mixture of Paneer, Fenugreek and Tomatoes to enrich it with calcium, folic acid and iron.

Dough: One 1/2 cups Bajra flour (Black Millet flour), A pinch of Salt.
Stuffing: 1/2 cup crumbled Paneer (cottage cheese), 2 tablespoons chopped Fenugreek (Methi) leaves, 1 Green Chilly, finely chopped one large Tomato, Salt to taste.
Cooking: 2 tablespoons Butter for cooking


  • Make a dough of Bajra flour with Water. While kneading, mix all the Ingredients of stuffing. To make it a little softer you can also use milk for kneading.
  • Make rotis out of the dough.
  • Use little oil for cooking roti.

Nutritive values per serving

Amt Energy Protein Cho Fat Vit-A Vit-C Calcium Iron F.Acid Fibre


Aloo Poha (Iron rich recipe)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

This traditional dish is an excellent source of iron.

2 cups beaten flakes (poha, chivda)
½ cup potato, peeled and cubed
½ cup onions, chopped
½ tsp mustard (rai/ sarson) seeds
6 to 8 curry leaves (kadhi patta)
2 to 3 green chilli, slit
½ tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 tbsp coriander (dhania), chopped
4 lemon wedges
½ tsp turmeric (haldi) powder


  • Add the poha in a sieve and hold it under running water for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Drain out all the excess water and keep it aside. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. As the seeds crackle, add the green chillies and curry leaves. Stir for one minute.
  • Add the onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown. Then add the potato, haldi, salt and a little water. Cover and heat on medium flame till the potatoes are cooked. Add the poha, sugar and a little more salt and mix well. Garnish with the coriander and lemon wedges. Serve hot.

Note: In case the poha gets too dry, you can add a tbsp. of milk to make it moist. Mix well and serve immediately.


Nutritive values per serving

Amt Energy Protein Cho Fat Fibre Vit-C Sodium Potassium
100 gm 110 kcal 2.34 gm 0 mg 2.87 gm 0.9 gm 3.3 mg 201 mg 1117 mg


Aloo Paneer Chaat (Calcium rich recipe)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves 2

Potato -1, large boiled and cubed
Homemade paneer – cubed,same quantity as potato or can use more.
Frozen peas – a handful
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Pav bhaji masala-1 teaspoon
Chaat masala – 1/2 a teaspoon
Butter -1 teaspoon
Lemon juice – To taste
Salt – To taste
Coriander leaves – To garnish


  • Melt butter in a pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and splutter.
  • Put in potato, paneer and peas.
  • Saute for a minute.
  • Add the pav bhaji masala and salt and mix to coat.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool and bit.
  • Transfer to a serving plate.
  • Drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle Chaat masala.
  • Serve garnished with coriander leaves.


Nutritive values per serving

Amt Energy Protein Cho Fat Fibre Calcium Sodium Iron Folate Carb
1.16 mg 21.5 mcg 15.3 gm

Bengali Khichdi
Every pregnant lady wonders how to lose those extra kilos that she gained during her pregnancy. Don’t worry, we have a special recipe for you that is not only extremely delicious but would also help you watch your weight.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves  6

Masoor dal – 1 cup
Rice – 1 cup
Chana dal – 2 tbsp
Carrots – 50 g
Green peas – 50g
Cabbage – 50 g
Potatoes – 100 g
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
For tempering:
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dry red chilly – 1-2
Cinnamon stick – 1-2
Cloves – 3-4
Bay leaf – 1-2
Garam masala – 2 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves – To garnish


  • Soak all the dals and rice for 20 minutes, this will cook the khichdi faster and create the mushy form easily.
  • Finely chop all the veggies, and do not peel the potatoes, retaining skin adds the advantage of fibers along with the crunchy effect and taste.
  • Heat the ghee in pressure cooker, add cumin seeds when seeds crackle, add bay leaf, dry red chilly, cinnamon and cloves, stir them. then add salt, turmeric powder and garam masala
  • Add all the veggies and stir them for 2 minutes.
  • Now add dals and rice. Mix them and add 5 cups of water. The calculation is that water should be double of total of dals and rice, plus one cup for veggies.
  • Now pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles and then on low flame for 7-10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.


Nutritive values per serving

Amt Energy Protein Cho Fat Carb
43.5 gm

Bean Soup

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4

3/4 cup kashmiri rajma (kideny beans)
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
Salt – to taste

For Serving
Finely chopped tomato
Sliced spring onions
Chopped coriander (dhania)
Tabasco sauce


  • Soak the beans overnight. Drain thoroughly.
  • Heat the oil, add the onions and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chilli powder and salt and sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Add the beans and 3 cups of water and pressure cook till they are soft. Blend in a blender.
  • Do not strain. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Serve hot topped with tomatoes, onions, coriander and tabasco sauce.

Useful tip: If using red rajma (kidney beans), then add 6 cups of water instead of 3 cups at step no. 3.


Nutritive values per serving

mt Energy Protein Cho Fat Fibre Calcium Vit C Iron Fat
2 mg 4.3 gm