You have successfully entered the last phase/trimester of your pregnancy, and the benefit of eating the best foods for third trimester meals should be common knowledge. Your baby’s body is formed at this point hence there’s an increased demand for nutrients.
Most pregnant moms start taking unhealthy portions of food for themselves and their babies while risking the chance of adding unneeded weight. To save you this stress and enlighten you on the best meals for the third trimester, this article will hold your hand while walking you through all you have to know about third-trimester nutrition.
Do You Need To Eat More In The Third Trimester?
There is a popular myth that encourages pregnant women to overeat in the third trimester of their pregnancy. This concept of, “eating for two – you and your baby” is flawed and has no basis. One thing it has succeeded in doing is making women eat more than they need.
Try to picture a one-year-old eating. The amount of food they consume is very little so your growing baby needs even smaller than that. Usually, the little you eat can compensate for this. You can not approach eating with the mindset of eating two of your current potions as your baby does not need that extra plate.
Sticking to your current portion or a little extra will do the trick. And since gastrointestinal troubles are quite common among pregnant women, it’s best to split your current portion in half and eat at intervals. For example, instead of eating big three square meals a day, you can stick to eating 6-8 times a day instead. This will help reduce the occurrence of bloating and other related troubles as it is a more healthy eating approach.
While you do not have to eat extra, you should not be eating too little or dieting during pregnancy. Your baby draws little from your body’s nutrients and so your body has to have enough before your baby can get all its needs met. If you eat too little or start dieting during pregnancy, your baby will be nutritionally starved and may suffer from nutrition-related deficiencies.
If you fear that you may add too much weight postpartum, focus on eating the number of foods that are just right for you. You can also reach out to a trusted midwife or birth doula to help you come up with light exercises that can help you stay fit even during your pregnancy.
Another thing to have in mind is your diet combination. Do not eat too much of one class of food while eating very little of others. Strive to eat balanced meals. For example, consuming too many foods that have high sugar content can lead to high blood pressure and even gestational diabetes.
Also Read: Best Yoghurt for Pregnancy
Foods To Avoid In 3rd Trimester
Pregnancy days can be overwhelming and getting a template of foods to avoid does not make it any better. There are many myths about the kind of foods pregnant women should avoid but many of them are untrue. In general, you do not have to avoid common dishes.
The little rules put in place are to protect your baby. Your baby gets nourished from what you consume and if it’s poisonous or contains harmful organisms, it could bring about a miscarriage or make your baby unwell.
But do not worry, the list of foods you need to avoid is quite small. Let’s start with the most common:
● Cigarette and Alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol must be avoided completely. They pose health risks for you and your baby.
● Coffee and Tea
You should not be taking more than one cup of coffee or tea per day as this will expose your body to an unneeded amount of caffeine.
● Uncooked or Fairly Cooked Fish and SeaFood
When fish or sea foods are not cooked or prepared properly, you are likely to experience food poisoning as you expose your body to harmful bacteria. This would affect your baby’s health.
● Foods With High Levels of Mercury
Consumption of foods with high levels of mercury contributes to the development of fatal kidney, liver, and cardiovascular conditions. The effects tend to be worse on the growing baby.
Look out for foods, usually processed with high mercury concentrations, and avoid them. Examples of foods to avoid include white snapper fish, swordfish, shark, and mackerel.
● Unpasteurized Milk and Dairy Products
Pasteurization aims to get rid of harmful organisms, mainly bacteria, and decontaminate the milk source before final preparation and consumption.
Consumption of milk and dairy products that are yet to be pasteurized may mean the introduction of harmful bacteria to you and your baby.
● Foods That Were Not Prepared or Preserved Properly
Foods like meat for example must be prepared properly before eating. Extended boiling helps in killing some harmful bacteria.
Also, foods that were not preserved properly should be avoided. It’s also better to go for fresh foods instead of processed ones.
● Fried and Spicy Foods
Spicy and fried foods are not necessarily harmful in themselves but they tend to aggravate heart burns and other issues that are common in pregnancy. You can reduce consumption to manage these issues.
Eating foods with salts tends to increase your blood pressure and may lead to other complications during delivery. Reduced or little to no consumption of salt in the last trimester would be a smart health move.
Also Read: Breakfast Idea for Pregnancy
Vegetarian Food For The Third Trimester
Becoming a vegetarian is a noble and wonderful choice. And, you don’t have to alter your vegan lifestyle because of your pregnancy. However, there are some changes or additions you will need to add to your diet plan.
Meat and fish are very common sources of iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D which your body needs at this point. To substitute for the absence of this, you can try adding the following to your meals:
● Apricots and other dried fruits
● Dark green vegetables
● Cereals and soya drinks with extra vitamin B12
● Cereals with extra vitamin D
Now, let us look into more details the best foods for third trimester pregnancy stage.
Best Foods For Third Trimester
The foods you eat in your third trimester are essential to your baby’s growth. Your meals should have little of everything your body needs.
It’s advisable to base your diet plans around; fruits and vegetables, proteins, fortified cereals, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, and low-fat milk and dairy products. These sources can provide you and your baby with the needed nourishment.
Whole grains like wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, bread, cereals, and oats provide the body with energy. In this trimester, doctors sometimes advise pregnant women to eat foods that will help them gain weight. The body is likely to need an estimated 450 calories per day.
Fats and Oils aid the growth of the placenta as well as the organs of your growing baby. However, you have to look out for health sources. Good sources of fats and oils include avocados, olives, and nuts.
Proteins are needed for growth as well as for blood formation for both you and your baby. As you approach your due date, your baby needs to have a rich supply of blood. Protein-rich food sources include meat, cottage cheese, beans, eggs, poultry, nuts, lentils, seafood, and peas.
Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for the formation and strengthening of bones and teeth. Sources of food rich in calcium and vitamin D are dairy products, egg yolks, broccoli, salmon, cheese, and kale.
Other vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and others also play vital roles in the healthy functioning of the body. Sources of food rich in vitamins include Green peppers, fish, dairy products, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, beef, poultry, bananas, eggs, and cereals.
Which Fruits Are Best In the 3rd Trimester?
The best fruits for your 3rd Trimester are nutritious fruits. The good thing is most of them are readily available. Fruits are an essential part of healthy, balanced diets. They are also great for managing the cravings that come with pregnancy.
Oranges help with hydration. They contain a good amount of folates which helps in preventing neural tube defects like brain and spinal cord defects. Its vitamin C component helps prevent cell damage and aids iron absorption.
Avocados beat other fruits when it comes to folate concentration, reason why it’s one of the best fruits to eat in your third trimester.
It also helps in relieving leg cramps and nausea, all thanks to its potassium and magnesium content. Choline is another nutrient avocado provides which helps prevent neural tube defects and memory impairment.
Mangoes are rich in vitamin A and they boost immunity. They also reduce the possibility of getting respiratory tract infections.
Berries are rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, carbohydrates, vitamin C, and folates.
Apples are rich in fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and pectin. Pectin is good for gut bacteria.
How Often Should You Eat In Your Third Trimester
There is no fixed timeframe for eating. The best guide will be to listen to your body and try to understand what it needs.
However, it’s recommendable to eat smaller food sizes six times a day instead of three. Meaning, you can split your regular meals into two and eat at intervals. This has helped many pregnant women in managing gastrointestinal problems like bloating.
Most importantly, it’s not just about frequency but the nourishment you get. Strive to eat healthy, balanced diets and reduce junk and processed foods.
Conclusion On Best Foods for Third Trimester
It’s normal to be a little anxious about you and your baby’s nourishment. However, the foods your body needs are not so different from the ones you eat outside of pregnancy. You may just have to avoid the not-very-healthy ones like junk and processed foods. So long as you stick to eating balanced diets, your baby will be fine.