Pregnancy is a time of joy coupled with excitement. It is a mother's job to do everything possible just so her baby is off to a healthy start in life. In planning for your weekly pregnancy menu, know what is good for you and your baby.
When it comes to the planning of nutritional needs for pregnant mothers, the authority is the Food Nutrition and Research Institute (FNRI) under the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines. FNRI provides guidelines through their “Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipino Pregnant Women” together with its equivalents of one serving portion of common foods: fats and oils; sugar and sweets; fish, shellfish, meat & poultry, dried beans & nuts; Milk and milk products; vegetables; fruits and rice, rice products, corn , root crops, bread and noodles.
View the full page of the Daily National Guide Pyramid for Filipino Pregnant Women . Image via Food Nutrition and Research Institute , DOST . Some rights reserved.
Taking extra care during the first three months of my pregnancy was important because this is the most crucial phase in a baby’s development when all the organs are forming. A good diet and proper nutrition are a must because baby’s nutritional status depends on these. The Daily Nutritional Guide Food Pyramid for Pregnant Women as shown in the diagram above is your weekly guide in preparing your menu. Choose a diverse range of foods from the food groups daily to include grain products, vegetables and fruits, milk products, and meat. Pregnant women need additional “300 kilo calories per day from the fourth month to the ninth month of pregnancy according to the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI), 2002.”
Now how do you plan your weekly menu? The FNRI provides a One Week Sample Menu which you can download here. The sample menu of easy to cook Filipino dishes provides the equivalents of one serving portion of common foods. Be innovative and prepare dishes that follow the same proportion found at the Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipino Pregnant Women.
Pregnant women should eat the following servings as recommended by the FNRI:
1. Two servings of fruits a day, one of which is vitamin C-rich fruit. Consider fruit for your snacks. One serving of fruit is equal to one medium-sized fruit or one slice of a big fruit.
2. Five to six servings a day of rice, rice products, corn, root crops, bread, noodles. Choose whole grains for extra fiber. One serving is equal to one cup of rice, or four slices of loaf bread, or two slices puto, or five pieces small pandesal, or one cup corn, or two cups noodles, and one cup cooked rootcrops.
3. Three to four servings a day of green leafy vegetables and other vegetables. One serving of vegetable is equal to 1/2 cup cooked.
4. Four to five servings a day of fish, shellfish, meat & poultry, dried beans & nuts, and eggs. Limit intake of your fatty meats, cholesterol-rich food, and saturated fats. One serving is equal to one piece medium size fish, or 1/3 cup shellfish, shelled, or 3 cm cube (one matchbox size) cooked pork/beef/chicken, or 1/3 cup cooked dried beans/nuts, or one slice cheese, or one piece chicken egg, or one piece tokwa.
5. One serving of milk and milk products a day such as one glass of milk. Choose non-fat and low-fat milk.
6. Six servings a day of sugar/sweets. Consume sweets in moderation. One serving of sugar is equal to one teaspoon honey, or one piece hard candy.
7. Seven servings a day of fats and oils. One serving of fat is equal to one teaspoon mayonnaise, or one teaspoon margarine/butter, or one teaspoon peanut butter.
Start on the right track. Pave the way for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a healthy future.