If you are in the third trimester right now, we understand your joy and excitement to see the face of your new baby! Your bump would be more significant, and you also would be needing good energy to maintain yourself healthy. But do you know what to include best as third trimester diet during this final phase?
Most women ignore the importance of catering to the requirements of the body when pregnant. Rich nutrient food, loaded with healthy vitamins, fibres and proteins are necessary to maintain the overall health of both expectant mother and baby. Notably, at this trimester, the body requires abundant energy-rich foods given the requirement from the baby as well. Today, we tell you the importance of having the right diet and foods to take at this point.
Nutrient Requirements in 3rd Trimester Diet:
Here are the most basic and required nutrients which should be included must as part of your diet plan.
- Plenty of fruits.
- Fresh vegetables.
- Carbohydrate-rich foods like Rice, Wheat, Potatoes.
- High protein diet like Lentils, millets, beans, legumes, 26g a day recommended for fetal growth.
- Omega Acids in Fish, Seafood, nuts, and seeds.
- Healthy Fat from ghee, olive oil, avocado.
- Iron-rich foods for proportionate fetal growth, in weight and height. 27mg everyday recommended.
See More: Best Pregnancy Diet Plan
This trimester especially requires more than 300 calories than usual intake. Do not worry if you watch your weight increase. The weight gain at this phase is due to the uterus being accommodative to baby, growth of baby, and productive changes in the body which are making themselves ready for delivery.
Diet Chart for Third Trimester Pregnancy:
If you are in the final phase, you are almost there! The third trimester foods should be very carefully chosen so that they accommodate all healthy and vibrant nutrients, right for the mother and baby’s growth.
Remember, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is the key right now. These nutrient-rich diet chart should be supported, and foods which are filled with rich nutrients should be balanced in the intake.
Foods to Eat in the Third Trimester:
Given the diet chart, which is optimal to be followed by pregnant women at this trimester, here we give you some clues on the best foods and diet for the third trimester.
One that is always recommended by everyone, fruits are the best thing to eat. With its abundance of Vitamin C and fiber, this comes quite in handy as a quick snack. Slice fruit such as kiwis, strawberries, melon, and papaya are incredibly nutritious. They help in a strong immune system. Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron from food and maintains the immunity system in the body. It is crucial for the proper development and functioning of the placenta.
2. Ham and Salads:
Thin slices of lean ham provide an abundance of thiamine, and a salad consisting of tomatoes, radishes, sweetcorn and lettuce is filled with vitamins. The thiamine releases energy from the food to be used by the body. This combination is one of the healthiest combinations possible during pregnancy.
Take canned kidney or black-eyed beans to prepare a spicy chilli filled with thiamine, iron, and fibre. You can add fresh tomatoes and pepper to fill it with Vitamin C as well. They also prevent constipation in pregnant ladies.
Lentils can be added to dals, soups, stews, and salads to fulfil the thiamine and fibre needs of the body. The soups that are being bought must be low in salt and should be adequately heated before eating. You can even make dal or cooked lentils and add them up to your daily meals.
5. Seeds and Nuts:
If you don’t prefer eating seeds and nuts as your snacks, sunflower seeds, and nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts, which contain vast amounts of thiamine, are added to some bread, breakfast cereals and cereal bars. They also contain essential omega-3 fats and proteins. Raspberries and kiwi fruit can be added to them to fulfil the Vitamin C needs of the body.
6. Wholemeal Toast:
A recipe of thiamine-packed baked beans on the wholemeal or seeded toast is one of the healthy foods you should have during your third trimester. This helps get rid of constipation and keeps you energetic throughout the day.
Avocados are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. Slice the avocados and mix them with walnuts, mango or orange segments. This delicious recipe is as healthy as it’s tasty.
8. Yeast Extract:
Yeast extract is enriched with thiamine, apart from many other nutrients. Prepare a recipe by spreading a thin layer on toast and topping it with tomatoes or cottage cheese and having a good, healthy meal.
9. Lean Pork Chop:
Grill thin pork chop for a meal filled with iron and thiamine. A side-salad of watercress will provide the necessary Vitamin K and Vitamin C. You can also have a glass of fresh unsweetened orange juice, for some extra Vitamin C.
10. Brussels Sprouts:
This is one of the vegetables that is highly enriched in both Vitamin C and Vitamin K (7). Steam or microwave until just cooked as a side dish, or slice and use in stir-fries with spring onions, ginger and garlic. Don’t overcook them. Otherwise, the nutrients get destroyed. Steam or microwave food items to retain the water in them!
See More: Food Cravings During Pregnancy
11. Bacon Sandwich:
Homemade lean bacon and tomato sandwich can never beat anything when it comes to tasty and healthy food. Prepare by grilling two rashers of bacon and make a sandwich by using fresh tomatoes. Replete with Vitamin C and thiamine; this will provide all the energy that you need in the final days of pregnancy.
The brain of the baby develops rapidly during the third trimester, and you should eat foods that aid in the development. You should eat foods rich in omega-three fatty acids and what can be better than salmon! Salmon is filled with docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, a fatty acid that stimulates the formation and development of your unborn kid’s nervous system. Seasoning fresh salmon can be tasty, by using in the recipe with various herbs and spices. Now grill or broil the fish for a delicious and nutritious meal by eating it alongside a green salad. Walnuts, flaxseed and trout, are replete with DHA as well.
Eggs are filled with choline, a nutrient that is essential for the cells to function properly and is extremely crucial to the development of the baby in the third trimester. Choline is often depleted during pregnancy but is critical for memory development that lasts throughout your baby’s life. If the intake of choline is inadequate, it might increase your baby’s risk of renal, pancreatic and growth disorders as well. Include a hard-boiled egg as part of your snack or have scrambled eggs as part of a healthy breakfast to provide your baby with all the choline it requires for its proper development.
14. Protein-Rich Foods:
Proteins are essential to the growth and development of tissues and muscles, and your baby also requires a lot of it for its proper development in the third trimester. Most of the foods containing protein also have adequate amounts of iron and zinc. Iron is exceptionally useful in preventing premature delivery and low birth weight, and zinc helps in the production of insulin and various enzymes. Lean beef and pork, white meat poultry, fish and beans are nutritious sources of protein, iron and zinc. Add beans to stew, pasta or tossed green salads to increase your intake of protein, iron and zinc. Make sure you do not miss out on these protein rich foods during third trimester phase.
15. Milk Products:
Drink plenty of milk and eat low-fat cheese for all your calcium needs, which helps in the formation of your baby’s bones and teeth. These dairy products are replete with B-complex vitamins as well, which are essential to maintain baby’s skin, nerves, eyesight and the digestive system.
16. Folic Acid Foods:
Folic acid also helps immensely to the development of the fetus and further reduce defects. Foods such as bread, pasta, yeast, beans, chickpeas etc. are excellent sources of folic acid.
Foods to Avoid in the Third Trimester:
While you now know the healthy and necessary foods to maintain the health of the baby in the last phase of pregnancy, you must not skip on finding out the foods one must avoid at any cost too.
- Unpasteurized milk and products can harm do the fetus. They may have disease-causing microbes. These foods, in turn, may lead to miscarriage.
- Do not eat raw foods, including meat, fish or chicken.
- Processed and junk food, including the packet foods, must be avoided.
- Do not consume any caffeine products. They may increase the chances of miscarriage.
- Alcohol and cigarette smoking must be avoided too.
- High salted foods may lead to swollen feet, and hence better to be avoided.
See More: Is it safe to Diet During Pregnancy
Diet Plan Options for the Third Trimester:
While one can mix and match the possibilities of having nutrient-rich food at any time of the day, here is one such example. This healthy diet chart for the third trimester can be altered to suit your requirements for third trimester pregnancy.
While this diet plan is only indicative, one can alter and choose similar variants for the day. Make sure to balance and fill up the daily meal with a range of nutrients.
Supplements During the Third Trimester:
Taking prenatal supplements is quite common among women from several countries. These are prescribed by professional doctors to add up with extra amounts of healthy vitamins and minerals to the body. They help immensely in fetal growth and are vital for supporting the baby’s critical functions.
The range and intake amount of supplements may quite range different from women to women, depending on their body type, health status, and more. However, the common supplements which are prescribed are as follows.
- Prenatal vitamins, to avoid the risk of high blood pressure.
- Folates to develop red blood cells and fetal development.
- Iron supplements to reduce chances of anaemia, which is commonly found among several pregnant women.
- Magnesium mineral additions to reduce chances of premature delivery, and muscle concerns.
Indian Diet Plan During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy:
Most Indian women crave for “Desi” stuff that is full of flavour, yet nutritious. The following Indian food last trimester diet chart, covering most of the popular dishes:
- Idly With Coconut Chutney and Sambar
- Poha With Peas and Carrots
- Stuffed Paranthas – With any vegetable, cheese or Paneer
- Vegetable Sevai With Sambar
- Moong Dal Cheela
- Mid-morning Snacks:
- Fruit Bowl
- Yoghurt with fruit
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dal Soup
- Peanut Chikki
- Rice Items – Plain Rice, Vegetable Rice or Pulao
- Moong Dal Khichdi
- Chapathis, Rotis
- Curries – Vegetable Gravy Or Chicken
- Sambar, Rasam
- Vegetable Salad
- Veg Cutlets
- Vada Pav
- Masala Dosa
- Paneer Sandwich
- Dahi Wada
- Tomato Shorba
- Steamed Fish or Chicken
- Pulao With RaitaTossed Salad
Diet Tips to Follow:
Among the suggestion for several of this third trimester meal plans, here are a few tips and ideas from us to follow at this phase of pregnancy.
- The best food to eat during 3rd trimester of pregnancy is to go natural and eat homemade products.
- Instead of overeating, as many people do, eat right. Have less at regular intervals.
- Snacks or in between meals are essential. Instead of choosing junk foods like biscuits, opt for fruits and nuts. You can have roasted almonds, dry fruits etc.
- Avoid seafood with high mercury levels such as swordfish, mackerel, and white snapper fish.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You to need to replenish water levels every time you visit a toilet.
- Along with a balanced diet, taking vitamin and calcium supplements is a must.
- Reduce salt, sugar and fatty foods.
Given the importance of having the right and proper nutritious third trimester diet, hope this guide helped you to know better on food intake and what to avoid. These are immensely helpful for overall fetal development and healthy delivery. So indulge in healthy food and stay fit! Do tell us your thoughts!
This guide of nutrient-rich foods to take in the third trimester is indicative and may vary from person to person. Depending on the body type, health status and complications involved, the quantities and foods may differ. It is suggested to consult your health care provider for personalized checkups and diet plans.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. Are food cravings usual during the third trimester? What to eat to balance cravings?
Ans: Generally, food cravings are more in the first and second trimester than in the third phase. Having healthy yet nutritious food can satisfy your cravings usually when you are at the final stage of pregnancy.
Q2. What are the best foods to increase baby weight in the third trimester?
Ans: You must make sure to take nutritious, loaded foods when you are pregnant, to help increase baby’s weight. They include eggs, broccoli, leafy vegetables, fish liver oil, lean meat, dairy products, and salmon.
Q3. Can foods also decrease fetal growth in the third trimester?
Ans: Generally, foods are lesser-known causes for reducing fetal growth. The most common concerns are due to high blood pressure, smoking or drugs. Consult your doctor for details as per your present health condition.
Q4. What is the best diet for gestational diabetes during the third trimester?
Ans: Healthy and balanced food can ease the concerns of gestational diabetes. Foods like lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, lentils, and low sugar foods can help here.