#AskTheExpert – Ms. Neetu Goel – Transcript

For our QnA session, we welcomed Ms. Neetu Goel. She’s a nutritionist and dietician profession and she is also trained on how to identify and treat spinal injuries. We took the questions by our users and got them answered by Ms. Goel. The session was an informative one as Ms. Goel shared her experience with us on mom and baby nutrition. Check out the questions and answers for more on nutrition during and after pregnancy and baby nutrition.


Q. Is it possible to get all the nutrition that is needed during pregnancy through home food  ?-Deepali

Yes, home cooked food is advisable in pregnancy as it is made from the best available ingredients which are fresh and are according to your taste but supplements like calcium and folic acid are always advisable to take from outside. So if all the nutrients are available in the diet we can say home cooked food is appropriate. 

Q. How does nutrition change from pregnancy to post-birth?-Sneha

From pregnancy to post-birth, nutrition changes to a great extent because lactation is a stage where the energy requirement is at the highest level because a lactating mother needs calories to support her daily needs. To support mechanism of milk production and to provide enough vitamins and minerals, 600 kilocalories must be added to a lactating mother’s diet in the form of fennel seeds, gond ladoos, almond milk and other dairy products. Garden cress seeds are always advisable at this stage.

Q. How nutritious is cow milk for toddlers?-Sunita

Cow milk is generally advised after one year of age; before 1 year, cow milk is not advisable – it causes certain digestive issues as cow milk consists of more calcium and protein than mother’s milk. After 1 year it is highly advisable for toddlers but quantity has to be checked.

Q. What are some good fruits and vegetables I can feed my toddler to increase immunity?-Abha

Fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C can improve the immunity of your toddler. You can give citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables to increase your toddler’s immunity.

Q. How can I understand if my baby is getting adequate nutrition and what are some symptoms of inadequate nutrition?-Vinita

If your baby is excessively crying, he has dry skin, if he is sleeping excessively and shows irritable behavior then we can say that some of the nutrition part is missing in the baby’s diet.

Q. Will having too much of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy be harmful?-Anita

Yes, too much of anything is bad. Balance is the key so we should always keep a check on serving of fruits and vegetables like 5 to 6 servings of vegetables and 3 to 4 servings of fruits are enough for a pregnant lady.

Q. What are empty calories and should they be avoided and should I avoid them if I am trying to lose weight?-Meena

Yes, empty calories should be avoided – they’re sugar and its products and if you want to lose weight as early as possible then you should definitely avoid sugar and its products. It will make you lose weight faster and they don’t add any benefit to your health.

Q. Is sugar harmful for kids and what form of sugar is permissible for toddlers?-Swati

Toddlers like to have sweet or sugary food so we should always have a check on the quantity of sugar they are consuming. The permissible limit for toddlers to have sugar is below 25 grams and that too in raw or unprocessed form like honey, coconut sugar, dates, jaggery and we should avoid processed sugar or white sugar to avoid complications now or later.

Q. If I start an exercise regime post delivery should I change my diet too?-Seema

Definitely. If you change your diet with exercise that will help you to lose weight. You should add more of fiber and protein to your diet as it will keep you fuller for longer and you should also keep a check on your water intake as well and be stress-free which also helps to lose weight easily and faster.

Q. What are some good sources of protein besides meat that can be consumed during pregnancy?-Ritu

You can have eggs, quinoa, nuts and seeds, more of besan and sattu products to have more of protein in your diet. You can also have roasted chana, jowar and peanuts.

Q. I am losing a lot of hair post-pregnancy. Is there any food that can help improve hair quality?-Meenakshi

A lot of women face this problem of hair fall during pregnancy so you can supplement yourself zinc or Vitamin B or have more of pumpkin seeds and green leafy vegetables in your diet. This can help you reduce hair fall and improve the quality of your hair.

Q. I’m six months pregnant and my skin is always breaking out. So what food should I avoid to make my skin better?-Rani

This problem mainly occurs due to hormonal imbalance so you should avoid sugar completely and water intake should be increased during pregnancy. Apple cider vinegar and fresh fruits and vegetables should be added to your diet to improve the quality of your skin.

Q. Are juices a good way to stay hydrated for toddlers during summers ?-Shalu

Yes, definitely juices are good for toddlers to stay hydrated during summer but only the fresh juices as they are high in fiber which is very beneficial for them. Fruits contain more vitamins and minerals which are good for the growth of children but packaged juices must be avoided as they contain a high amount of sugar and preservatives which are very harmful for the toddlers.

Q. What are some good snacking option for pregnant women which won’t add to weight?-Rekha

They can have greek yogurt, carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus, sprouts, roasted chana, bhel, boiled eggs – these will not add to your weight and are good for your health as well.

Q. How soon can I start a diet post-birth? –Pushpa

If it’s not a C-section then you can start a diet 3 months from delivery but if it is a c-section then after 6 months.

Q.What are some foods that should be avoided to avoid indigestion during pregnancy?-Pooja

To avoid indigestion yu should avoid caffeine, spicy food, meat, fish and seafood.

Q. What is the best food that I can start with if I am planning to wean off baby ?-Suman

When you start weaning off your baby you can start with boiled vegetables like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and clear soup or daal soup – these are the best options for a baby to develop up a taste.

Q. What are some calcium rich food that should be added in pregnancy diet?-Komal

Calcium rich food can be ragi and its products, sesame seeds and milk and milk products – these can be added to a pregnant lady’s diet.

Q. How can I add fiber in my pregnancy diet to prevent constipation?-Navneet

Add 4 to 5 servings of vegetables and 3 to 4 servings of fruits to your diet. Oats and barley can also be added to the diet to prevent constipation during pregnancy.

Q. What are some best low-calorie snacks for PWS kids except fruits?-Kritika

PWS is very rare in India and these kids have to be given food very frequently at very short durations so some of the good options are greek yogurt, formula milk etc. Mothers have to identify their behavioral patterns and food has to be given according to their taste.

Q. My one-year-old daughter does not eat well and refuses to eat normal food. So how do I know that she is getting enough nutrition and how do I feed her better?

If she is active enough and playing well, she is fine but if she is not active and lethargic then you should consult a good pediatrician. You should also add variety to her food and eat along with her.

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