We know that calcium is a key element to incorporate into our food during pregnancy. But simply consuming milk on a daily basis is not sufficient and at times our palate is tired of the same flavour. So here are some ways to include other dairy products that can add to your calcium intake.
- Curd / Yoghurt – Curd is a very good option to include into your meals. It gives you the calcium that is needed additionally and is versatile when it comes to flavours. So if you like plain curd that is great. But if not, then add a pinch of salt and black pepper or sugar to it to take the taste up a notch. You can add grated cucumber or carrot to it too and take it with your meal. While there are many who like the fruity flavours of yoghurts, it is better to avoid processed food and store-bought yoghurt is one of them. So even if you do crave to eat it, do make sure to check for additives/preservatives information and see if it is suitable for pregnant women and even then keep the intake to a minimum.
- Buttermilk and Lassi – Buttermilk ( plain or even spiced ) and lassi ( sweet or salty) are great inclusions to your dairy rich diet. You can have these on days when curd does not excite your taste buds ! My suggestion however would be to keep the salt and sugar in either case on the lower end.
- Paneer ( Cottage Cheese) – This is a great form of consuming calcium too. You can have it as is after lighting sautéing it in some seasoning of your choice or in the form of some dishes. However, do ensure that you are not using only this as a form of additional calcium intake since paneer can add on extra calories which you might not need.
Finally, if you do have lactose allergy or dairy-allergy, you will need to work on including alternatives that you like and that suit you. Soya milk, nut-based milks like cashew or almond and coconut milk are some alternatives. However, you need to be aware of what quantity to consume these in as some of them are extremely high on fat.
Sesame seeds and nuts are also a great source of calcium and can work as an alternative to dairy if you want to add them to your snack times.