Baby on the way and so much to do! Simplify and have healthy meals ready in a pinch. When you are pregnant, optimizing the nutritional value from each meal will ensure that you and your baby receive the necessary nutrition you need. Healthy meals are often the easiest. The below meals all provide an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Chicken, Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Tossed Salad, Raspberries
Black Bean Quesadilla, Avocado, Salsa, Lettuce & Tomato, Mango
Salmon, Red Mashed Potatoes (with skins for added fiber!), French Cut Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Cantaloupe
Tofu Stir Fry with Wild Rice, Vegetables of Your Choice, Fresh Pineapple
Bowl of Lentil Soup, Spinach Salad with Sunflower Seeds, Wheat Roll, Strawberries
Turkey Breast, Winter Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Tossed Salad, Raspberries
Two Egg Veggie Omelet, Barley Salad with Walnuts, Tomato Slices, Fresh Peach
A few things to keep in mind:
Calcium Counts! Pair an 8 oz glass of milk or yogurt with your meals if you are so inclined to get your calcium. If not, have between meals and snacks. If dairy is a no for you, choose non-dairy sources of calcium such as tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, leafy greens, fortified cereals and almonds.
Drink more water! Fluid needs increase with pregnancy and, simply put, water is your best choice. Filling up on sugar-sweetened beverages or excess juice can take away from the quality of nutrition you receive from whole foods. If you must have juice, keep it to no more than 8 oz in a day. Better yet, skip the juice, drink more water and have at least 2-3 whole fruit servings in a day. Added fiber can improve blood glucose values, help you feel fuller and pull “bad” cholesterol from the body.
Food safety. When a woman is pregnant she is more susceptible to food-borne illnesses. It is important to employ safe food handling practices such as heating your foods to the appropriate temperature, keep “cold foods cold”, cleaning produce thoroughly, and handwashing before eating.
Avoid filling up on “empty calories” during your pregnancy. Consuming high-calorie, high-sugar processed foods and beverages provides you excess calories minus the nutrition which can result in added weight gain beyond what is needed for your pregnancy. When you are on the run, choose healthy, convenient foods such as hard-boiled eggs, vegetable sticks with hummus, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and nuts or seeds.