It’s essential for your own health as well as the health of your baby to eat nutritious meals during your pregnancy. For your sanity it’s best to have a few go-to easy, healthy meals. While the additional calories you need during a healthy pregnancy are reasonable during the second and third trimesters, it’s important to make those additional calories count. As much as you’d love a Five Guys burger or a triple chocolate sundae with a pickle, neither of these cravings offers any important nutrients to your healthy diet while pregnant. They will however add more pounds to your hips. Want to know a few secrets for easy, healthy meals? Here you go:
- Invest in a quality smoothie maker. Blend Greek yogurt and kefir with leafy greens, bananas, berries, and nuts. Chia seeds are a wonderful addition as well. The wonderful thing about smoothies is you can enjoy a different one every morning; they are never boring.
- Skip box cereal and make steel-cut oatmeal. Packed with fiber and other good stuff, it can even cook in a crockpot overnight on low. Make it delicious in the morning with fresh fruit, flaxseed, and maple syrup. You can also freeze single portions to defrost later in the microwave.
- Wraps are a wonderful way to eat salad without thinking you’re actually eating salad. Include avocadoes, nuts, and seeds as well as a variety of greens. Varying the ingredients to include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is a must. And don’t forget to vary the wrap flavors to keep it interesting. Your local grocery store should offer a variety such as spinach, sun-dried tomato, and Tuscan herb.
- Soups! Soups and stews are a wonderful way to sneak extra servings of vegetables into your diet without having to really acknowledge them. A delicious root veggie bisque or summer garden noodle soup can be tasty as well as filling. Considering adding whole wheat noodles for additional nutrition. Best of all? You can make a big batch and freeze the remainder to enjoy quickly at a later date.
- Although you should be aware of fish high in mercury, eating the recommended weekly allowance is a good idea; cold water fish are excellent sources of DHA. Pair the fish with a trio of steamed veggies topped with a tropical fruit salsa and a side of seasoned quinoa.
- Vegetarian Chili. Skip the meat and create a delicious three or four bean chili packed with vegetables including potatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, and cauliflower. Top with cheese for calcium and avocados for healthy fats. A great chili is delicious with eggs the next morning!
- Skip the pre-packaged stuff and go for the all-natural stuff instead. Consider a triple berry parfait layered with Greek vanilla yogurt, granola, and toasted almonds instead.
- Fire up your oven and bake apples or pears. Core the apples and fill with berries, maple syrup and a tad of brown sugar. Halve the pears, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and bake until soft. Enjoy!
Healthy pregnancy eating doesn’t have to be difficult; it does have to be conscious. When shopping, try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store—that’s where most of your healthy choices can be found.