Congratulations!!! Children are truly a miracle, and while your body is always amazing, it is especially spectacular over the next 40 weeks. You are creating a human being so nutrition is key! Along with pre-natal care and vitamins these power foods can fuel you and your baby’s body to ensure you are both getting the nutrients you need to flourish. So rest when you can, take care of your body and stock up on these delicious super foods!
Oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates that will give you energy and keep your hunger at bay. The oat bran in oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and has plenty of fiber to help you avoid constipation that can occur during pregnancy. This simple Banana Baked Berry Oatmeal recipe has tons of vitamins and antioxidants from the fruit and fiber to keep you fueled and regular. This meal keeps in the fridge, so you will have healthy breakfasts ready to go all week!
Dark Leafy Greens
Simple and delicious leafy greens like spinach, kale, and cabbage are filled with vitamin-E, magnesium, and beta –carotene, which encourage skin, bone, eye, and cell growth. Our favorite way to incorporate greens is in this delicious Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe with chicken, pecans, and creamy Greek yogurt poppy seed dressing is filled with nutrition and super tasty.
Avocados are “nutritional superstars” filled with calcium, potassium and B6 that encourage brain and tissue development in your baby and also tend be easy on a queasy tummy. Avocado is high in healthy fats, so just a small amount of creamy Guacamole with whole grain chips or fresh veggies will give you tons of protein, nutrients and monounsaturated fats like oleic acid which is great for you and your baby’s heart health!
Beans and Lentils
Rich in folate, iron, and protein! Beans and lentils are a fabulous source of vegetarian protein and extremely versatile. Also a great source of folic acid which doctors suggest you start taking before you even become pregnant to decrease your babies risk of birth defects. This healthy Southwest Pasta Salad recipe is loaded with everything your baby needs for a power packed meal, plus it is meatless so if you aren’t, “feeling meat” no worries this yummy recipe gives you tons of protein.
Nuts and Nut Butters
If you have any nut allergies, you can clearly skip this one, but if not, nuts and nut butters are loaded with protein, healthy fats, fiber and phytochemicals which help reduce to your risk of heart, disease, high blood pressure, and even diseases like cancer. Some recent studies have actually found that mothers eating tree nuts on a regular basis are less likely to have children with nut allergies. PLUS Homemade Nut Butter is delicious! You can buy nut butters at your local grocery or make your own with this easy recipe.
Banana have loads of potassium that gives you energy and helps fight fatigue. Bananas are gentle on your stomach and easy to digest if you’re having nausea. This Layered Banana Split Smoothie tastes like a creamy milk shake and has everything you need for a healthy breakfast or snack.
Eggs are a quick and easy source of protein. If you are having aversions to meat, a meal or snack with eggs is filled with amino acids your body needs. This Omelette In A Mug recipe is a healthy way to start your day and sneak in those extra veggies you and your baby need.
Your baby needs calcium for growing bones and doctors suggest around 1200 mg per day for expecting mothers. Yogurt is a great source of calcium as well as vitamin D. Plus the active cultures and probiotics in yogurt keep your stomach and digestive track healthy while warding off yeast infections which are much more common during pregnancy. This creamy Chia Seed Pudding makes a tasty dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant and nursing mothers to eat 2-3 servings of low-mercury fish per week. The Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to fetal brain and nervous system development. Omega 3’s are also linked to reducing the risk of postpartum depression in women.
Unfortunately, eating fish high in mercury can cause serious damage to your baby’s brain so be leery of the fish on our NO list. If you are wondering if fresh fish from your local lake like walleye is a safer bet contact your local health department or Environmental Protection Agency to determine which fish are safe to eat in your area.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are nature’s candy and brimming with vitamins! Pregnant women need 85 mg of vitamin C daily to help make collagen, bone and tissue. Try these delicious and Smoothie Popsicle recipes that are full of real fresh fruit loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and amazing flavor!
Red meat includes beef, pork and lamb. We suggest leaner cuts of these, and of course make sure they are thoroughly cooked. Red meat has contains zinc, protein and iron, thus in moderation, this source of protein can be a great choice for expecting mothers. This Stuffed Flank Steak recipe stuffed with spinach, bell pepper, and Parmesan cheese is loaded niacin, zinc, protein and every vitamin under the rainbow.
Portable and packed with nutrition, Dried Apricots have tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber. These little gems are easy to keep in your bag or the car so if you feel nauseous or need a quick snack between meals you are ready to go!