Meals for pregnant women can be difficult to come up with, but now more than ever, it's important that your body gets all the nutrients it needs. Discover some ideas here.
Pregnancy is a time of great change for both your body and your routine, especially when it comes to food. Ingredients or meals you used to love may either make you sick or are on the list of foods to avoid while pregnant. While you’re growing a new life, it’s important for your body to get the right nutrients.
Foods that are recommended in any pregnancy diet include:
- Dairy products contain protein and calcium, which helps build your baby’s bones.
- Legumes are a great source of folate and fiber.
- Leafy greens contain many vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy, and their fiber content can help with constipation.
- Berries are an easy way to increase nutrient and water consumption. They are also packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds.
- Whole grains are rich in B vitamins, plant compounds, magnesium, and fiber.
- Lean meats are important as protein is an essential part of any diet. Just be sure to get it from high-quality and organic sources.
- Water is integral in sustaining human life, and hydration is crucial during pregnancy, so ensure you’re getting enough water and electrolytes.
Foods that are commonly said to be avoided during pregnancy include high mercury fish, undercooked or raw fish/seafood/meats, raw eggs, processed meats, caffeine, unwashed produce, and unpasteurized milk or cheese.
First Trimester Meals for Pregnant Women
It’s important to ensure your body gets all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy, but during the first trimester, food might be the furthest thing from your mind. The first three months are difficult because nausea and heartburn are very common, which makes eating a less than enjoyable task.
Vitamins and nutrients that should be incorporated into your diet throughout your entire pregnancy but that are especially important during the first trimester include:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin C
Try some of these first-trimester meals for pregnant women that incorporate the above-mentioned vitamins and nutrients.
- Baked sweet potato with cottage cheese and sunflower seeds
- Lentil shepherd’s pie with a side serving of cooked spinach
- Scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel with homemade hummus
- Fajitas with fresh guacamole and salsa
- Customizable vegan Buddha bowls
If you’re really struggling with nausea, try drinking lemon and ginger tea to help calm your stomach, and try eating a banana – it should be bland enough to be palatable but also delivers some much-needed nutrients.
Second Trimester Meals for Pregnant Women
By the time the second trimester rolls around, planning meals for pregnant women becomes much easier. The nausea has typically subsided, energy levels are up, and the appetite is back. During these months, it’s important to up your intake of omega-3 fats, as these will help your baby’s brain development, and keep your calcium and vitamin D consumption high as well.
- Grilled salmon with sweet potato fries and baked corn
- Fruity overnight chia pudding
- Chicken and mushroom risotto with a side of steamed edamame beans
- Tuna salad sandwich with veggies and dip
- Cheesy potato scramble made by adding eggs and cheese to our vegan hash recipe
- Bean soups and stews like scafata or lobio
- Vegan chickpea salad
Third Trimester Meals for Pregnant Women
Many women jokingly argue that this is the longest trimester. During the final stages of pregnancy, it’s important to fuel your body for both you and the baby. You’ll need to focus on energy-boosting foods and foods that contain vitamin K. Find some inspiration with the following meal ideas:
- Quinoa pudding with seasonal fruit
- Chickpea curry with broccoli and rice
- Chop suey with crispy tofu or beef
- Spinach and feta pizza
- Oatmeal with sliced banana and homemade peanut butter
- Congri rice
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