Growing a baby takes a lot out of you! It’s no secret that it is tiring work. That’s why it is very important to keep your body hydrated and fueled with the right food. These things, combined with plenty of rest, will help keep you energized and feeling ready to face the day, no matter how busy things get.
To avoid that feeling of hunger and the irritability which often comes with that, keep these pregnancy meals nearby to eat and snack on. Not only will you be eating healthy, real food, but you can make simple meal plans for the whole week without stretching your budget.
A healthy pregnancy means eating a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch, and a healthy dinner. Some of the items on our list fill in the blanks between meals, too!
You can prepare amazing meals and comfort foods with simple ingredients, such as chicken thighs (for chicken tenders), whole wheat pitas, black beans, olive oil, coconut milk, and so much more. Consider buying a slow cooker, such as an Instant Pot, to help prepare your food. Here are 6 easy-to-prepare foods for pregnant women:
Snacks are your friend when you are pregnant. It’s important to snack throughout the day in order to keep your energy levels up, and to curb morning sickness. Nuts are a small but mighty option for this.
They’re not only healthy, but they’re convenient to take along with you everywhere you go. Nuts are a good source of protein and fiber, which help keep you feel full longer. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. Almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts are great choices.
Oatmeal is a quick breakfast option that is full of health benefits. Oats are full of zinc, B vitamins, and iron, which help keep you energized.
Oatmeal also has lots of fiber, which helps with energy. That means it will stick with you throughout the morning, helping ward off those hunger pains.
3. Lean Meat
Don’t have time to fix a full meal when you’re on the run? That’s OK. Meat can be prepped ahead of time for a quick snack or meal.
Lean meats are one of the best foods to eat while pregnant. They’re rich in protein and high in iron, both of which are important for you and your baby’s health.
Try cuts such as lean beef sirloin or ground beef that has less than 15% fat. Chicken or turkey can be wonderful options, too. Add it to a soup, on top of a salad, or to your favorite noodle dish.
If you know you have a busy day ahead, prep the meat or the whole meal ahead of time and pack it as leftovers for later. Easy!
Getting enough calcium during pregnancy is important. It’s not only important for your baby to have the right amount of calcium for growing bones, but it will also help with your muscle, bone, and nerve functions. Yogurt is one of the best options for this. It is rich in active cultures, which assists in overall gut health.
Try plain yogurt (added sugars can be harmful if eaten in excess), then top it with a drizzle of honey, crunchy granola, or fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas.
5. Fruits and Vegetables
Everyone knows how important fresh fruits and vegetables are to your health. But this is especially true while you’re pregnant. Grab a baggie and load up some of these veggies and fruits:
- Carrots: rich in carotene, which is important for eye health, both for the baby and for you
- Edamame: full of protein, calcium, folate, and iron
- Kale: high in vitamins A, E, K, as well as fiber
- Red bell peppers and mangoes: rich in vitamins A and C
And last but not least, be sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water carries precious nutrients to the cells in your body.
If you don’t drink enough water, you will have trouble staying hydrated and will likely feel greater amounts of fatigue. Water helps replenish your fluid supply, and it can even help reduce your chance of developing urinary tract infections.
In addition to the easy-to-prepare foods for pregnant women listed above, also make sure to take your prenatal vitamins and minerals. And try to eat other foods, such as sweet potatoes, dried fruits (again, watch out for excess or added sugars), leafy greens, brown rice, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats.
Pregnant women should also be sure to get enough folic acid (to help prevent neural tube defects) and the correct milligrams of iron. Always consult with your doctor about the proper diet for you and your baby. Your doctor can help keep you on track, so you don’t have blood sugar spikes and crashes, morning sickness, and unnecessary weight gain.
Healthy foods can also be tasty, and they will help build up your and your baby’s immune system. Taking care of yourself and the baby you are growing is important. Making time to eat and hydrate well will make a big difference in how you feel.
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.