A healthy, well-balanced diet has never been more important now that you're pregnant. Your baby depends on you to receive the nutrients she needs to grow. There are many delicious meals to eat while pregnant. The goal is to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, protein and plenty of water into your pregnancy diet.
Start your morning with a spinach, tomato and cheese omelet along with a glass of skim milk or calcium-fortified orange juice. Eggs provide protein, which helps your baby grow. Vegetables such as spinach contain key nutrients including vitamin A, iron and folate, which are all very important vitamins to support your pregnancy. Dairy products such as milk and cheese provide calcium, which helps build strong teeth and bones. Other breakfast ideas include yogurt with mandarin oranges, berry and pear breakfast parfait, creamy apple-raisin oatmeal and whole-wheat blueberry and walnut pancakes.
Forget fast food or boring paper-bag lunches. Treat yourself, and your baby, to a delicious homemade salad. Enjoy an herb chicken salad with grapes and toasted walnuts, or try a lettuce, spinach, citrus and avocado salad. Other delicious salads include a white bean and salmon salad; an orzo salad with salmon, herbs, and yogurt vinaigrette; or a fruit salad in orange shells. Fruit provides your baby with important vitamins and nutrients and helps make digestion and iron absorption easier for you. Wash your lunch down with water to better carry vitamins and minerals to your baby as well as to prevent constipation.
Make a plate of linguine with shrimp, asparagus, artichokes and red peppers, or salmon cakes with lemon aioli. If you're not in the mood to cook an elaborate meal, why not try lentil soup or grilled steaks with lemon-herb butter. If you're getting bored with the same old foods, expand your horizons. Try brown rice, sweet potatoes or winter squash. Fish is another source of protein plus it also contains omega-3, a fatty acid that promotes brain development for your baby. Avoid fish that may be high in mercury, such as shark or swordfish.
According to MayoClinic.com, there is no minimum requirement to the amount of salty and sweet treats to eat while pregnant, but use common sense. Eating snacks that are high in calories, sugar or fat may drastically increase your pregnancy weight gain as well as affect yours and your baby's health negatively. If you choose to eat a treat, pay attention to portion sizes and select snacks that are low fat and low sugar. To help a sweet tooth, make a limeade icy, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or a tropical smoothie. To ease salty cravings, make your own spicy sweet potato chips.