Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. I never longed to become pregnant or had a desire to go through the process but now that I am, I really can’t believe how incredible it is. I am truely getting first hand experience in one of God’s miraculous works and he’s even letting me participate in his beautiful creation. My role is simple – to provide the best nutrition possible to this little one growing inside me.
Nutrition is vital during pregnancy. Protein is especially important as your baby is forming. We should also pay close attention to our intake of calcium, Vitamin A, folic acid, fiber, vitamin C, and iron. As I enter my final month now, one thing I can say is that I’ve really enjoyed soaking in all the information about nutrition and eating well during pregnancy, so much so that I even created a pinterest board full of ideas for high protein recipes during pregnancy (It was quite the challenge for me to eat enough protein so I needed all the ideas I could get). I also wanted to share a full post of ideas for eating and snacking during pregnancy. I hope this post along with my little Pinterest board will be a resource for others entering into this magical stage of life as well.Please add your tips and recipe ideas for pregnancy in the comments of this post!
I’m not a huge egg eater at breakfast time so I had a big challenge trying to find protein-rich foods in the mornings but I did find them and ended up eating lots of yogurt, peanut butter and kefir (read this post to find out more about kefir).
Greek Yogurt and Muesli
Peanut Butter Oatmeal (1-2 TB peanut butter with prepared steel cut or old fashioned oats, topped with honey and peanuts)
Peanut Butter Toast and a Green Berry Smoothie (kale, coconut water, plain or flavored kefir, frozen berries and honey)
For lunch I tried to pack in the protein with tuna (protein) or beans (folic acid and protein) and lots of veggies (Vitamin A). Take note that you should only eat 1-2 cans of tuna per week during pregnancy.
Tuna salad or Tuna salad sandwich
Chicken Salad using kefir (pictured above)
I eat one or two snacks a day, many of which consist of nuts, yogurt, veggies, cheese, or fruit. This is the time in your life to enjoy that spoonful of peanut butter or a few extra slices of cheese.
Green Berry Smoothie (mentioned above)
Nuts, especially almonds
Apple wedges with peanut butter or cheddar cheese
Carrots and Hummus
Kale Artichoke Dip with Greek Yogurt (pictured above)
Avocado smeared on toast with some olive oil, salt and pepper
Sweet Treats and Desserts
For a sweet snack during the day, I like to make little energy bites and bars using almonds and dates and other natural flavorings. I’ve also created several dessert recipes that are great during pregnancy, many of them using nuts, yogurt and peanut butter.
Homemade Eggnog Using Kefir (for those pregnant over Christmas!)
Banana, Peanut Butter Ice Cream (pictured above)
For dinner I try and load up on more protein and veggies. For the amount of protein you need vs the calorie intake, you could really skip a lot of the carbs in your diet during pregnancy since they aren’t providing many of the essential nutrition you need, yet are adding to your calorie intake. Though I must say, I do love my carbs so I only cut down and didn’t eliminate them entirely.
Authentic Kung Pao Chicken (A Chinese stir fry with chicken, veggies and peanuts)
Peanut Sauce with Chicken and Veggies over soba noodles (I use this recipe for peanut sauce and add a little broth or water to the sauce)
Spaghetti with kale added into the marinara sauce
Specific Ingredients and their Nutrition
Red Peppers – vitamin C, vitamin A
Farro – protein and fiber
Kale – fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and iron
Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash- vitamin A
Greek Yogurt – super high in protein, even higher than an egg
Kefir – even more protein than Greek Yogurt
Beans – folic acid and protein
Tuna – protein, omega-3
Peanut Butter and peanuts – protein and folic acid
Almonds – protein, fiber, and folic acid
Dates – fiber, iron, vitamin A, and calcium
Eggs – protein
Avocado – protein, vitamin C, omega-3