Healthy Pregnancy Meals That Are Easy To Prepare For A Mom-To-Be

Healthy pregnancy meals

Coming up with a healthy pregnancy meal or healthy snack ideas can be difficult, especially if morning sickness is taking a toll on you. 

Sometimes nothing sounds good to eat, and the last thing on your mind is creating a meal full of healthy fats and vegetables full of vitamins and minerals.

You and your baby deserve the best foods and a healthy diet during pregnancy. But that doesn’t mean that it has to taste bland.

In this article, we’ll talk about introducing a balanced diet through fun and tasty, healthy pregnancy meals and share some healthy treat ideas for between meals when you’re feeling a little bit hungry.

The pregnancy diet

When pregnant, planning a healthy meal can be difficult because most of us aren’t nutritionists.

We may know that ice cream isn’t a great idea for healthy snacks, and we may know that to have a healthy pregnancy, you need to eat healthy fats, maintain healthy blood pressure, and do everything you can to avoid pregnancy complications.

But aside from those very general things, expectant women often feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start regarding healthy meals.

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A balancing act

A healthy pregnancy means maintaining a balancing act of sorts. You need extra calories because you’re growing an entire human in your body, but you also need to devise a pregnancy meal plan to give you all the essential nutrients you need for your baby’s growth and brain development to thrive.

Pregnant women eat more, generally speaking, than their non-pregnant counterparts, but that old wives’ tale about “eating for two” is nothing more than a myth. 

You must learn how to create a pregnancy meal plan to get all the extra calories you need each day and stick to healthy pregnancy meals that will do you and your baby the best.

Necessities for a healthy pregnancy

Not every meal you eat when you’re pregnant must be bursting at the seams with nutritional value, but it’s best to do as much good as possible when preparing or planning a healthy pregnancy meal.

For example, you can have starch and carbs, but small changes can be made that can make a bigger impact than you might realize.

For example, switching from cooking with vegetable oil to olive oil is a healthier alternative and a simple and tasty switch to make.

The following are some other things that you should implement into your diet and lifestyle when you are pregnant.

Folic acid

Folic acid is vital for your baby’s brain and spine development. You should plan at least one healthy pregnancy meal rich in folic acid that you can keep in the rotation when you meal plan.

Folic acid is present in most prenatal vitamins, but getting extra folic acid in your diet is still great.

It has been found that when you see a pregnant woman eats a meal each week that is high in folic acid, the chances for neural tube defects decrease significantly.

How many extra calories do I need?

The amount of calories you need to consume daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy depends upon several factors, such as your health, pre-pregnancy weight, and dietary needs.

However, according to experts, women generally need 1800 calories a day in the first trimester, 2200 calories a day during the second trimester, and about 2400 calories per day in the last leg of pregnancy.

This is not “eating for two,” as it is not double the daily necessity for caloric intake.

Speak with your doctor if you think that you may be a case in which the caloric intake needs are different.

These numbers are intended for women of good health and average weight.

Daily prenatal vitamins

You can have a diet full of healthy whole grains, fatty fish, and other wonderful ideas for a pregnancy meal plan, but you still need to take your daily multivitamin.

Prenatal vitamins help to fill in any gaps in your nutritional needs that your diet isn’t meeting.

These vitamins also help keep the immune system strong, support your baby’s development, and prevent congenital disabilities.

Healthy pregnancy meals

Healthy pregnancy meals

When creating a pregnancy meal plan, it’s best to go into it with a good attitude. There are many ideas for meals that are healthy that you may love the taste of, and challenging yourself to prepare and learn new dishes can be a lot of fun.

Even if you only try one new pregnancy recipe each week or two, you are still expanding your horizons, developing a culinary skill set, and meeting your nutritional needs.

You may consider saving and making the following great healthy pregnancy meals:

1. Greek lemon chicken and potatoes

If you’re a fan of Greek food and want a meal full of flavor and nutrition, make this an easy dish.

Using chicken thighs, lemon juice, and an extensive collection of spices, it’s as simple as can be to prepare, and you cook everything in one roasting pan.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and toss your chicken thighs and cut potatoes in olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, oregano, salt, pepper, rosemary, and cayenne pepper.

Next, add this to a large roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Pour some chicken broth over the dish, and bake in the oven for 20 min. Then remove from oven, toss, and bake for another 25 minutes.

2. Grilled chicken with brown rice

Chicken is a healthy and lean protein you can prepare in countless ways. For this dish, grill chicken on your stovetop seasoned however you prefer or outdoors.

Pair with vegetables and brown rice for a perfectly balanced meal.

3. Quesadilla with chicken, avocado, and black beans

Quesadillas made with any number of healthy foods in the mix are an excellent option for a meal. You can also make a tasty and healthy pregnancy breakfast quesadilla using eggs, cheddar cheese, onions, peppers, and more.

It’s a much more blood-sugar-friendly breakfast than pancakes or waffles drenched in syrup.

Pregnancy lunch ideas

Lunch is a sometimes tricky meal for all adults. For people who work during the day, you seldom have the time to prepare a fully balanced meal, and even if you do have time, you don’t want to indulge in an overly heavy meal, either.

The following are some light and healthy lunch ideas to help satiate the appetite and give energy and nutrition to moms-to-be like you.

1. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a staple that can be prepared in many different ways. You can make fries with them or bake them like baked potatoes and eat them with whatever toppings you choose.

2. Chicken salad

You can add all sorts of things to your chicken salad to make it taste delicious. You can use canned chicken for this, rotisserie chicken, or chicken breasts that you run through a food processor.

Most hearty salads are a great lunch option. Avoid Caesar salads, as the dressing is prepared with raw eggs, which is unhealthy for mothers-to-be.

3. Ground beef burrito bowl

You can add many essential nutrients to this creative dish. Ensure you cook the beef throughout, as raw meat can make you very ill when pregnant.

Don’t forget to add healthy toppings like lettuce, beans, tomato, black olive, and more.

Healthy pregnancy meals

Pregnancy snacks

Pregnant moms need a lot of energy to keep them going. This means stopping to snack a few times a day.

It can be very easy to reach for snack cakes, chips, or other unhealthy and processed food out of convenience.

However, with the following ideas at your disposal, you can make yourself some delicious snacks that are also healthy.

1. Toast with almond butter or peanut butter

Whole wheat toast, spread with almond or peanut butter, is a protein-packed and delicious pick-me-up for when you’re between meals but need energy.

It takes almost no time to prepare, and you can eat it on the go, as well.

If this isn’t enough to satisfy you, try Greek yogurt, toast, and a smoothie as a tasty treat. The smoothie can even help infuse some extra vitamin C into your diet.

2. Fresh fruit

Fruit is a great snack food, and there is no need for an actual pregnancy recipe for fruit. You can eat it plain, toss it in with yogurt, add some low-fat milk, and put it all in a blender to make a smoothie packed with calcium and Vitamin C.

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Sweet tooth talk

It’s totally fine to want a treat that isn’t healthy now and then and to indulge. 

For example, if you are craving hot dogs, having them for lunch now and then is okay. Just do everything in moderation, and ensure they are cooked thoroughly, and you’ll be fine.

Never skip meals to allow yourself a cheat meal. You are allowed to have a treat that is nothing but yummy every now and then.

However, suppose you skip breakfast because you want a candy bar later. 

In that case, you may have health issues, such as underdevelopment in your baby’s bones due to a calcium deficiency, high blood pressure, and other risks to your and your baby’s health, because all you had was a candy bar until lunchtime.

A Final Note

A pregnant woman should eat daily and eat several small meals throughout the day. 

There are many great options for healthy pregnancy meal plan ideas and embracing trying new things will help you on your journey.

Just remember that roasted cauliflower, kale salad, and Greek yogurt can be dressed up and don’t have to be bland. You’re also allowed that sweet treat now and then. 

Life should taste good, but healthy food can taste great, too.

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