Eating healthy while pregnant is one of the best gifts you can give your future child(ren).
Eating healthy during pregnancy means making sure your diet is high in nutrients including excellent quality proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.
Eating breakfast is important for any healthy diet, but it is particularly important for healthy eating during pregnancy. You should have breakfast within an hour of waking up, and you should have some protein with your breakfast (this helps balance blood sugar and helps to minimize morning sickness). If you aren’t too hungry, you can have some fresh fruit before you actually eat breakfast. Melon is a good choice for healthy pregnancy eating because it has a high water content and will help with hydration.
Oats are a wonderful nourishing food for the healthy pregnancy diet. They are high in minerals which help to calm the nervous system. It is best to soak your oats overnight in water mixed with a little plain whole milk yogurt (the reason for this is that grains including oats contain a compound called “phytates” and these phytates “bind up” most of the B-vitamins in the grains; when you deactivate the phytates by soaking, it makes the B-vitamins more available to your body). In the morning, these can be cooked or eaten raw with a bit of organic butter and sweetened with a bit of sucanat, raw honey or maple syrup. Oats do not contain protein so you can eat some eggs, organic cottage cheese, natural breakfast meat, or whey or brown rice protein powder with them.
Organic sourdough bread with organic butter or sprouted bagel with organic butter along with eggs and natural bacon or sausage can be eaten when you desire something hearty and your appetite is good.
Sourdough toast with smoked wild salmon and naturally cultured organic cream cheese is a light and delicious option. It also makes a good snack. You can add slice tomato and cucumber, if desired.
A healthy smoothie can be fast to prepare and delicious. A basic good one might contain whey protein powder, plain organic whole milk yogurt or plain kefir, frozen organic berries, 1/2-1 banana and 1Tbsp of coconut oil. If you prefer it sweeter you can add 1-2 soaked figs. Bee pollen is a nice addition and a chlorella or other greens powder can also be added. Fruit and veggie juices are excellent accompaniments to eating healthy while pregnant because of their vitamin/mineral/enzyme content. If you have a juicer and can make fresh juice, this is preferred. A wonderful fresh juice can be made with leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collards, etc. to which you may add lemon and apple. The apple and lemon provide sweetness and really cut the bitter taste of the greens. This is a very refreshing drink and can be made daily once or twice- it is addicting once you start to make it.
Meals and snacks can be comprised of salads, grain dishes like brown rice or quinoa (actually a seed, not a grain), whole grain flour products, baked squashes or potato/sweet potato with organic butter, and of course some protein such as grass-fed beef, lamb, poultry, wild fish (a great source of omega-3 fatty acids), shellfish (high in vitamins A and D), tempeh, etc. Liver may be unappetizing to some but it is a nutritional powerhouse containing natural vitamin A. Make sure it is liver from grass-fed, organic animals.
Other foods to stress for eating healthy while pregnant include:
Nuts: soaked and dried
Homemade bone broths (mineral-rich)
Dairy- organic whole milk yogurt, kefir, organic grass-fed cheeses
Choose local and organically grown foods as often as possible as these have been shown to have superior nutrition in the vitamins and minerals they contain. When eating healthy while pregnant, make sure to avoid processed foods, canned foods, white flour, white sugar, vegetable oils, and trans-fats. These foods have little nutritional value and/or are not metabolized well in the body.
Try not to overly obsess about healthy pregnancy eating, though. It’s important to eat well, but it’s also important to have fun and enjoy your pregnancy.