Growing a baby is tiring work! That’s why it is necessary to keep your body fueled and hydrated with healthy food. Eating right, combined with plenty of sleep, will keep you energized and ready to face the day.
To avoid feeling hunger pangs and irritability, keep these pregnancy-safe foods in stock and nearby for you to snack on. You’ll not only be eating healthy, but you can make simple meals for the entire week without blowing your budget.
A healthy pregnancy means eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the items we list below work well for snacking between meals, too!
You can make surprisingly easy, delicious meals with simple ingredients, such as chicken thighs (for chicken tenders), black beans, whole wheat pitas, olive oil, coconut milk, and so much more. To help prepare your food easily, think about buying a slow cooker, such as an Instant Pot.
Here are 6 surprisingly easy-to-prepare, deliciously healthy foods for pregnant women:
Getting enough calcium during pregnancy is vital so that your baby has the right amount of calcium for growing bones. Calcium intake will also help with your muscle, bone, and nerve functions. Yogurt is one of the best choices for increasing your calcium intake. It is also rich in active cultures, which helps with overall gut health.
Go for plain yogurt, because added sugars can be harmful if eaten in excess. Top it off with crunchy granola, a drizzle of honey, or fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas.
Snacks are a pregnant woman’s best friend! Snacking throughout the day will keep your energy levels up and keep your morning sickness in check. Nuts are a small but powerful option for snacking.
They’re healthy and convenient to take with you everywhere you go. Just put some in a Ziplock inside your purse, and you’re good to go! Nuts are a good source of fiber and protein, helping you feel full longer. They are also rich in magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Unsalted almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and peanuts are great choices.
Oatmeal is a quick and easy breakfast option that’s packed with health benefits. Oats are full of B vitamins, zinc, and iron, which help keep you energized.
Oatmeal also has lots of fiber, which will help with your energy levels. Meaning, it will stick with you throughout your morning, helping ward off those hunger pangs.
4. Lean Meat
If you don’t have time to fix a full meal when you’re on the run, that’s OK. Meat can be prepared ahead of time for a quick snack or meal.
Lean meats are one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. They’re high in iron and rich in protein, both of which are important for you and your baby’s health.
Try cuts such as lean beef sirloin or ground beef with less than 15% fat. Chicken or turkey can be wonderful options, too. Add it to a soup, with a salad, or into your favorite noodle dish.
If you know you’ve got a busy day ahead, you could prep the meat or the whole meal ahead of time and pack it up for leftovers later. Easy!
5. Fruits and Vegetables
We all know how important fresh fruits and vegetables are to health. But this is especially true while you’re pregnant. Grab a baggie or Tupperware 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 certainly not least, drink plenty of water during the day. Water can carry the precious nutrients from the foods you eat to the cells throughout your body.
If you don’t stay hydrated, you’ll probably feel more exhausted and tired than usual. Water replenishes your fluid supply, and it can even help reduce your chance of developing UTIs.
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.
You probably already know this, but pregnant women need to make sure to get enough folic acid and the right amount of iron. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. During pregnancy, you need to double the amount of iron you get, because your body needs it to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby.
Always make sure to consult 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.
Taking care of yourself and the baby you are growing is important. Making time to hydrate and to eat will make a big difference in how you feel!