Your body is doing an amazing thing – make sure you are feeding it that way! Along with a prenatal vitamin there are several essential nutrients you should focus on during your pregnancy, and you can get them all from food. The top nutrients you need include: folate, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and protein. Not only are these important for your growing baby but to also protect yourself from deficiencies.
It is common to focus solely on your baby’s needs, and the amazing thing is your body actually does that. But your body can suffer. For example, if you are not consuming enough calcium, your body will pull calcium from you so that your baby’s bones and teeth grow accordingly. However, this can leave you with a calcium deficiency later.
Recipes for Pregnancy
Maybe you are in the stage of preparing your body for pregnancy – you are wise to do so! You have probably already started a prenatal vitamin but you also want to establish a good nutrient baseline and solid habits before the effects of pregnancy begin. Here are two easy recipes that provide a good dose of those essential nutrients mentioned above.
Almond milk mix up: Blend all ingredient together, enjoy cold
- 16 ounces, unsweetened Almond milk (calcium)
- ½ cup strawberries, sliced (folate)
- ½ banana, sliced (vitamin B6)
- 2 Tbsp. powdered peanut butter (vitamin B1 and B3, and protein)
- 5 ounces sirloin steak topped with herbs of choice, bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes… or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (protein and iron)
- 1 cup sautéed spinach topped with ¼ cup shredded cheese and 1 Tbsp pinenuts (folate, calcium, iron)
- ¾ cup quinoa, cooked with seasonings of choice (B vitamins and protein)
While the recipes above can also be used during pregnancy you may find your taste buds change during your pregnancy and many women struggle to consume as much meat as they did before due to nausea or other aversions. However, because protein and iron are so important during this time, these recipes offer nutrient-packed alternatives.
Black Bean Sliders: Make black bean burgers according to the recipe
- Top burger with sliced red bell pepper (vitamin B6 and folate), romaine lettuce (B vitamins), and Swiss cheese (calcium)
- Serve with a side of sliced strawberries and blueberries with wheat germ sprinkled on top (B vitamins)
Yummy Yogurt Parfait:
- Combine ½ cup oats, 1 Tbsp. coconut, 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries, and 2 tsp wheat germ; toast until crunchy (B vitamins, folate)
- Sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt (calcium, protein) and ¼ cup mixed berries of choice (B vitamins)
Foods for Pregnancy
While specific recipes are helpful, the important thing to remember is to incorporate a variety of colorful foods throughout your day. If you ever look at your plate and realize it’s monochromatic, it’s time to add some color!