6 Easy and Healthy Recipes for Mothers-to-Be
When looking for easy and healthy recipes for mothers-to-be, there are some golden rules that we can’t overlook. Key nutrients, such as protein, iron, fiber, folic acid, omega-3, and vitamins C, D and others, must be present in the different meals of the day.
How can you yourself in this regard? Well, some ingredients that are sources of these nutrients should dominate in the foods you prepare. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, legumes, fish, and more should be highlighted.
Continue reading to ignite your culinary imagination as a mom-to-be. We’ll show you six easy and healthy recipes that will serve as examples to distinguish and nourish your menu.
Balanced nutrition for mothers-to-be, quick and healthy recipes
During pregnancy, it’s crucial to consume a variety of foods to get all the necessary nutrients. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 include the following: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, legume proteins, eggs, lean meats, mercury-free fish, nuts, and unsalted seeds.
According to these guidelines, you should limit salt, solid fats, and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and avoid alcohol or caffeine completely. So, based on these recommendations, let’s start with these healthy recipes for moms-to-be.
1. Avocado and egg toast
This easy and practical recipe provides you with the best quality protein, as eggs are the food with the best essential amino acid score. In fact, an article published in the journal Maternal & Child Nutrition suggests that 2 eggs a day cover a variety of essential nutrients for the expectant mother.
Moreover, a group of nutrition and pediatric specialists published in the journal Nutrients that avocado is a source of nutrition and healthy fats for pregnancy.
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 1 avocado
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil and pepper to taste
- Salt and pepper will depend on the directions
You must toast the bread until it’s golden brown while cooking the eggs in a frying pan. Remember that they must be well cooked to avoid microbiological risks. With a fork or a food processor, mash the avocado, adding a little olive oil, and spread it on the toasted bread. Place the eggs on the toast and add salt and pepper if indicated in your diet.
2. Strawberry, banana and oatmeal smoothie
A strawberry, banana, and oatmeal smoothie is a handy recipe to start the day or as a healthy snack at your preferred time. What key nutrients does it contain for the pregnant woman?
The Journal of Food Science and Technology explains that bananas contain some carbohydrates that serve as food for the “good” bacteria in the gut. This boosts the disease-fighting intestinal barrier.
At the same time, the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition considers strawberries to be a functional food due to the presence of anthocyanins, an antioxidant with therapeutic and preventive health benefits.
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 cup of skim milk or substitutes (yogurt or almond milk)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Serve in a glass and enjoy this simple recipe that’s loaded with valuable nutrients for pregnant women!
Read also 8 Dinner Recipes for Pregnant Women
3. Quinoa and vegetable salad
What is it about this recipe that makes it beneficial for pregnant women? Well, a report from the Harvard School of Public Health highlights quinoa for its high nutritional quality protein. It also provides folate, magnesium, B1, phosphorus, manganese, and fiber.
At the same time, spinach provides iron, folate, and vitamin K, while tomatoes are a source of the antioxidant lycopene, according to the team at the journal The Annual Review of Food Science and Technology.
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tomato
- Lemon and olive oil dressing
First, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut the cucumber and tomato into small cubes. Steam the spinach and soften it before mixing it with the previously cooked and drained quinoa. Add the dressing to taste and stir well. Remember to wash and disinfect the vegetables well!
You can also read The 3 Best Breakfasts for Pregnant Women
4. Chicken and vegetable wrap
Chicken is a source of good quality protein, and, in this recipe, it’s combined with the fiber of whole wheat tortillas and vegetables. Additionally, the peppers contain carotenoids and vitamin C with antioxidant effects.
- 2 whole wheat tortillas
- 7 ounces of chicken breast
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 onion
- Olive oil to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add the chicken and the vegetables cut into thin strips over the olive oil and season to taste. Let cook until chicken is well done and vegetables are tender. Fill the whole wheat tortillas with the chicken mixture and enjoy.
5. Baked salmon with potatoes and broccoli
This recipe is loaded with the nutrients a pregnant woman needs for her baby’s brain and vision development. The magazine Nutrients magazine highlights the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in fatty fish such as salmon, which are essential for the proper development of the developing little one.
In addition to this benefit, broccoli provides folic acid, iron, and vitamin C, nutrients that shouldn’t be lacking in the diet of expectant mothers.
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 head of broccoli
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper, within the allowed limits
Dress the salmon fillets, potatoes, and broccoli and place them in a dish. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle with olive oil and the seasoning mixture. Keep in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown. Then serve and enjoy!
6. Lentil and vegetable soup
Lentils are legumes with a high contribution of protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, they’re a source of 2 types of fiber. On the one hand, insoluble fiber that helps control constipation in pregnant women, and soluble fiber that regulates blood sugar and lipid values.
In 2015, the journal Clinical Diabetes promoted the use of legumes to prevent some diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity.
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 onion
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper according to recommendations
Sauté the diced vegetables in olive oil until tender. Add lentils and vegetable stock, and boil until half of the water evaporates. Then, simmer for a few more minutes or until the lentils are very tender. Season to taste.
Are there other healthy recipes for mothers-to-be?
Of course, these 6 easy and healthy recipes for moms-to-be aren’t the only ones you can try. You can substitute ingredients such as milk for almond or soy milk, or choose other legumes, such as chickpeas, beans, and peas, among others.
Among the fruits, you can also select other red fruits such as blackberries and blueberries. The inclusion of kiwi, peach, guava, and melon also increases the contribution of vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidants.
In addition to salmon as fatty fish, you have the option of sardines, anchovies, herring, trout, and Pacific mackerel as a source of omega-3 without the risk of contributing mercury.
The type of preparation can also be varied. For example, legumes can be used as salads, creams, or stews. For fish or chicken, you can use an air fryer and, with eggs, you can create many recipes. The important thing is that you use these food groups as examples to ensure key nutrients for the mother-to-be.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Arpita Basu, Angel Nguyen, Nancy M. Betts & Timothy J. Lyons (2014) Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54:6, 790-806, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2011.608174
- Cleveland Clinic. The Health Benefits of Red Bell Peppers. Actualizado el 29 de marzo de 2023. Disponible en: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/red-pepper-benefits/
- Comerford, K. B., Ayoob, K. T., Murray, R. D., & Atkinson, S. A. (2016). The Role of Avocados in Maternal Diets during the Periconceptional Period, Pregnancy, and Lactation. Nutrients, 8(5), 313. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050313
- Harvard T.H. CHAN. School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Oats. Actualizado 2020. Disponible en: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/
- Harvard T.H. CHAN. School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Quinoa. Actualizado 2023. Disponible en: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/
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