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7 healthy meals for pregnant women

When you get pregnant, the one thing that you are reminded of ALL THE TIME is that of what you can and cannot eat. So what can you eat that actually tastes acceptable, and is also good for you and your precious baby?

Eating healthy during pregnancy can be extremely hard. You continue to have crazy cravings with an even crazier schedule. But even with so much happening in your life, it is extremely important for you to eat right to ensure the healthy development of your baby in the womb. If anything, you should design a meal plan that is healthy and allows you to pick a different snack and meal for each day of the week. Remember, during pregnancy, if you are underweight, it is necessary for you to have about 2400 calories a day. However, if you are overweight during pregnancy, you will probably need around 2000 calories a day. With that, here are a few healthy meals that you should try out during pregnancy:

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7 Classic apple-cinnamon overnight oats

We all know how healthy oats are, right? A daily bowl of oatmeal is a healthy addition to any diet, but it is way more beneficial for pregnant women. It is largely counted amidst some of the most nutritious super foods for expectant women. What makes it so good is the fact that it contains high levels of iron and folic acid, both of which are crucial nutrients during pregnancy.

It may not be easy for you to prepare these oats before bed. For this reason, it is best for you to make them the night before so you can wake up to a pre-made breakfast. What you basically need to do to prepare this lovely breakfast of classic apple-cinnamon overnight oats is to pour a cup of nonfat milk over 2/3 cup of rolled oats. Once done, just stir in about ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon – and your apple-cinnamon overnight oats are ready for breakfast. The only thing you need to do now is to cover it up with plastic wrap and leave it in your fridge for the night. When you wake up in the morning, you just need to add two tablespoons of chopped walnuts and a small chopped apple to it – you’ll do yourself a favor by having this nutrient-rich breakfast each day!

What nutrients will I get from it?

This particular breakfast option is packed full of nutrients. These basically include 19.6g proteins, 9.148g dietary fiber, 65.3g carbohydrates, 1.43g omega-3 fatty acids, 560.1mg calcium, 132.1mg sodium, 3.147mg iron, and 47.7mcg of folate. So if you want to give your day a bit of a healthy start, make sure that you try out these overnight oats!

6 Portobello and black bean breakfast burritos

Being on the go in the mornings doesn’t mean you should start your day with a boring meal. For a protein packed breakfast, try out these Portobello and black bean breakfast burritos. If you want, you can even make a handful of these beforehand and store them in the fridge. However, if you are having a severe case of heartburn during pregnancy, make sure that you cut back on the garlic and onion.

The ingredients used in this breakfast meal include four large flour tortillas (this is a 4 person serving), a tablespoon and a teaspoon of olive oil, one teaspoon fresh minced garlic, ½ tsp. kosher salt, 2 large Portobello mushrooms (diced), 1 tbl. Lemon juice, 1 tbl. Hoisin sauce, 1 tbl. Brown rice miso paste, 4 egg whites, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup canned black beans, 1 dash Tabasco, ½ cup salsa and ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese.

Basic directions

To begin with, preheat your oven to 350°F. Warm the tortillas in the oven after wrapping them tightly in a large sheet of foil. Heat oil in a sauté pan and add in onions, garlic, mushrooms until browned. Whisk together (in a separate bowl) the lemon juice, hoisin sauce, miso paste, Tabasco and salt – pour this mixture over the mushrooms and pulse it in a food processor until well-chopped. Return it to the pan and add in the brown rice, black beans and egg whites. Let it cook over medium heat and stir till the egg whites are fully cooked.

Once done, place a warm tortilla on a plate and place ¼ of the mushroom mixture, ¼ of the cheese and ¼ of the salsa across the center. Now fold the bottom over the filling and fold it over the sides. Serve hot! 

5 Stuffed acorn squash with white beans, wild rice and mushrooms

Stuffed acorn squash is packed full of nutrients. It is because of its high nutrient content that its consumption is so highly recommended for pregnant women. But apart from that, it is particularly great for pregnant mamas who are vegetarians.

For the preparation of this dish, you need 1 medium-sized acorn squash, baking sheet, cooking spray, ½ cup chopped onion, ½ cup chopped mushroom, 1/3 cup white beans, 1 clove chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 cup cooked wild or brown rice, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and 1 tbsp chopped pistachios. To start with, cut the acorn squash in half horizontally and remove its seeds. 

Take a baking sheet and spray cooking spray on it. Once done, pace the acorn squash on it and bake it at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. As it cooks, sauté about the chopped onion, chopped mushroom, white beans and a clove of chopped garlic in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until it softens up a bit – should take around 3-5 minutes. Next, just add a cup of cooked wild or brown rice and a tablespoon of chopped pistachios to this mixture and stir it continuously until heated through – about a minute. Now set it aside and remove the squash from the oven. Take this mixture and stuff it into each half of the squash and top each half with about 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Place both the halves into the oven again and cook for another 10 minutes.

Nutrients

The nutrients that this meal provides include 16.2g dietary fiber, 23.6g protein, 438g omega-3 fatty acids, 110.2g carbohydrates, 362.5mg calcium, 55,4mg vitamin C, 198.2mcg folate and 7.457mg iron.

4 Korean beef broccoli

There’s no need for you to depend on takeout anymore because there’s a healthier version of Korean beef broccoli. The best part is that it just takes a few minutes to prepare after which it needs to be marinated for a few hours – once done, it just takes about 5-10 minutes to finish it off. What’s best is that the meal is totally satisfying and healthy.

The ingredients required for this dish include 1lb. beef top sirloin or rib eye (thinly sliced), 2 tbl. grated onion, 1 tbl. minced garlic, 1 tbl. sugar, 3 tbl. soy sauce, 1 tbl. honey, 1 tbl. sesame oil, 1 tbl. sesame seeds and a bit more for garnish, water as needed, 1 scallion sliced into thin strips, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and 4 cups of broccoli florets halved lengthwise.

How do I prepare it?

Take a large size re-sealable plastic bag and combine the beef, onion, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, pepper and sesame seeds. Once done, seal the plastic bag and refrigerate the mixture for about 2 to 3 hours. Now steam or boil the broccoli until cooked and let it cool. Next, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the beef to it. When doing so, shake off any marinate and let it cook for about 4 to 6 minutes until it gets done. Add the broccoli to the pan in the last 2 minutes of cooking and cover it well with the cooking juices. Add a little water in case the pan gets too dry. Once prepared, garnish the dish with scallions and serve.

3 Crunchy pumpkin spice parfait

Although crunchy pumpkin spice parfait is supposed to be a breakfast meal, it is so delicious that it can actually double as dessert. This particular dish is a treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. The best part is that it is equally healthy too, so all your sugar cravings can easily be fulfilled with it. Apart from that, this super delicious breakfast meal is extremely easy to prepare too.

There aren’t many ingredients that you need to prepare crunchy pumpkin spice parfait. All that you need is 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure that you don’t use pumpkin pie filling),1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 2 tablespoons granola, 1 tablespoon of raising, 2 teaspoons of chopped cashews, 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. To prepare the meal, place half of the pumpkin and yogurt mixture into a glass or mug. Now top the mixture with granola, raisins and chopped cashews. Once done, pour the remaining yogurt mixture and top it all off with the remaining raisins, granola and cashews.

What about nutritional value?

If you think that crunchy pumpkin spice parfait does not provide any nutritional value, then you sure are wrong. This breakfast meal is packed full of nutrition. The nutrients that it has to offer are inclusive of 6.357g dietary fiber, 20.7g protein, 68g carbohydrate, 4.41mg cholesterol, 552.2 mg, 3.727mg iron, and 71.2 mcg folate. So if you want a healthy yet sweet breakfast, this is the meal for you. Not only will it fill you up and curb your sugar cravings, it will also provide you with all the nutrients you need to get through the day.

2 Raspberry turnovers

A decadent dessert that will not leave you feeling guilty, there is no way all that you will be able to skimp with these raspberry turnovers. The best part is that these are small in size so you won’t have to worry about overindulging. Yes, it isn’t the healthiest dish ever, but if you seriously want to curb your sweet cravings and indulge a bit, then this dish is just what you need because it isn’t going to push you over the edge. And come to think of it, raspberries have lots of vitamins and fiber, so you will eventually get some nutrition too.

To serve four people, you need butter to grease the pan, 4 ½ tsp. sugar, 2 cups fresh raspberries, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tbl. water and a bit more for puff pastry, 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch, and 4 pieces of puff pastry (thawed but chilled).

Preparation

Grease a baking sheet with butter and preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. Take a saucepan and place the berries, water and 4 tsp. sugar into it. Now place it over medium heat and cook it till the berries break down – stir it frequently. Add the cornstarch and lemon juice to this mixture and continue stirring it till it thickens. Once done, set it aside and let the mixture coo. Next, stretch out the puff pastry to 4 inch squares each and then place them over the greased baking sheet. Take ¼ of the raspberry mixture and place it in the center while leaving ¾ of an inch of dough on each side. Now use a pastry brush to rub water and dampen the exposed dough – fold the dough diagonally in half over the filling. Seal the edges by pressing them and crimp them up using a fork. Brush a bit of water and sprinkle the remaining sugar on all of the turnovers. Let it refrigerate for half an hour, then using the tip of a paring knife to cut three small slits in the top of each pastry. Bake it for about 15 minutes.

1 Fiesta salad

Being pregnant means you need to hold the margarita for a few months, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy this amazingly fun and delicious Mexican-inspired salad. With some of the most tasteful ingredients, this salad is just what you need to fulfill all your nutrition needs for the day – the best part is that it won’t contribute much to your weight gain too.

A major reason why most pregnant women will prefer having this salad for lunch and maybe even dinner is the fact that it is extremely easy to make. There aren’t way too many ingredients for you to deal with and its preparation is rather simple too. The only ingredients you need are 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce, 1 cup canned black beans (rinsed and drained), ½ a medium baked (or microwaved) sweet potato (make sure that you skin and cube it), 1/3 cup diced tomato and ¼ cup frozen and thawed corn kernels. For the preparation, just top all of the ingredients on the chopped romaine lettuce and drizzle with a bit of lime vinaigrette, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, ¼ cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese, ¼ teaspoon chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste – your salad’s ready!

Total nutrients

This salad is literally oozing with nutrients. Through it, you will be able to acquire 27.4 g protein, 20.7g dietary fiber, 360 mg calcium, 5.411mg iron, 394.3mg sodium, 415.8 mcg folate and a whole lot more. So if you are craving a nutrition packed salad, then this Mexican-inspired one is just what you need!

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