Congratulations! Baby’s on the way, and everyone around you is excitedly awaiting this new little bundle of joy. As a mom-to-be, your priorities are taking care of yourself in ways that promote total health for you and for your baby.
What happens if your schedule doesn’t permit total indulgence with self-care? Perhaps pedicures, pregnancy massages and days at the spa are out of the question. Are there some things you can do to promote your total health and wellness while maintaining a busy schedule?
Good Nutrition: A Foundation for a Healthy Pregnancy
Now more than ever, it is vital that you begin to eat so that your nutritional needs are met through food and simple vitamin supplements. Consuming an extra 300 calories per day is considered adequate for a pre-natal child, and the focus of all of your calories should be on fresh, wholesome foods that are minimally processed.
Perhaps the biggest struggle for pregnant mothers is the lunchtime meal. In particular, if you are still working outside the home, it can be challenging to plan and prepare a healthy lunch that you can take with you for your noon meal. Fortunately for you, we’ve made it a bit easier with these healthy lunches. Soon, you’ll be prepping, packing and planning for the week, knowing that you are providing the best nutrition for you and your baby. Here are some quick and easy healthy lunch ideas that will meet many of your daily nutritional needs.
This grab-and-go lunch packs a powerful burst of flavor and nutrients that are just right for the two of you.
- 1 six-inch wheat pita
- 1/4 cup hummus
- 1 sliced, hardboiled egg and 1 additional hardboiled egg white
- 1/3 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- paprika to taste
- 1 tsp sprinkled pine nuts
Mix all of the ingredients and fill the pita. Serve with 1 cup chilled grapes for a complete meal.
While there is some food that is not recommended during pregnancy, you can relax and indulge with this tasty treat.
- 1 can (6 oz) crab meat, drained
- 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 1 tbsp chopped red onion
- 1 whole wheat deli roll
Mix all of the ingredients and serve atop the split whole wheat deli roll. For added nutrition, add a side of rinsed white beans combined with 2 tbsp red onion, 1 tsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
You may not be able to enjoy a margarita with it just yet, but this salad screams Southwest with flavor and color.
- 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 medium baked sweet potato, cubed
- 1/3 cup diced tomato
- 1/4 cup frozen corn, rinsed and thawed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chopped garlic
- salt, pepper and shredded cheese for garnish
Add all of the veggies to a large salad bowl and toss well. Combine lime juice, olive oil and garlic and drizzle over the salad. Toss once more. Garnish with salt, fresh cracked pepper and your favorite Mexican-blend cheese.
Who doesn’t love a good burger and a good pesto? When you combine the two, it’s a flavor-packed punch you can enjoy!
- 1 veggie burger
- 1 thick yellow onion, sliced
- 1 portobello mushroom cap
- 2 tbsp prepared pesto
- 1 whole wheat bun
- 1 or 2 slices Swiss cheese
Cook the veggie burger according to package directions; layer the bun with onion, portobello, Swiss cheese and pesto. Serve with your favorite carrot and celery sticks for a restaurant-worthy meal.
When choosing to eat out, picking healthful and nourishing foods can be difficult. Panera Bread has stepped up to offer some great options for healthy lunches. Consider ordering a Napa almond chicken sandwich on wheat with a strawberry poppy seed chicken salad on the side. Are you still hungry? Add half an apple for extra fiber and power-packed vitamins.
With a tangy dressing and tons of crunch, this salad is as satisfying as it is nutritious and delicious.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 1 large shredded carrot
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 3 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Prep all of the ingredients and combine in a large salad bowl. Toss them to combine. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad; toss to combine. Serve chilled with fresh fruit on the side.
There is never a bad time for avocados—their nutritious value is only surpassed by its delicious flavor and creamy texture, which are wonderful additions to this savory and filling wrap.
- 2 whole-wheat tortillas
- 1/2 cup fresh arugula
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1 sliced and pitted avocado
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Layer slices of tomato, mozzarella and avocado on the tortillas and top with fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may choose to add fresh arugula into the wrap or serve it on the side as a delicious salad.
With recipes like these at your fingertips, who needs a personal chef? Eating well and savoring fresh flavors while pregnant will not only put you in prime shape for delivery, but it will allow you to set up healthy habits for postpartum and beyond. Savor these flavors as you savor your time before delivery, and you’ll see the benefits of good nutrition for both of you!
Related Content: The Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
In the past, the common practice was to pass Dad the surgical scissors and have him perform a quick snip just before the newborn babe was whisked away to be cleaned, measured and dosed with vitamin K. Any delay in cord cutting was viewed as unnecessary in promoting general health for the baby or mother. However, recent research suggests that a delay of even three minutes can have a significant positive impact on infants.