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7 Kitchen Staples for Easy, Nutritious Meals During Pregnancy

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Craving ice cream, cookies, and potato chips? Sure, you are- you’re pregnant! But when those cravings have you running to the fridge only to find nothing more than last night’s takeout- Momma’s got a problem! Of course, you want to eat right when you’re pregnant, but between the cravings, food aversions, and outright exhaustion, it’s easier said than done.

Stocking your kitchen with nutritious staples not only ensure you have something healthy on hand, but it also makes it easier to prepare nutritious meals and snacks when you’re starving or tired. We recommend focusing on shelf-stable or frozen foods that require minimal preparation.

Next time you’re headed to the grocery store, add these kitchen staples to your list for delicious pregnancy snacks and meals in minutes.

Eggs

Eggs are the ultimate convenient and nutritious food for mommas to be. They’re a great source of healthy protein and minerals. They’re a rich source of choline, which is essential for your little one’s brain development and growth. When choosing eggs at the store, look for “omega-3 on the label, which means they contain DHA. This omega-3 fatty acid may help to prevent preterm labor, and it’s crucial for brain and heart health- both yours and your baby’s. Hard boiled eggs are the perfect snack on the go, so keep them in your fridge at all times.

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Prenatal Organic Vitamins

While not technically food, high-quality prenatal organic vitamins are your secret weapon for meeting your nutritional needs (and your baby’s) when you just don’t feel like cooking or you haven’t eaten as well as you should. They’ll fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet, and they’re super easy to toss into your bag or purse when you’re on the go. And, they come in delicious gummy fruit flavors, so what’s not to love?

Frozen Spinach

You can’t beat frozen spinach for convenience, and it’s a nutritional powerhouse during pregnancy. It’s rich in iron, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, and K. Try opening a box of frozen spinach and placing it in a colander over a bowl in your fridge to thaw and drain overnight. The next day, you can use it to fill an omelet or add it to some pasta sauce for an easy meal that’s full of valuable pregnancy nutrition.

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Legumes

Beans are a fantastic, low-fat protein source that are also loaded with essential folic acid, which is crucial for preventing birth defects. They also contain lots of fiber for better digestion and healthy weight management. Dry beans are super cheap and store forever, but they have to soak for a few hours before you cook them. Canned beans are a great alternative, they’re just as nutritious, and they’re ready to use right away. Try mashing up some black beans for taco filling, adding some cannellinis to a bowl of pasta, or simply toss some garbanzos into your salad. They’ll help you feel fuller longer and keep those cravings at bay!

Dairy

We all know calcium is important, so keeping your fridge stocked with ready to eat dairy products is a great idea during pregnancy. Yogurt and cottage cheese are both loaded with calcium and many are fortified with vitamin D, which your body needs to absorb all that calcium. You don’t have to eat them plain- add some delicious nutrition by stirring in some fruit and granola.

Fruit

Fruit is easy to keep on hand, whether it’s dried, frozen, canned in its own juice, or fresh. It’s high in fiber and full of vitamins. It’s also portable, which makes it very convenient for snacking on the go. Pears, apples, and oranges will last a long time right on the countertop and you can also keep a variety of canned fruit packed in water or fruit juice right in the pantry. Dried fruits like dates, raisins, and apricots can be kept right at your desk at work, too. Just be aware that fruit contains sugar and some varieties can be higher in calories, so enjoy it in moderation and don’t go overboard. Two or three pieces a day is probably fine but check with your doctor just to make sure.

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Nuts and Nut Butters

You can’t go wrong with nuts and nut butters for convenience and nutrition. Whether you’re a fan of cashews, almonds, or peanuts, nuts are full of protein, essential vitamins, and healthy fats. They’re portable, yummy, and can last a long time in your pantry or fridge. Nut butters can add flavor and nutrition to oatmeal, waffles, toast, apples slices, or whole-grain crackers. Keep in mind that although many nuts contain valuable healthy fats, those fats can go rancid. Storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh longer.

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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