Spinach is high in folic acid, which is crucial in allowing your baby’s neural tube to properly fuse in the first month after conception.
Always keep a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer, and often toss a handful into my scrambled eggs in the morning. Berry smoothies with spinach added to them are a big hit in our house, and we often add fresh spinach to our regular salad mix.
Protein is important during each trimester, as it aids in the proper growth of your baby’s tissue and muscle.
Lentil soup is the most obvious way to chow down on this legume, but you can also try making lentil burgers with spinach.
Pregnant women need an extra 60 grams of protein a day beginning the first trimester of pregnancy.
Tired of eating nuts by the handful? Try crushing some up in a plastic bag with a kitchen mallet (or hammer) and sprinkle them onto your yogurt or on top of your cereal. The crushed nuts are also yummy as an ice cream topping.
Cottage cheese contains both calcium and protein, which are good for muscle and bone development.
Cottage cheese isn’t just for eating straight up. It can be used in lasagnas (instead of ricotta), quiche, and even pancakes.
Aside from being an excellent source of protein, eggs are high in calcium and Vitamin D as well, both of which are needed for your baby to properly form bones.
Add hard-boiled eggs to your tuna salad (obviously watching your intake of tuna during pregnancy), or bake a frittata on the weekend with your favorite veggies.
Broccoli is surprisingly high in iron, which is needed in the first trimester to form red blood cells in your baby.
I love me some broccoli slaw. Follow your favorite coleslaw recipe and simply sub broccoli, or get creative and make your own with cranberries and nuts.
Beans are a great source of protein, which is needed for muscle growth and energy.
Try taco night with beans instead of meat. Or toss some into your salad. Black bean burgers are also yummy.
Yogurt is high in calcium and Vitamin D, and eating it ensures your body is getting enough, which prevents your baby from having to “steal” it from your bones.
Top a cup of yogurt with your favorite granola and some berries. Or make a smoothie. And you could always freeze vanilla yogurt mixed with chocolate chips for an alternative to ice cream.
Chicken is high in iron, which creates red blood cells and helps your body get enough oxygen.
Chicken is far too versatile for me to suggest any rarely heard ideas for consuming it! But do note that it’s best for pregnant women to eat organic, hormone-free meats during pregnancy.
Salmon is high in calcium and Vitamin D, and is one of the safer fish to eat while pregnant.
Add some cooked salmon to your pasta primavera, or toss some in your morning eggs!