When you’re pregnant, it can be difficult to follow a healthy eating plan. The cravings can be quite intense and you can easily find yourself giving in to temptation. Plus, it’s hard to keep track of which foods you need to avoid.
Most medical experts recommend that pregnant women add about 300 to 400 calories to their normal daily intake. These pregnancy diet meal plans take the guesswork out of eating healthy while pregnant, and can help you plan delicious breakfasts, lunch, dinners and snacks while consuming the right amount of calories and essential nutrients for your baby.
Pregnancy meal plan #1
This meal plan will provide you with about 2200 calories per day. It also allows you the freedom of choosing from a variety of snacks and meals during the week. This level of variety will prevent you from feeling bored or deprived. It is recommended that women who are underweight should eat about 2400 calories per day, while overweight women should stick to around 2000 calories and cut down to only one snack per day. Here is a sample day on this meal plan:
Breakfast: Porridge with walnuts, cinnamon and an apple. This meal is great because it gives you plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, fibre and calcium. You also get about 1.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for fetal brain development.
Lunch: Pita pocket with eggs, vegetables and hummus. This meal is packed with fibre, protein, calcium and folate. It also contains healthy fats that will satisfy your appetite. You can also include a cup of grapes with this meal as an added treat.
Dinner: Stuffed butternut pumpkin with wild rice, beans and mushrooms. This meal will provide you with a plethora of nutrients that you and your growing baby need. It also provides more than 16 grams of fibre and plenty of iron, vitamin C and folate.
Snacks: On this diet, you can treat yourself to snacks like whole-grain crackers topped with light cheese and dried fruit like cranberries or apricots. You could also choose to snack on air-popped popcorn or a fruit smoothie.
Pregnancy Meal Plan #2
This pregnancy diet meal plan takes into account which trimester you are in. The meals are designed to provide your baby with the nutrients he or she needs the most for optimal development in each trimester. For example, meals for the first trimester will include foods that are high in folate and vitamin B6. Second trimester meals will focus more on increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake, as well as omega-3 fatty acids for fetal brain development. Third trimester meals are designed to give you extra energy and prepare you for childbirth and breastfeeding.
Here is an example of a first trimester meal plan:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs served on top of a toasted bagel, plus a serving of yogurt. It contains lots of B-vitamins and protein that will help you to avoid nausea.
Lunch: Roasted chicken with broccoli, potatoes and carrots. Along with a pear and apple crumble, this nutritious meal is quite filling.
Dinner: Beef and black bean casserole. The beans in this dish provide you with lots of folate, fibre and iron. The beef contains plenty of protein and fat to make you feel full.
Snacks: You can choose to snack on dried apricots, nuts and seeds on this meal plan.
What were your favourite things to eat when you were pregnant? Tell us in the comments!