Did you know that eating dates during pregnancy can actually help shorten labor? Wondering how to eat dates during pregnancy? Date fruit is delicious eaten all by itself, but can also be added to oatmeal, pregnancy smoothies and many other pregnancy recipes. Learn how to incorporate this versatile dried fruit into your healthy pregnancy diet with these 15 date recipes for pregnancy.
As an added bonus, all of these recipes are gluten free and real food based!
And if you are nearing labor or past your due date dates are one of the safest foods to induce labor naturally to try.
Eating as few as 6 dates a day during pregnancy has actually been shown to have a positive affect on the outcome of labor and delivery in 2 clinical studies (here and here).
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Eating Dates During Pregnancy
There are a few reasons you want to eat dates during pregnancy (besides that they taste freakin amazing!):
- Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients and listed many times as a pregnancy superfood. They are high in dietary fiber (bye bye to pregnancy constipation), iron, and potassium. Dates contain b-vitamins, vitamins A and K, as well as, 23 types of amino acids - just to name a few of the many health benefits of eating dates.
- Eating date fruit during pregnancy can shorten the onset of labor (meaning the time it takes to dilate from 0 to 10 cm) (study here)
- Date fruit has been shown to increase cervical ripening when consumed during the last weeks of pregnancy. (study here)
- Increases the chances that you will go into spontaneous labor vs having to be induced (study here)
- Reduces the need for labor augmentation (meaning synthetic hormones like pitocin) (study here)
Heres a quick video with an overview of all the research on eating dates during pregnancy.
With all the evidence that eating dates can help you have an easier labor, how do you eat dates during pregnancy?
Start by purchasing dates like these Organic Medjool Dates. There are different types of dates, but medjool dates are generally considered the best.
And while you can buy dates at the grocery store, make sure to look at the ingredients. Watch out for packages that contain additives. It should say DATES or DATE FRUIT only. These are totally clean and the top rated dates on Amazon.
Its a good idea to start eating dates during the second trimester so that your body has time to soak up all the benefits!
Aim to eat 4 to 6 whole dates a day starting in the second trimester. Date fruit can be eaten throughout pregnancy, but is especially helpful during the third trimester to nourish the body in preparation for labor.
If you are past your due date, try some of these labor inducing recipes.
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How to eat 6 dates a day? Date Recipes for Pregnancy!
Wondering how to eat 6 dates a day? There are so many sweet and savory ways to eat dates during pregnancy! Dates make a great addition to breakfast, smoothies and snacks, but can also be added to savory dinner recipes.
Dates can be chopped, blended or eaten whole. For the recipes below, a high speed blender or food processor will be helpful. This blender comes with a chopper attachment for an amazing deal.
When making some of the snacks, it helps to soak the date fruit for about 30 minutes before blending for super smooth results.
All of these delicious date fruit recipes for pregnancy are clean eating, real food based and low sugar! So no guilt eating Mama!
Date Smoothies for Pregnancy
Smoothies are perhaps one of the easiest ways to pack a ton of pregnancy superfoods into one serving. These pregnancy date smoothie recipes are perfect for breakfast or a snack.
Want more info on the best superfoods for pregnancy? Make sure to download my Superfood Cheatsheet below.
- Pregnancy Date Smoothie for Labor from Birth Eat Love - cherry berry mixed fruit with dates, banana and greens.
- Third Trimester Pregnancy Smoothie from Mallory Maddox - a lovely combination including greens, strawberries, chia seeds and dates.
- My Favorite Pregnancy Smoothie from Eat Live Run - featuring banana, dates and peanut butter.
- Blueberry Date Smoothie from Life in Pleasantville - loaded with pregnancy superfoods including blueberries, dates, flax and chia seeds.
- Cinnamon Toast Dessert Smoothie from Natural Fit Foodie - tastes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal!
Snacks with Date Fruit
Try these pregnancy superfood snacks! No bake energy bites and bars are delicious and easy pregnancy, breastfeeding and toddler friendly snacks. Seriously, once you realize how easy it is to make these, you will be making your own combinations in no time. Make some of these ahead of time to have on hand when hunger strikes!
- Pregnancy Energy Balls from Birth Eat Love
- Coconut Cream Larabars from My Whole Food Life (my favorite!)
- Fruity Chewy Granola Bars from Carolines Cooking
- Pumpkin Energy Balls with date fruit from Birth Eat Love
- Healthy Granola Recipe with Hemp Hearts and Coconut Oil from 5 Minutes for Mom
Related: Amazingly Healthy Snacks for Pregnancy to Try Right Now
Guilt-free Desserts with Date Fruit
So many yummy, decadent yet healthy treats can be made from dates. And the great part is they are quick to make and a guilt free way to indulge your sweet tooth.
- Banana Chia Pudding with Date Caramel from Carolines Cooking
- Snickers Ice Cream Bars and Bites (vegan, raw) from Feeding Your Beauty
- Raw Mint Mousse Bars from Nutrition Stripped
Date Fruit Recipes for Dinner
And did you know dates make an awesome addition to savory dishes? Check out these dinner recipes with dates during pregnancy!
- Roasted Chicken with a Medjool Date, Carrot and Apple Medley from The Whole Kitchen Sink
- Paleo Moroccan Chicken Stew from a Saucy Kitchen
Pin this infographic for quick reference later ->>>>
Stocking up on food before baby arrives? Check out the Ultimate List of Food for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding for more recipe inspiration for healthy eating.
Want to learn how to nourish your body during pregnancy? Read the 4-Part series here!
More on Healthy Eating during Pregnancy
- Top Real Food Pregnancy Diet Questions Answered - Learn about pregnancy diet from a nutritionist!
- Healthy Pregnancy Dinner Recipes (Superfood Edition) - A collection of quick and easy recipes that all contain the best food for growing a healthy baby!
- 11 diet mistakes that might be making your pregnancy uncomfortable - Find out if you are you making any of these eating mistakes that could lead to excessive weight gain and a more difficult labor?
- Red Raspberry Leaf Pregnancy Tea Recipe (Labor Tea!) - A recipe that can help you have a faster labor!
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5 thoughts on “15 Date Recipes for Pregnancy (and a FASTER Labor!)”
My favourite date recipe when I was pregnant was choc fudgsicles. You just chuck as many dates as you want in a blender with a can of coconut milk, a couple of tablespoons of cocoa – blitz and pour into icecream moulds. Voila – a healthy treat.
OMG Haley! That sounds amazing!! I love ANYTHING with full fat coconut milk! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Would dried dates opposed to medjool dates have the same effect?
I think so! It just takes more of them, as the medjool dates are bigger. I personally ate the regular (smaller ones) and had great results.
Has anyone had a problem with the dates causing a big baby? My last baby (#6) was 11 lb, and everything else about my pregnancy was the same as previous pregnancies, except eating dates. My glucose levels were great at the 28 week test. I mentioned my date theory to a friend who had had a 12 lb baby a few months before, and she said she had eaten dates for the last 6 weeks of her pregnancy also. I am 5’4″, 125 lb, so I am not a big person. I did deliver her naturally at home without any tearing, but it was my hardest labor.