This post is going to walk you through setting up an easy meal planning system for nourishing your pregnant body so that you can have a healthy pregnancy!

How to make Healthy Pregnancy Meals

Making healthy pregnancy meals that nourish you (and baby) is easier than you think. During pregnancy you need fuel to grow your baby and make it through the day. Food that provides you with energy and stamina, and is clean and nutrient dense. This post is going to walk you through setting up an easy meal planning system for nourishing your pregnant body so that you can have a healthy pregnancy!

Let’s face it – most of know what we should be eating during pregnancy. We just don’t know how to go from our ideal (in our heads and hearts) to our reality. A reality where:

  • breakfast fuels you
  • lunch is convenient + healthy
  • a healthy dinner is on the table every night (with ease)
  • and snacks + desserts are actually good for you

Because if you want to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to look at the whole picture of how your ideals go with your habits and actions.

Making healthy pregnancy meals that nourish you (and baby) is easier than you think. This post is going to walk you through setting up an easy meal planning system for nourishing your pregnant body so that you can have a healthy pregnancy! Let’s face it – most of know what we should be eating during pregnancy. We just don’t know how to go from our ideal (in our heads and hearts) to our reality. #pregnancydiet #superfoods #healthypregnancy

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Perhaps you know that eating a diet rich in healthy fats is good for you and the baby’s development, but you still need to take the action of actually buying the coconut oil, and then eating it. Not just once, but routinely. Like every time you cook on the stove, or add it to your morning smoothie, or by the spoonful when you are preparing lunch.

It’s not enough to just know what makes up a healthy pregnancy diet and have lots of pretty Pinterest boards filled with recipes you are never going to make.

You need doable recipes.

And you need a flexible plan in conjunction with that to help you make it happen.

Does that sound like a reality you’d like to see?

Let’s dive in!

Nourishing Your Pregnant Body

Throughout this Nourishing Your Pregnant Body Series, I’ve been sharing some of my best tips for eating during pregnancy. In Part 1, I share the pregnancy diet mistakes I made and learned from over 4 pregnancies so that you can avoid them. In Part 2, I share the best herbal teas for pregnancy (and postpartum) so that you can ease pregnancy symptoms naturally. And in Part 3, I share time saving and energy boosting kitchen tips to make preparing healthy pregnancy meals a whole lot easier.

Nourishing Your Pregnant Body Series - Your guide to discovering how to eat during pregnancy

 

In Part 4, I’m sharing the easy meal planning system I developed to make healthy pregnancy meals a reality. It’s all based on nourishing your body with superfoods. And on the premise that what you put in your body matters and will effect your pregnancy experience.

The Basic Principles of Nourishing Your Pregnant Body

#1 – Eat real food – that means a fresh peach vs a fruit cup.  Choose fresh ingredients whenever possible over products out of a box or can. Take time to read labels. Choose low processed products with real, quailty ingredients.

Eating real food during pregnancy is a basic principle of nourishing your pregnant body. Use Vegetables to make healthy pregnancy meals.

#2 – Healthy fats – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter should replace vegetable oils.  Add healthy fats to everything you cook.

#3 – Nutrient dense foods over supplements – as much as possible rely on nutrient dense food to provide your nutrition. Supplements are just that, a “supplement” and cannot replace a healthy pregnancy diet. Prepare recipes that contain nutrient dense foods everyday.

#4 – Low sugar – cut high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and artificial sugar from your diet. Replace it with raw honey (this is my favorite one) and/or maple syrup.  This can help to prevent things like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

#5 – Gluten free and/or grain free – Are you experiencing any digestive issues or increased inflammation (acne, eczema, psoriasis)?  Reducing or eliminating wheat and/or grains may be beneficial. It was for me!

#6 – Herbs that nourish – there are so many beneficial herbs for pregnancy. You can drink herbal tea (infusions), or use them to spice your food.  Adding fresh or dried herbsto your meals boosts the nutrients, the taste and your immune system.


#7 – Gut health – having a healthy gut is not only important for your overall health, but also for your baby’s. A mother’s gut bacteria establishes that of her child. Gut bacteria is carried for years to come. It establishes the health of a person for their lifetime. So needless to say – it is super important to focus on having a healthy gut system during pregnancy. You can do this by adding in fermented foods and/or taking probiotics during pregnancy.

Keep these basic principles in mind when making decisions about what to eat.

Does this seem like a lot to think about? Don’t worry, in the next section we are going to look at a system that can help make preparing healthy pregnancy meals a breeze.

 

Planning Healthy Pregnancy Meals

It starts with a plan and an ideal. Ideally, you’d like to eat 3 meals a day and have 2-3 snacks mixed in. (You are growing a baby so this is totally reasonable!) You want those meals to be made up of superfoods and adhear to the basic principles of nourishing your pregnant body from above.

The goal is to load as many nutrient dense superfoods as possible in each time you eat.

No worries, I’ve made a list for you of all the best superfoods to eat during pregnancy and postpartum. (Yes, I went through like 50 lists on Google and Pinterest and combined them all into one super cute checklist you can hang on your fridge or save to your phone.)

Step #1 (after you download your list!)

Collect recipes that include superfoods that you like to eat. Choose recipes that include 3 or more superfoods so that you are totally rocking it.

Aim to collect:

  • 3 breakfast recipes
  • 3 lunch recipes
  • 5 dinner recipes
  • 3 snack ideas

Why this many recipes? By repeating a few of your favorite recipes for breakfast and lunch, it makes meal prep easier, saves time and brain power. This also gives space to have a night out or eat up any leftovers.

Need recipe ideas? Head over to my Pinterest board – Superfood Recipes for Pregnancy for a good place to get started! Remember you need options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The recipes on this Board are real food based and gluten free. There are also lots of whole 30, paleo and vegan recipes.

Another important thing to keep in mind when picking recipes, is how much time you will have to prepare meals. If evenings are super busy for you and you are always exhausted, choose easy 15-minute and 20-minute meals. Or better yet, slow cooker meals or freezer meals that you can make ahead of time.

You will be more likely to follow and stick to a meal plan that works with your life, routine and cooking ability.

Step #2

Make a Pinterest Board with just the recipes you plan to make and include in your meal plan. That way you don’t get distracted by the other pretty pictures. All your recipes will be in one place and ready for the next step.

 

Easy healthy pregnancy meal planing with Pinterest.

Step #3

Make a grocery list of all the items you need to make your healthy pregnancy meals. Pinterest makes this easy by displaying the ingredient list on the pin. This saves time by not needing to click through to each recipe!

Go through each recipe and write exactly what is needed on 1 piece of paper or Google doc, or note (etc). If it is a pantry item that you already have, you can leave it off. But other than that, write it all on the list.

Step #4

Put the meals you plan to eat on a meal planning chart or calendar for the week. If you like more flexibility, just work from your meal planning board and move to the next step.

Step #5

Place an  Amazon Prime Order and figure out a day when you can grocery shop for the fresh and local items. Grocery shop at a time when you are not rushed and not hungry. And when you will have a little time after to prep the meats and veggies.


Step #6

Prep the meats and chop the vegetables ahead of time to save time later in the week. You can read more about strategies for doing this in my post 21 Time Saving Kitchen Tips for Pregnant and Busy Moms.

Step #7

Throughout the week work from your plan. Each morning and evening look at your plan and determine what needs to be defrosted or prepared for the next meal.  Take notes about what works and what doesn’t. Then adjust the following week.

This post is going to walk you through setting up an easy meal planning system for nourishing your pregnant body so that you can have a healthy pregnancy! Because if you want to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to look at the whole picture of how your ideals go with your habits and actions. #pregnancydiet #pregnancymealplan #healthypregnancy

 

Follow through with your good intentions. Make meal planning a priority and take actions to make it happen so that you can have a healthy pregnancy.

Have questions? Want support for a healthy, joyful pregnancy and a positive birth experience? Come join the Birth Eat Love Group on Facebook and connect with our wonderful community of moms.

Make sure to download your Ultimate Superfood List below to get started planning healthy pregnancy meals today. Read the whole Nourishing Your Pregnant Body Series here.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, leave a comment below and let me know, or share the post on your favorite social media channel. Follow Birth Eat Love on Facebook and Pinterest for more tips on natural pregnancy, self care and superfood meal planning.

Are you ready to plan healthy pregnancy meals? What’s on your meal plan?

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author based on personal research and first hand experience. Please do your own research and consult your care provider when making decisions regarding your pregnancy. 

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