I have to admit it: I wish I could eat healthy all the time now that I’m pregnant. But the truth is, it’s just not possible. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely changed my eating habits for the better now that I’m expecting. I mean, I always make sure to add at least two pieces of fruit each day (whether it be adding a banana to my morning cereal or forcing an apple down my throat during my afternoon break)…I also make it a point to add a green salad medley into either my lunch or dinner (albeit a small one).
It may not sound like much, but before my pregnancy I got away with eating a lot of junk food…not to mention the fact that I could easily turn to yoga or the gym if needing to tone up a bit. So these minor changes I’ve made, are actually pretty significant. I’m eating more greens, broccoli, tomatoes, yogurts, organic meats, milks and fruits than I ever expected. And of course, I should be. But some days, I really struggle to keep to that “eating-better-for-two” mentality and I just give in to my sweet tooth and junk food cravings. I’m trying hard not to, but it isn’t always easy!
What I found, is that breakfast is definitely the easiest time to both enjoy foods and add nutrients…as long as you include a tall glass of calcium-rich o.j. with that cinnamon raisin bagel and vegetable cream cheese or include a small piece of fruit with any fiber-rich cereal, you are good to go :)!
Dinner isn’t too bad since I can easily include a nice side of broccoli, asparagus or peppers…but on my tough days, I am simply averse to meats…both poultry and beef (the two meats I typically eat)!
And I’ve saved the worst for last: lunch. By far the hardest meal to healthily enjoy. I’ve always gotten away with chicken parmigiana or cold-cut sandwiches. But now that cold-cuts are off limits due to listeria risks, I find myself craving grilled cheeses all the time! And since that will neither fill me up nor meet the nutrition needs of my baby, if I go this route, a home-made side salad is a must (don’t want to risk getting crappy romaine lettuce included in my salads from the local delis). I’m trying to think more creatively…but I’ve found lunch meals to be the most challenging!
What are your tasty, yet healthy options for lunch during pregnancy?
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.