Pregnancy is not the time to skip meals because when you are pregnant your baby depends on a steady supply of nutrients and energy to develop properly. Eating a healthy dinner that fits into the pregnancy diet plan is just one part of eating healthy foods when pregnant. See the other articles I’ve written for breakfast, lunch and snack ideas.
~Herb Roasted Chicken – Minced garlic clove, rosemary, thyme and salt combined to create an herb mixture. Baste chicken breast with herb mixture as desired and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn and bake another 15 until cooked all the way through. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein during pregnancy.
~Stir Fry Vegetables – Increasing your intake of vegetables during pregnancy ensures you have enough folic acid, iron and fiber in your diet. Try lightly sautéing in olive oil or brother any of the following: celery, onion, carrot, mushroom, pea pods, sesame seeds, zucchini, green beans, or squash. Season with minced garlic and herbs. Non-vegetarians can brown some chicken pieces or lean pork pieces.
~Pregnancy Chef Salad – Make a salad with healthy greens, iceburg lettuce doesn’t count. During pregnancy especially switch to mesclun, dark green lettuces, spinach, parsley, kale and collard. Top the salad with topics high in nutrients that are necessary while pregnant such as ham cubes, cheese shreds, cottage cheese, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, almond slices, cucumbers, and parsley.
~Beans and Herbs Casserole – Another recipe that is great for pregnant vegetarians. Rinse and soak overnight 1 1/2 C dried black-eye peas. Rinse again the following day and put in a pot of water. Boil. Simmer 40 minutes until tender and set aside undrained. Add 2 Tbl oil to large skillet and sauté one whole red chili pepper which will darken and puff up immediately. Quickly add 3 cloves of minced garlic and stir briefly. Add in the black-eyed peas and an herb mixture of 2-3 bay leaves, 1tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, 1tsp paprika, and 1 ½ tsp salt. Stir and simmer 20 minutes. Serve hot. This recipe is great served in a whole wheat tortilla and with a side of wild rice.
~Halibut, Salmon or Chicken Breast with “Christmas Sauce” Topping – This topping is a great mix that you can have in the pantry ready to whip up on short notice. You’ll need one bottle of fat-free French dressing, 1 can of whole cranberries and one envelope of onion soup mix. Combine all ingredients are pour over the meat before cooking. Makes a colorful and tasty sweet-and-sour sauce that our family really loves.
~Cream of Mushroom or Vegetable Soup – You can make any soup a “Cream of” soup by adding a can of evaporated low-fat milk. This not only increases the calcium content of the soup but also adds a creamy richness to the broth.
It is easier to eat healthy than many pregnant women realize. The more whole foods we can consume, and the less processing our food goes through, ultimately the more healthy and nutritious it will be. See additional articles for specific nutritional requirements during pregnancy as well as other menu plan ideas.