As we have all heard from time to time, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But being a mum, balancing kids, work/life, and adding pregnancy to all this makes us jump out of the house without getting a decent breakfast. And if you are a first-time mom to be, you might just be feeling too lazy to wrap up a meal. And at times we pick up a less healthy breakfast snack, all in the name of getting something in our stomach. But for a healthy pregnancy, you need to ensure you are eating a healthy breakfast. So what should a pregnant woman eat for breakfast?
What should a pregnant woman eat for breakfast?
You need to ensure a few things are incorporated in your breakfast; load it with fiber, protein for the amino acid, calcium for healthy bones both for you and baby, and whole grains for baby development.
Breakfast is essential; I mean you have gone the whole night without eating anything. Thus, your body needs to get a good load of fuel to keep nurturing the small human growing in your stomach. Your breakfast, or the tiny meals you can put in during the day should have each of these components.
- Your meals need to be high in fiber
Meals that are high in fiber help in stabilizing your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol level. At the same time, fiber helps you feel full longer and reduces constipation, which is a common symptom in pregnancy. Aim for having about 25 to 35 grams in a day to kick start your breakfast. Consider having a bowl of oatmeal, spinach in your omelets, chia seeds mixed in your smoothie, beans, or fruit with yogurt; this gives you a good dose of fiber for the day.
- Have some protein
Each meal should have a serving of protein, aim for about 75g per day. Protein has amino acids that help your baby grow stronger; this means loading up on some cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, eggs, some tofu, omelets, peanut butter, and some cheddar and Swiss cheese.
- Calcium is also important.
You need to consume about 1000 mg per day, this is sufficient to keep you both healthy, it will help your baby’s bones to grow strong and at the same time keep you healthy. Thus, how about starting your day with calcium loaded breakfast, some cheese, yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, almonds, bean burritos, sesame seed bread, tofu with some spinach, figs, these are just some items to play around with for your breakfast meal.
- Whole grains are important.
Complex carbs are good to keep you feel fuller for longer. Also, it is loaded with vitamin B, which is very important for your baby’s development. At the same time, you will be getting a healthy dose of minerals, iron, and fiber. Try having some whole-grain bread and cereals, some granola, porridge loaded with wheat germ, and oatmeal.
- Iron is essential
It is one of the most critical components you will need in your body when pregnant, and if you might have noticed your OBGYN must have given you some iron supplements. As a pregnant woman, you need to take 27mg a day for the efficient supply of oxygen to your baby. What are some of the iron-rich foods to include in your breakfast? Oatmeal, some eggs with spinach, dried fruit, iron-fortified cereals, and tofu are a good start.
Some breakfast foods to avoid while pregnant
These are a few foods you will need to avoid for pregnancy breakfast and also through the course of your day.
- Reduce your caffeine intake
You can take some caffeine but have it a minimum of 200 mg a day, this means, not more than two cups of brewed coffee in a day. No need to go through the day with a headache just because you didn’t have your dose of coffee, just ensure you are not overindulging on it.
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy
Several types of bacteria are found in soft cheese, raw milk and Brie, the likes of salmonella, listeria, and many more. Exposure to listeria bacteria when pregnant can be very dangerous; it could cause miscarriages in early pregnancy or even premature labor.
- Raw eggs are a no, no.
During this period, you need to stay clear of soft boiled eggs. Eggs are a good breakfast option to get all the good nutrients, but you need to ensure that it is properly cooked through, because raw eggs could have salmonella which is not suitable for you and your baby.
- Cut on sugary food
Breakfast is all about getting healthy vitamins and nutrients, not loading your body with cinnamon buns, sugar-filled cereals, doughnuts, yogurt loaded with high sugary fruits as this will send your sugar levels to the roof. And when you take too much sugar when you are pregnant, this could increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Smoked seafood
Smoked salmon is undoubtedly a tasty meal, a different way of spicing up your breakfast routine, but when pregnant, you need to stay clear of it as it may have listeria.
6 healthy breakfast ideas a pregnant woman should eat
- Porridge with some fruit
With a bowl of oatmeal, or your favorite porridge, you can sprinkle some fruits on the side. Have some fresh sliced fruit, the likes of peaches, bananas, or apples, or maybe toss in some of your favorite berries.
If you are leaning towards an oatmeal breakfast option, there are some ideas you can explore.
– Add some mixed berries, hemp seeds, and coconut oil to your oatmeal bowl
– You could also try apples, date fruit, cinnamon, and flax seeds
– Something on the simple side could be bananas, chia seeds, and raisins added to your oatmeal bowl
– If you are feeling experimental, add some coconut flakes, shredded carrots, and pecans to your bowl of oatmeal.
It is all about trying different combinations that work for you.
2. Some scrambled eggs
It is all about having a healthy breakfast in a few minutes, so grab your pan, scramble an egg or two, then top this on your whole meal bagel with some grilled tomatoes.
3. Yoghurt and some fruits
You need to ensure you are having a good dose of yoghurt in your breakfast, in a bowl, put some Greek yoghurt, sprinkle your favorite fruits, and to make it sweat drizzle some honey. Have this with a side of whole meal toast and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
4. Some quinoa can also work.
Quinoa is also a good option for a healthy breakfast; it is high in fiber, protein and amino acids. All the goodness you need to load your body when pregnant. Additionally, it will help keep you fuller for a longer time. Experiment different ways you can enjoy your bowl, but to start you off how about having some fried eggs, tomatoes and avocado slices on the side with your quinoa. You could also try some scrambled eggs, sauté your favorite greens and pair this with your quinoa. Avocados during pregnancy is an excellent option to load up on healthy fats.
5. Poached eggs in some broth
How about having something a little different for breakfast, have some bone broth poached eggs. Bone broth is loaded with several nutrients and vitamins to go a long way in growing a healthy baby. The broth is high in glycine, gelatin and collagen, nutrients that are important in your baby’s development. And if you have been having morning sickness, some bone broth my help in easing the symptoms.
Preparing the delicious bowl, with about 2-3 cups of boiling bone broth, crack an egg to the broth, sprinkle some salt and let this simmer till the eggs are ready. Have this with gluten-free or whole meal toast.
6. A smoothie bowl or merely a smoothie
Smoothies are a great way of loading your body with the needed nutrients quickly, but this does not count for all smoothies. Ensure that your smoothie has the necessary ingredients to boost your energy levels and load you with all the right nutrients and minerals to keep you healthy. When making your smoothies, try and follow this recommendation.
Have a low- glycemic fruit (the likes of cherries, apples, pears, bananas, peaches, strawberry, Oranges…) + some healthy fats (coconut milk, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds…) + protein (some nuts, Greek yoghurt, nut butter like peanut, almond or cashews, oats…) + some greens (spinach, avocado, baby kales…) + and top it off with nut milk or some Greek yoghurt.
Small take away- safety tips for pregnant women.
Always ensure you are keeping optimum food safety habits; this is whether you are expectant or not. But during this period we need to be a little extra careful.
- Ensure you always keep your fresh food fresh
Fresh food like milk and eggs should not be consumed once it has passed its sell-by date, and foods are stored properly.
- When you are in doubt throw it out
Meal prep makes our life easy, especially for those busy days, but if you have meals that you prepared but can’t remember when you made it, you should throw it out. There could be some bacteria growing on the food, not something you want to consume.
- Your hands need to be clean before you eat.
We always remember to wash out hands before eating a snack, lunch or dinner, but what about breakfast. You probably had a long night tossing and turning, and when it is finally morning we just rush to the kitchen, to the fridge and grab the first snack we see, but before this, stop and wash your hands.