We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you know it's even more crucial to have a healthy breakfast during pregnancy? Aim to start the day off with a meal that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals like: folic acid, calcium and iron. Having a hearty and healthy breakfast will give you the energy boost you need and all the necessary nutrients to keep you and your baby happy.
What To Look For:
High fiber foods help lower cholesterol, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and keep constipation away. Look for foods that offer at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Think: oatmeal, chia seeds, spinach omelets, yogurt, berries.
You should have some source of protein daily, aim for 75 grams a day. Your baby needs the amino acids present in protein to grow strong. Protein rich foods would include: cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, almond butter, sunflower seed butter.
Calcium is what makes our bones strong. You need about 1,000 mg a day to help your baby's bones grow (and keep yours strong!) Calcium rich foods are: yogurt, cheeses, fortified orange juice, beans, almonds, figs.
As a pregnant mom to be, you need twice the amount of iron per day than a non pregnant woman. Think 27 mg daily which you can get from: dried fruits, oatmeal, spinach, eggs, tofu, and iron fortified cereals.
What To Avoid (not just in the morning but throughout the day... sorry):
This is a huge no-no! I'd say don't take any caffeine at all but if you must, limit yourself to no more than 200 mg a day (about 1 cup of black coffee or 4 cups of black tea.) High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. Unfortunately, drinking caffeine during pregnancy can also cause a miscarriage. So opt instead for decaf lattes, non caffeinated teas, and my personal favorite: hot cocoa.
Listeria, salmonella and other harmful bacteria can be found in raw milk and soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, goat, ricotta, feta, blue cheese and queso blanco.
The listeria bacteria is killed with heating and pasteurization so listeriosis is usually linked to eating uncooked meats or vegetables, raw or unpasteurized milk products, or processed foods (such as hot dogs and deli meat) that become contaminated after being cooked at the food processing facility. Pregnant women are more susceptible to listeria. It's very rare that someone would get listeriosis and a healthy adult wont feel much consequence from it as the body will fight the bacteria. However, what’s scary for moms-to-be, is that having it during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm birth.
If your a lox and cream cheese girl, I have bad news. Stay clear for now. It could contain listeria.
Consuming too much sugar for breakfast (pregnant or not) isn't the best idea since it will spike your blood sugar levels from the early morning. However, during pregnancy this applies more so: to much sugar increases the odds of your child having diabetes later on in life.
If you love soft boiled eggs, you'll have to wait it out. Eggs are an amazing food to eat during pregnancy but only if they're fully cooked. Otherwise, you're gambling with salmonella.
Check out these nutritious breakfast ideas:
Scrambled Eggs With Greens (... just make sure to cook the eggs thru)
You can choose baby kale, spinach, Swiss chard or all of the above. A fresh mix of greens delivers dozens of essential nutrients, among those are: calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, plus choline. Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain and spinal cord.
- Overnight Oats With Chia Seeds And Almond Milk
You will love the idea of a ready made breakfast in the morning (as long as you don't forget to prepare it at night.) Chop up some fruits or add in berries for an added pizzazz in the morning. Oats are high in fiber, Iron, folic acid, and provide a great source of energy.
Chia seeds will give you a boost of Omega-3.
Did you know, gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon.
- Avocado Toast (on whole wheat bread)
Our good old friend avocado: rich in vitamin-E, to keep our skin glowing. It's also rich in energy boosting fats, and key nutrients. Avocados have supply a great source of folate and potassium which are super important for fetal growth and development.
- Mango And Wheatgerm Smoothie (with a cup of plain low fat yogurt)
Mango's contains enzymes which aid digestion, while the yogurt provides calcium to help your baby’s bones grow strong. And wheatgerm helps increase stamina and builds muscle for energy. It's a win-win.
- Bircher Museli
If you want something other than oatmeal, try bircher muesli. Simply soak whole rolled oats overnight in milk or, almond milk. In the morning, add nuts (especially walnuts - rich in omega-3's) and fresh berries. Raw oats contain phytic acid, an essential nutrient which the steam process used to create quick oats destroys. It is high in fiber and without added sugar, helps with diabetes control.
Protein packed and heart healthy.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which is needed to absorb iron and vital for helping your baby grow. While eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and cholin. along with various other functions!
During pregnancy and breast feeding, an adequate supply of choline is extremely important as it aids in brain development.
- Almond Butter Toast (on whole wheat bread)
High in protein to keep you fuller for longer, energy-boosting, and rich in nutrients such as vitamin E. Choose wholewheat toast for long-lasting energy.
- Sardine Toast (on whole wheat bread)
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help with your baby’s brain development. Gently heat up some tinned fillets in the oven until warmed through, place on toast and sprinkle with fresh chilli, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Buckwheat Granola
This ancient grain is a gluten-free grain, perfect if you're intolerant to wheat. Filled with fiber, protein, calcium, iron and B-vitamins. Add some low fat yogurt, nuts, dried fruit, and a drizzle of honey to fancy it up.
Yogurt is a great calcium rich source. Calcium helps your bones stay intact while supporting your baby in developing strong bones. It also supports circulation, muscles, and the nervous system. If you don’t get enough calcium from your diet, the calcium will get depleted from your bones and go to your baby.