This week, we'll be featuring tips from experts in the know on all kinds of topics from nutrition to fitness to fashion. Today, Stephanie Lamar, CDE, RD (certified diabetes educator and registered dietician) a offers up advice and sample snacks and meals for optimum maternity nutrition. Stephanie also shares meal planning and recipes for healthy family dinners at her blog Brown Goat.
While pregnancy used to be an excuse to “eat for two,” women now understand that the important part of eating while you are expecting is not the food quantity but the food quality. Pregnancy is not a time to overeat, but rather a time to maximize your good nutrition with smart and healthy food choices. Of particular importance are the nutrients folate, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fats. These nutrients incorporated into a healthy diet will aid in fetal development while also providing the energy needed for a healthy mom-to-be.
Not only is it important to eat three meals each day during pregnancy, it is also important to eat snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar consistent and to provide plenty of opportunities to maximize your intake of essential nutrients. Each meal or snack should consist of at least one protein food and one carbohydrate food. This pairing will help keep you energized and feeling full for longer periods of a time. Following the provided meal and snack ideas will help you to eat regularly every day so that you can optimize the health of your baby and yourself during your pregnancy.
• 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese + 1/2 cup berries, 1 whole grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
• 1 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce,1 teaspoon cinnamon and sugar, 1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• Smoothie: 1 banana, 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt, 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and honey to taste. Eat with 1 slice of whole wheat toast spread with 1 teaspoon of butter.
• Breakfast quesadilla: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 2 tablespoons salsa, 1/4 cup diced peppers, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 1 scrambled egg baked at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Eat with 1/2 cup cantaloupe and 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk.
Morning snack ideas:
• 1/4 cup trail mix (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, dried fruit)
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 4-6 whole grain crackers, 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1/2 cup low-fat granola with 1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1 ounce cheese, 4-6 whole-grain crackers
• Pita pizza: 1 whole grain pita, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 3 tablespoons chopped vegetables heated until cheese is bubbly. Eat with 1 cup lentil soup and 1 orange.
• Stuffed baked potato: combine the inside of a baked potato with 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1/4 cup chopped green onions and bell peppers, and salt and pepper. Stuff back into potato skin at bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Eat with spinach salad and 1 kiwi.
• Salad: 1/2 cup lettuce greens, 3 tablespoons broccoli florets, 3 tablespoons chick peas, 1 grilled chicken breast, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Eat with 5 whole grain crackers, 1 tangerine, and 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk.
Chicken salad wrap: 1 whole wheat pita, 1/2 can chicken, 1/2 apple, diced, 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise. Eat with 1/2 cup green beans and 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk.
Afternoon snack ideas:
• 3 cups light popcorn, 1/2 cup baby carrots with 1 tablespoon creamy dressing
• 1 whole grain pita, 2 tablespoons hummus, 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1 cup baked tortilla chips, 1/4 cup salsa, 1 ounce of cubed cheddar cheese
• 1/2 banana, 4 whole grain crackers, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 tablespoon raisins
• 4 ounces lean ground beef or turkey for burger served with tomato and lettuce on whole wheat bun. Citrus fruit salad: 1/4 cup each chopped grapefruit, tangerine, and orange tossed with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint.
• 3 ounces of grilled salmon, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed broccoli, mixed berry salad: 1/2 cup berries, dash of almond extract, 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
• 4 ounces of shredded rotisserie chicken, 1 baked potato with salsa for topping, 1 cup steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
• Burrito: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 cup black beans, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup steamed vegetables topped with salsa. 1/2 cup steamed summer squash, 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
Evening snack ideas:
• 1 cup hot chocolate made with fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1 cup whole grain cereal with 1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk, 3 small oatmeal cookies
• Homemade “guacamole”: 1 mashed avocado, 1 diced tomato, 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 whole wheat pita cut into triangles
*Photo credit:Stephanie Lamar