Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone, especially pregnant women. A healthy meal in the morning supplies all the nutrients, vitamins & energy necessary for a healthy and productive day. Besides, as an expectant mom, you’re eating for two and you wouldn’t want to starve your baby, right?
We know pregnancy comes with a lot of changes; dietary, physical, and even emotional. Another important change is an obvious increase in cravings and desires for different foods. However, it is important to stay healthy throughout these changes.
In this article, we’ve compiled 10 healthy breakfast options for you and why they should become an important part of your diet.
Fiber-rich foods are highly beneficial to every mom-to-be. For example, an oatmeal breakfast would lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar and also reduce the possibility of constipation during pregnancy. Recent research suggests that you consume 25-35 grams of fiber daily throughout pregnancy. A simple way to meet this goal is by starting your day with a bowl of oats. Furthermore, you can choose to take your oatmeal with bone broth as it helps to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.
2. Cheese & Yoghurt
Every pregnant woman needs at least 1000mg of calcium daily. This is because calcium helps your baby grow strong bones and improve muscle function & signaling. Incorporating cheese and yogurt into your breakfast diet would help you meet your calcium daily requirements while refreshing you throughout this journey.
It would interest you to note that a standard cup of yoghurt contains about 300mg of calcium while a 28 gram piece of cheese would supply you with at least 330mg of calcium.
3. Egg custard
Protein is central to your baby’s growth throughout pregnancy. It serves as a building block for cell growth and immune development. This is especially important in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy because your baby is growing rapidly. This development is matched by increased growth in your breasts and body organs to accommodate your baby’s growing needs.
The protein requirements during pregnancy range between 40-70 grams daily, depending on the woman’s weight. A healthy breakfast option that supplies your protein needs is a simple egg custard. Other breakfast options that are rich in protein include:
- Poultry products
- Lean meat
During pregnancy, a healthy supply of iron prevents iron deficiency anemia. This is because hemoglobin, the part of your red blood cells that transports oxygen, requires iron for proper function. Therefore, deficient iron supply results in deficient oxygen transport.
As an expectant mom, your iron requirements are higher than a non-pregnant woman’s because of a marked increase in oxygen transport (to meet the baby’s needs). Vegetables as a breakfast option contain large amounts of iron in addition to other essential nutrients. Other meals that’d help supply your iron requirements include:
- Lean red meat
- Poultry products
5. Whole Grains
Grains are essential before, during and after pregnancy. Whole grain meals are rich in carbohydrates, which is eventually converted to glucose and used to fuel body functions. Whole grain meals are also rich in Vit.B, proteins, minerals and healthy fat. As a mom-to-be, we recommend that you eat your grains in their whole forms like rice, oatmeal, barley, wheat or corn.
6. Breakfast Burrito
This is the ultimate portable breakfast option for you if cooking is too tasking. This meal contains a rich blend of eggs, black beans, avocado, salsa and tomatoes. In addition to this, burritos contain less fat than most fast foods and is much more nutritious.
This meal supplies you with the following nutrients:
7. Tuna omelet
Medical studies have shown that meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids improve your baby’s brain development before birth. After birth, omega-3 fatty acids help children develop better visual, memory and language comprehension.
Tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. For a healthy breakfast option, you can consider a simple Tuna omelet as it contains this essential nutrient and would keep you full & strong for long hours.
8. Egg Yolk
Egg yolk is rich in choline, an important nutrient that improves cell signaling and fat transport. Furthermore, it supports normal liver and brain cell function. During pregnancy, studies have shown that choline helps in the development of the baby’s hippocampus (a small part of the brain linked with memory).
9. Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Thankfully, with this breakfast option you don’t have to substitute fluffiness for nutrition (these pancakes have all of both). In fact, we believe that white flour pancakes seem pretty boring compared to this nourishing goodness. You can even make them sweet or spicy to your taste.
In addition, you can toss in some fruit slices (apples, pear, or banana). Each portion of whole wheat buttermilk pancakes supplies you with protein, calcium, whole grains, and essential fat.
Fruits provide high amounts of vitamins and minerals (depending on which fruit you’re taking). Along with any of the other breakfast items above, fruits serve as an excellent way to start a healthy day. In addition to supplying necessary nutrients, fruits like oranges and apples aid digestion, relieve the symptoms of nausea, and boost your appetite for other meals during pregnancy.
Some of the important functions of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy include:
- Improved brain development (vitamin B1 and B6).
- Proper skin conditioning (vitamin B2).
- Proper eye development for your baby (vitamin A).
- Prevents neural tube defects (vitamin B9).
- Tissue repair and wound healing (vitamin C).
- Increased Iron absorption (Vitamin C).
During pregnancy, a few slices of a nice juicy/crunchy fruit may be all you need to start a healthy day. Furthermore, you can prepare a simple fruit salad with any of the following fruit options:
These fruits provide a healthy supply of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B9, and C. Want to know the best part? You can eat as many fruits as you want.
A Final Note
While combining any of these breakfast items, remember that water is important. Stay hydrated at all times, in addition to water you can check here for more healthy fluid options. Also, if you cannot handle a big breakfast, take it in small portions until you feel sated.
Finally, a banana a day will keep you healthy and strong throughout pregnancy. As a plus, you can add this sweet fruit to your smoothies, cereal, oats, yoghurts or a simple fruit salad.
Drdevdatt Laxman Pitale (2018). The effects of food habits on pregnancy outcome. International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Accessed on 21st March, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322688374_The_effects_of_food_habits_on_pregnancy_outcome/citation/download
Sarah E Santiago, Grace H Park and Kelly J Huffman (2013). Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California. Nutrition Journal volume 12, Article number: 91. Accessed on 21st March, 2021 from https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-12-91
T. Morris, S. Strömmer, C. Vogel, N. C. Harvey, C. Cooper, H. Inskip, K. Woods-Townsend, J. Baird, M. Barker and W. Lawrence (2020). Improving pregnant women’s diet and physical activity behaviours: the emergent role of health identity. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth volume 20, Article number: 244. Accessed on 21st March, 2021 from https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-020-02913-z