When I became pregnant with both Joey and Anthony, eating variety was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted was Wheat Thins during the first trimester, cottage cheese, lattes, and watermelon during the second trimester, and enchiladas and pasta bakes during the third. Seriously, I just checked my pregnancy journals and I had these foods list for both boys. As much as I would’ve liked to have lived off of cheese and crackers and caffeine, the babies clearly needed more than that, even if it was hard for me to stomach.
It’s a common misconception that “eating for two” refers to the amount of food you should eat while you are pregnant. What “eating for two” really means is that you need to consume all of the vitamins and minerals needed for both you and your growing baby to thrive. Because our friend Google has plenty of information to share when you search “pregnancy nutrition,” I thought I’d pull together some of my favorite resources that are evidence-based, and use the latest science available for recommendations on healthy eating during pregnancy— beyond my crispy cracker and cheesy pasta recommendation.
The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook by Dr. Sonali Ruder
Let me start by saying I collect cookbooks. Seriously, I read cookbooks like some people read novels. So when my friend Sonali asked me if I’d like a copy of her new cookbook, the Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, I couldn’t say no! Sonali is a wife, mom, physician, and blogger. Yes, I too do not know when she sleeps. But I’m so thankful that she’s created such a practical resource that brings together both the nutrition AND food component for those expecting or soon-to-be expecting. So often we talk the WHAT when it comes to nutrition, but then many do not know what to do with that knowledge in the kitchen. Sonali bridges this gap with over 125 nutritious recipes for a healthy pregnancy [and the best part is the recipes are for everyone— not just those who are pregnant].
Along with the recipes, the cookbook starts off with a little pregnancy nutrition 101. While feeding your baby during pregnancy does increase your body’s need for all nutrients, there are a few that are of particular importance that Sonali covers. And instead of getting overwhelmed or worrying about exact numbers, Sonali shares the best way to aim for meals or snacks that contain these nutrients with the 125 recipes included. See what she did there?! So if you are the type of person that enjoys reading cookbooks like I do, or know of a friend who is having a baby, this cookbook is for you [it makes a great gift]. If you’d like to check out a few of the recipes in the cookbook, take a look at these Miso-Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Root Veggies by Jessica at Nutritioulicious, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins from Kristina at Love and Zest, and Pumpkin Custard by E.A. at Spicy RD Nutrition. These ladies reviewed Sonali’s cookbook as well and tested out of few of the recipes. Me? I stuck to the couch and read cover to cover. With a Baby Bellini in hand—- which was one of my favorite recipes from the book!
Along with the Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, here are a few other pregnancy nutrition resources I’ve found useful throughout my pregnancies.
Additional Online + Print Resources:
Healthy Pregnancy Eating Tips via Enjoy Every Bite
Top 5 Pregnancy Nutrition Questions Answered via Sarah Remmer, RD, Yummy Mummy Club
6 Important Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy via Sarah Remmer, RD, Yummy Mummy Club
Weight Gain During Pregnancy via Page Smathers, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Eating for Two During Pregnancy via Brittany at Your Choice Nutrition
Wee Feed—> a nutrition resource that delivers a weekly nutrition newsletter to your inbox that is in sync with your week[s] in pregnancy
Pregnancy Diet: Focus on these Essential Nutrients via The Mayo Clinic
Pregnancy Nutrition via American Pregnancy Association
Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy via Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
And just remember, when making food choices during pregnancy, what you eat, your baby eats too. That’s not to say that the actual food crosses the placenta and makes its way into your baby’s body. But the nutrients do! If you keep your junk food consumption to a minimum, watch your vitamin and mineral intake, and eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat diary, and lean protein, you’ll be well on your way to building a healthy, strong baby.
Other great pregnancy info from fellow RD’s— a little nutrition, fitness, and everything in between— definitely worth the read!
7 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy via Sarah Remmer, RD, Yummy Mummy Club
When Did Pregnancy Weight Become a Competitive Sport via Katie at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
National Pregnancy Week via Cheryl Meyer, RD
Hyperemesis Gravidarum via Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, Fuelin’ Roadie
Pregnancy Fitness via Elana Natker, MS, RD, A Sprinkle of Sage
Fitness Myth: Staying Below 140 BPM When Pregnant via Chrissy at Snacking in Sneakers
Pregnancy Core Exercises via Brittany at Your Choice Nutrition