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Mom-to-Be Meal Ideas

breakfast

How exactly does this plan work? It's a total no-brainer. Just pick one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner each day from the list of suggestions, plus two kinds of snacks (at least one calcium-rich one) and a treat. You get lots and lots of food -- woo-hoo! Check with your doctor before starting this or any eating plan.

What are the total daily calories? The suggested meals and snacks add up to 2,200 calories a day. If you were underweight at the start of pregnancy, you'll probably need about 2,400 calories a day: Add an after-dinner snack or double the size of one snack during the day. If you started your pregnancy overweight, you'll need about 2,000 calories a day: Choose only one snack each day.

Won't I get bored with these meals after a few weeks? Of course, which is why we've got a bunch of other suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Visit americanbaby.com/pregnancyrecipes.

Breakfasts

About 450 calories each

Strawberry-Coconut Cereal
Serve 1? cups whole-grain cereal (like Kashi Heart to Heart) with 1 cup 1 percent milk, ? cup sliced strawberries, 2 Tbs. sweetened shredded coconut, and 2 Tbs. slivered almonds.

South-of-the-Border Egg Sandwich
Top a whole-wheat English muffin with 1 Tbs. hummus, 1 DHA-fortified egg plus 1 egg white cooked with olive-oil cooking spray, 1 oz. reduced-fat cheese, ? cup chopped avocado, and 2 Tbs. fresh salsa. Serve with 1 cup cantaloupe chunks.

Waffles With Maple Yogurt and Pears
Top 2 whole-grain toaster waffles with 6 oz. nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. maple syrup. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. chopped walnuts. Serve with 1 small pear, sliced.

Mango-Banana Smoothie
Blend ? cup chopped mango with 1 medium banana, ? cup low-fat plain yogurt, ? cup 1 percent milk, 2 Tbs. old-fashioned oats, 1 Tbs. ground flaxseeds, and 1 tsp. honey.

Eggs and Toast
Have 2 hard-boiled, DHA-fortified eggs, 2 slices whole-wheat toast spread with 1 tsp. butter, and 1 kiwi fruit.

Peach-Pecan Muesli
Combine ? cup rolled oats, ? cup chopped peaches, ⅔ cup nonfat plain yogurt, ? cup vanilla soy milk, 2 Tbs. chopped pecans, and 1 tsp. honey.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata
Whisk together 1 DHA-fortified egg plus 2 egg whites with a pinch of black pepper and 1 Tbs. water. In a small nonstick or cast-iron skillet, saut? ? cup onion and ? cup chopped asparagus in 1 tsp. olive oil, about 1 to 2 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Add the egg mixture and 1 oz. crumbled goat cheese. Cook on medium heat until the bottom of the frittata has set, about 3 minutes. Remove from the stove, then broil on high until the top is golden, about 2 more minutes. Serve with 1 whole-wheat English muffin topped with 1 tsp. butter.

lunch

About 550 calories each

MTA (Mozzarella, Tomato, Avocado) on Whole Wheat
Mash ? avocado, then spread on 2 pieces of whole-wheat toast. Top with 1 ? oz. fresh mozzarella, 5 fresh basil leaves, 2 slices tomato, and ? cup baby spinach leaves. Drizzle with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Serve with 1 medium orange.

Chicken-and-Apple Tortilla Melt
Spread 1 Tbs. nonfat plain yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. Dijon mustard on an 8" whole-wheat tortilla. Then layer 3 oz. grilled chicken, &frac1/3; cup thinly sliced apple, ? cup chopped celery, 2 thin slices red onion, and 1 slice reduced-fat provolone cheese. Heat uncovered in a toaster oven, or in a skillet or grill pan, until cheese is melted. Roll up the sandwich and serve with ? cup steamed edamame in the shell.

Salmon-Salad Pita
Mix one 5-oz. can salmon (drained) with 1 Tbs. light mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. nonfat plain yogurt, ⅛ tsp. curry powder, ? tsp. dried parsley, and a dash of black pepper and garlic powder. Stuff salmon salad into a 6" whole-wheat pita with ? cup each of chopped cucumber and tomato, and 2 Tbs. chopped red onion. Serve with ? cup baby carrots dipped in 3 Tbs. hummus, and 1 cup of grapes.

Arugula and Chickpea Salad With Pumpkin Seeds
On a bed of baby spinach combined with arugula, arrange ? cup canned chickpeas, ? cup sliced red peppers, 2 Tbs. pumpkin seeds, and 1 oz. shaved Parmesan cheese. Toss with 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar, 1 tsp. chopped shallots, and a dash of black pepper. Serve with 1 slice whole-wheat bread.

Quinoa Salad With Tofu and Tomatoes
Combine ? cup cooked quinoa with ? cup halved grape tomatoes, ? cup cubed extra-firm tofu (drained well), ? cup lightly steamed baby spinach, and 1 Tbs. pine nuts. Toss with 2 tsp. chopped garlic, a pinch of salt, and 2 tsp. olive oil. Serve hot or cold.

Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Bean, and Vegetable Soup
Heat 1 ? cups reduced-sodium roasted red pepper and tomato soup, ? cup sliced zucchini, and ? cup chopped onion over medium heat until vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes). Add ? cup kidney beans and ? cup cooked whole-wheat pasta shells. Heat an additional 3 minutes. Top soup with 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with 1 oz. baked pita chips.

Soy-Ginger Turkey Burger
Combine 4 oz. lean ground turkey with 2 Tbs. whole-wheat bread crumbs, 1 Tbs. egg white, ? tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, ? tsp. chopped garlic, ⅛ tsp. ground ginger, and a dash of black pepper. Form turkey mixture into a patty and grill on medium high until it's cooked to 165?F. Place on a whole-wheat hamburger bun, and top with 2 slices red onion saut?ed in 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 slice tomato, and 1 leaf of spinach. Serve with ? cup cucumber slices tossed with 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar, and 1 Tbs. sesame seeds.

steak potatoes and carrots

About 650 calories each

Parmesan Pasta With Artichokes and White Beans
Saut? ? medium onion, thinly sliced, and ? tsp. chopped garlic in 2 tsp. olive oil until tender. Add ? cup canned (in water) artichoke hearts and ? cup canned reduced-sodium white beans; stir gently until warmed through. Toss with 1 ? cups cooked whole-wheat penne, and top with ? cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Broccoli Tofu Stir-Fry Over Barley
Saut? 1 ? cups chopped broccoli florets and stems, ? cup thinly sliced purple cabbage, ? medium onion, thinly sliced, 1 crushed clove of garlic, and ? cup cubed firm tofu in 2 tsp. olive oil. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender and tofu is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve over 1 cup cooked barley, drizzle with 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. sesame seeds.

Chicken, Cheese, and Zucchini Quesadilla
Toss ⅓ cup shredded zucchini with ⅓ cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese, and spread on half an 8" whole-grain tortilla. Top with 4 oz. diced grilled chicken breast. Fold over the tortilla and cook with 1 tsp. canola oil over medium heat, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with ? cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt and 2 Tbs. salsa. Serve with 1 cup jicama, sliced and tossed with 2 tsp. lime juice, 2 tsp. olive oil, and a small pinch of kosher or sea salt.

Brown-Sugar-Mustard Salmon and Asparagus Over Quinoa Pilaf
Mix 1 tsp. brown sugar with 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard; spread onto 5-oz. salmon fillet. Place in baking dish with 12 asparagus spears tossed with 2 tsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake at 350?F for 15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and asparagus is tender. Serve over 1 cup cooked quinoa with 1 Tbs. dried cranberries and 1 Tbs. pine nuts.

Pressed Portobello Grilled Cheese With Fresh Spinach-Citrus Salad
Rub a portobello mushroom with 1 tsp. olive oil and bake at 350?F for 10 minutes, or until tender. Slice mushroom into 5 slices and place on 1 slice whole-grain bread spread with 1 Tbs. reduced-fat mayonnaise. Top with 1 oz. Havarti cheese and 1 slice bread. Spray both sides of the sandwich with olive-oil cooking spray, and cook over medium heat until golden brown, flattening with the bottom of a smaller skillet. Serve with 2 cups baby spinach tossed with a diced orange, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. orange juice, and 1 Tbs. sliced almonds.

Shrimp-and-Okra Stew Over Lentils
Saut? 1 cup sliced okra in 1 Tbs. olive oil and ? tsp. chopped garlic for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup halved grape tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add 6 jumbo precooked and cleaned shrimp, cut in half; simmer until warmed through. Pour over 1 cup cooked lentils.

Sirloin Steak With Roasted New Potatoes and Carrots
Slice 3 small red potatoes into quarters and toss with 2 tsp. olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp. dried rosemary, and 1 cup baby carrots. Roast at 350?F for 25 minutes, stirring once. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in an oven-safe pan and cook a 4-oz. cut of sirloin (visible fat removed) for 5 minutes. Flip and cook 4 more minutes (or until steak reaches 160?F for well done). Remove from pan, let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with the potatoes and carrots.

About 200 calories each

Soy Nuts and Kiwi Fruit
Eat ? cup roasted soy nuts with 2 kiwi fruit.

Pumpkin Seed Fruit Truffles
Roll 2 pitted prunes in 2 Tbs. roasted pumpkin seeds.

Hard-Boiled Egg, Hummus, and Red Pepper
Have 1 hard-boiled egg with 1 cup sliced red pepper dipped in ? cup hummus.

Edamame
1 ? cups frozen and thawed, precooked in-shell edamame.

Popcorn Trail Mix
Mix Half a bag of popped 94-percent-fat-free microwave popcorn (or a 100-calorie bag) with 2 Tbs. raisins, 1 Tbs. sunflower seeds, and ⅛ tsp. cinnamon.

Peanut Butter Toast and Melon
Spread 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 2 tsp. peanut butter. Pair it up with ? cup cantaloupe chunks.

Larabar
Grab one of these highly tasty snack bars and enjoy!

About 200 calories each

Cheese 'n' Fruit
Have 1 stick part-skim string cheese and 1 cup red grapes.

Pear Slices With Cinnamon-Honey Dip
Stir 1 tsp. honey and ⅛ tsp. cinnamon into a 6-oz. container nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt. Serve with a medium pear, sliced.

Mini Parfait
Layer 6 oz. nonfat plain yogurt with 1 Tbs. chopped dried apricots, ? cup whole-grain cereal, and 1 Tbs. chopped walnuts.

Choco-Nana Combo
Enjoy a small banana with 6 oz. chocolate soy milk.

Nuts for Latte
Curl up with a 10-oz. nonfat decaf latte and 30 pistachios.

Cheese Plate
Top a whole-grain flatbread cracker with 1 oz. cheddar cheese and 4 dried apricot halves.

Almond Yogurt
Fix yourself 6 oz. nonfat vanilla Greek-style yogurt with 2 Tbs. sliced almonds.

About 150 calories each

Rice Pudding
Have one 4-oz. container of Kozy Shack rice pudding.

Lemon Sorbet With Berries
Savor ? cup lemon sorbet with 1 cup berries sprinkled on top.

Light Vanilla Ice Cream With Chocolate Chips
Top ? cup Edy's/Dreyer's Slow Churned light vanilla ice cream with 1 tsp. mini chocolate chips.

Potato Chips
Toss back 1 oz. potato chips.

Starbucks Petit Vanilla Scone
Have 1 classic Starbucks petit vanilla scone with decaf tea.

Pecan Sandies With Decaf Coffee
Enjoy a cup with 2 pecan sandies or shortbread cookies.

Microwave S'mores
Break a graham cracker in two. Top a half with a dark chocolate tasting square and 1 marshmallow. Nuke until the marshmallow is puffy. Top with other half.

Originally published in the October 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.

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