Breakfast is the main meal of the day. It recharges not only your body but also refuels your mind, allowing you to kick start your day efficiently. If you or a loved one is expecting, then you must be aware that you have to be extra careful about your nutritional needs. Breakfast for pregnant women should be prepared keeping the nutritional requirements of mother and fetus in mind. There will be many dieticians and doctors who will be able to chart out a diet plan for the expecting mothers.
Essentials for Pregnant Women
Following are some of the important considerations that should be kept in mind while making breakfast for pregnant women:
1. Folic acid
Folic acid is an essential in healthy breakfast for pregnant women. Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine (neural tube defects). Doctors prescribe 400 micrograms of supplements of folic acid during pregnancy.
2. Dairy Products
Milk and milk products are highly recommended by doctors as they make for a wholesome breakfast for pregnant women. Milk, cheese, and curd are good sources of vitamins, protein, and minerals.
3. Eggs, Fish, and Chicken
These are protein-loaded and make for a healthy breakfast for pregnant women. A breakfast rich in proteins helps to keep a pregnant woman full for a longer duration. It keeps hunger pangs and nausea at bay and ensures she remains satiated and energised during the day.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
A routine problem that many expecting mothers face is constipation and morning sickness. High fibrous fruits and green vegetables prevent this issue. The best way to incorporate fruits and vegetables is through breakfast.
A healthy breakfast for pregnant women comprises a mix of a few veggies like carrots, peas, cauliflower, capsicum, and tomatoes. A fruit smoothie on a side or a fruit yoghurt completes the picture.
Fruits and veggies are rich in minerals and vitamins required for the healthy growth of the baby. Watermelon is one fruit that helps with morning sickness, reduces heart burns, and prevents dehydration. Lemons, oranges, and kiwis are rich in Vitamin C, which is also the main vitamin required during pregnancy.
It is not possible to include pulses in breakfast every day. However, incorporating these protein-rich food items in the form of dosas, dal paranthas, chillas, and other such staples of Indian breakfast during pregnancy is a great option.
6. Water and Fresh Juices
When you are carrying a baby, staying hydrated is very important, more so when you are also experiencing nausea and vomiting. If you cannot have anything solid early in the day, starting with a citrusy fresh fruit juice or watermelon juice is a great idea.
If it is winter, replace juice with soup. They help maintain your fluid intake apart from your eight glasses of water a day and also make for the perfect accompaniment to any breakfast for pregnant women.
7. Dry Fruits
Dried fruits like almonds, dates, raisins, and walnuts are a must have for pregnant women, as they are rich in proteins, healthy fats, iron, and other nutrients. Simply soak some raisins, walnuts, and almonds at night and have them along with breakfast to curb morning sickness. They also make for great mid-day snacks.
Recipes of Healthy Breakfast for Pregnant Women
Here are some nourishing and healthy recipes to make the right breakfast for pregnant women. Take a look:
1. Multigrain Idli
Idli itself is considered to be a healthy breakfast for pregnant women. But multigrain idli will have more nourishing components added to it.
- 1/2 cup ragi, jawar, bajra and whole wheat flour
- 1tsp methi seeds (consume methi in smaller amounts during pregnancy)
- ½ cup urad dal
- Salt as per your taste
- Combine the methi seeds and urad dal in a bowl and soak them in water for 2 hours.
- Strain the water and blend the mixture with the required amount of water till the texture turns even.
- Add the mixture to another bowl and add jawar, ragi, wheat and bajra flour, salt, and water (about1 ¾ ) to it. Beat it well.
- Keep the bowl aside overnight.
- After the mixture has been fermented, pour the batter into the greased molds.
- Steam till the batter is cooked.
- Serve hot with sambhar.
The above multigrain idli made up of a variety of healthy flour, methi seeds, and urad dal is a recommended Indian breakfast during pregnancy.
2. Sprouts and Oats Palak Mini Uttapam
You can make your breakfast nutritious and wholesome by adding sprouts, palak, and oats to a platter. This dish is rich in fibre, protein, folic acid, iron, and Vitamin A and makes for a perfect breakfast for pregnant women.
- ½ cup palak (spinach puree)
- ½ cup granulated oats
- ½ cup granulated urad dal (split black lentils)
- ¾ cup boiled mixed sprouts
- 6 tbsp finely sliced onions
- 2 tsp green chilly paste
- Salt to taste
- Mix urad dal, spinach puree, urad dal, salt, and little water. Keep it aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat and grease the uttapam molds of the mini uttapam pan.
- Pour the batter on the molds that could make 3 inches round batter.
- Sprinkle the sprouts and onions.
- Cook them on both sides till they appear golden brown. Use oil as per your requirement.
- Remove from the pan and season it with chaat masala.
- You can serve it with sambar or coconut chutney or both.
This power-packed dish loaded with a variety of nutrients is a must-have healthy breakfast for pregnant ladies.
3. Cabbage Parathas
These lip-smacking parathas are made of healthy whole wheat dough and stuffed with nutritious cottage cheese and cabbage. They are seasoned with chillies and coriander leaves. The cabbage parathas are a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Such a wholesome paratha is an ideal and healthy breakfast for pregnant women.
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- ¼ cup Crushed Cottage Cheese
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- Ghee (According to your requirements)
- Salt to taste
- Knead all the ingredients with water and keep them aside to settle.
- Mix all the fillings in a bowl except cabbage.
- Spray some salt on the cabbage in a different bowl.
- Squeeze out the water from the cabbage and add the cabbage to a bowl containing the filling
- Divide the kneaded dough into five equal parts.
- Roll out the flour and fill it with the mixture.
- Fold the dough into a semi-circle.
- Heat the tawa and pour oil. When the oil is heated, cook the dough on both sides to make parathas.
- Repeat the above steps to make parathas.
- Serve steaming hot mouth-watering delicious parathas.
4. Banana Dates Milkshake
This beverage is a healthy and nourishing accompaniment to any breakfast for pregnant women. It is full of calcium and protein. It is a blessing for pregnant women who are in their first trimester and don’t want to eat anything solid. This milkshake provides all the essential nutrients.
(Number of ingredients is as per your choice)
- Deseed the dates.
- Dip the dates in lukewarm milk for 20 minutes.
- Slice the bananas just before adding them to the milkshake. Else they will turn black due to the oxidation process.
- For similar reasons, serve the shake just after preparation.
A banana milkshake is a healthy breakfast for pregnant women who have developed morning sickness and are not able to eat anything. This smoothie gives the required nutrition.
It is important to take all the health-related aspects into consideration when preparing breakfast for pregnant women. When you are expecting, you must kick-start your day with dishes that are loaded with both protein, vitamins, and minerals (iron, folic acid, and calcium). So, go ahead and give some of these dishes a try and write back to share your best recipes.