These healthy breakfast ideas for pregnancy are nutritionally balanced to help you feel your best, while nourishing you and your growing baby.
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Nutrition is an important part of pregnancy.
It’s how you, your body and your baby stay nourished, and I credit my nutrition to part of the process in preparing for homebirth.
As I finish up my third pregnancy, I’m still hyperfocused on eating a good breakfast, since that’s how my day starts. I know that to properly care for myself as a mom, I need nutrition.
And, as a dietitian, I’m full of breakfast ideas for pregnant moms, since it almost comes naturally to me to consume these kinds of foods.
Nutrition and exercise (specifically, pelvic floor therapy) definitely contributed to my positive birth story and two VBACs. I did all of the prep I could with pelvic floor exercises, breathing and proper nutrition, and I really felt prepared.
Of course, taking a well-balanced prenatal vitamin is also very important as a back up, but food comes first and will be better absorbed and utilized.
What To Look For In Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Pregnancy
When compiling pregnancy breakfast ideas, I want something with staying power.
Whether you’re newly pregnant, having food cravings at 25 weeks, or near the end of pregnancy, nutrition is important. This usually translates to a mixture of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, such as fruits and/or vegetables.
Many of these healthy breakfast ideas for pregnancy are my go-to’s, and part of upholding the principles of intuitive eating while pregnant.
It can be difficult to deal with body image issues during pregnancy as we gain weight, but I use these affirmations for body image daily.
Some of these recipes you can prep ahead of time for you and your kids, and others come together quickly that morning, like an easy Daily Harvest Smoothie or oatmeal chia bowl.
This is especially important once you reach that third trimester – like 35 weeks pregnant!
These breakfast ideas during pregnancy are all family-friendly, so share with your partner and/or kids.
Check out these healthy baby breakfast ideas for a place to start, or add them your own plate!
While I think a well-balanced diet with many foods is great for pregnant women, I understand that not everyone includes meat, dairy, grains etc.
Here are some ideas for vegan breakfast meal prep to consider as well. Many of the same principles will still apply.
And if you’re trying to work on your relationship with food, or becoming more comfortable adding more and different foods to your plate, try this intuitive eating ebook. It’s helped hundreds of pregnant women!
Breakfast Ideas for Pregnant Women
I know you’re probably wondering, what should I eat for breakfast while pregnant?
It can be difficult if you have no appetite to even want to eat some of these options. Remember, eating a little bit is better than nothing.
I often made snack plates with my snack spinner of a bunch of different tastes and textures, and sometimes, sour candy.
The typical options that I recommend to pregnant women for breakfast include:
- oatmeal (you can meal prep oatmeal in so many ways)
- sweetpotatoes or potatoes
- greek yogurt or cottage cheese
- dairy milks, or soy or pea milk (I love the almond milk from Daily Harvest)
- salmon and lox (salmon for pregnancy is a great option!)
- meats (I loved the organic meats from Butcher Box during my pregnancy!)
These work well as breakfast ideas for pregnant moms too, since they are all kid friendly.
For moms and pregnant women alike, the most important part is getting a balance of different macro and micronutrients.
For example, you want to be eating enough carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and maintenance, fiber for digestion, and fats for hormonal balance.
Otherwise, you may find yourself craving carbohydrates even more.
With that being said, try not to have one of these groups listed above in isolation.
It’s best if you can form a complete breakfast recipe for pregnancy that include all of the food groups, like the recipes listed below.
Carbohydrates are the building blocks of energy in our cells.
As a pregnant woman, you are not only supporting yourself, but a growing baby as well.
You want to be eating enough carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and maintenance, fiber for digestion, and fats for hormonal balance.
Carbohydrates are extra important since they are the main sources of fiber in our diets.
Grains, cereals, fruits and veggies, breads, pasta are all great sources for healthy breakfast ideas for pregnancy.
Then, make sure to pair them with protein and fiber.
Sometimes I just wanted a cookie or something sweet – which is why I usually made some of these pb2 cookies – high in protein, which is a win!
Lily Nichols, a pioneer in the women’s health, and pregnancy nutrition field, has a blog on her site all about women’s protein needs being higher during pregnancy.
Much of this is due to the building of new cells and tissue.
Hence, a high protein breakfast for pregnancy is important and can help with managing blood sugar and nausea as well. Relying on high protein snacks throughout the day will also benefit you.
How much protein should a pregnant woman be eating?
The current recommended daily amount for pregnancy is 1.1 g per kg of body weight after the first trimester, or about 10-35% of overall calories.
It actually gets similar to protein needs for athletes, since labor is like running a marathon.
However, know that the dietary guidelines don’t take pregnant women into account, for the most part.
A 2016 study that tried to directly measure protein needs in pregnant women found that true protein needs were 39% higher in early pregnancy and 73% higher in late pregnancy compared to the estimated average requirement.
They found the estimated average requirement (EAR) should be set at 1.22 g/kg in early pregnancy and 1.52 g/kg in late pregnancy.
Clearly, it’s hard to give one blanket protein recommendation since needs change from beginning to late stage gestation.
Aiming to eat 25-30 grams per meal is a great saving grace to ensure you are getting enough.
You can get protein through:
- meal and poultry
- beans and legumes
- whole grains (we love making hemp seed granola as a snack)
- protein powder – take the quiz below to find out which is best for you!
- dairy products (lots of greek yogurt smoothies or even lactation smoothies!)
Eggs were my savior for figuring out what to eat for breakfast when pregnant and nauseous.
They went down easily for me and provided protein, choline and tons of other nutrients.
Women may fear all seafood for its mercury content, however, the American Pregnancy Association and the FDA now recommend that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan on becoming pregnant consume more fish.
Seafood is a great protein source to include when you can include it, for its brain-boosting nutrients, DHA and EPA. Here is more about the difference between EPA and DHA, and why you need it.
The recommendation for pregnancy still stands at two servings/week.
If you need some more greens, this kale and broccoli salad with salmon is also a favorite.
However, pregnant women will want to avoid or limit high mercury options, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.
Many women tend to deal with constipation during pregnancy.
Some of this may be due to food aversions, cravings for more high palatable foods and less fibrous foods, or just being less active in general.
Hormones play a big role as well.
Making sure you’re eating enough fiber can help with this, as well as providing healthy antioxidants to your baby.
Many fruits and veggies are not only high in fiber, but provide necessary nutrients, like B-vitamins, Vitamins A and C.
Beans, legumes and whole grains are also great sources of fiber to add to your diet.
Nuts and seeds (chia seeds) are also great additions to any dietary pattern.
One of my favorite high fiber bowls is this tempeh buddha bowl with tahini dressing. It’s such a tasty combo of flavors.
Adequate hydration can’t be overstated in pregnancy.
Many of these homemade electrolyte drinks for pregnancy can help provide necessary pregnancy electrolytes to aid in your fluid balance.
Funny enough, drinking a pregnancy mocktail at night (meaning without alcohol) could also be a way to hydrate with juices, herbs, and seltzers.
During pregnancy (and postpartum), your fluid needs are much higher since you have amniotic fluid and a baby inside.
If you’re breastfeeding, they are skyhigh!
Healthy Pregnancy Breakfast on the Go
Here are some ideas for creating a healthy pregnancy breakfast on the go, if you have little time.
These have carbohydrates, protein and fat, for a sustaining breakfast!
- 2 hard boiled eggs with fruit
- Lemon blueberry overnight oats – I double or triple the recipe to take in mason jars!
- greek yogurt parfait or individual cup with granola or berries
- slice of chocolate baked oatmeal with peanut butter and yogurt on top
- overnight oats in a mason jar
- turkey sausage breakfast casserole
- Perfect Bar with a piece of fruit
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