Congratulations! You’re pregnant. Welcome to an amazing time full of excitement, perhaps a little trepidation and a whole bag of emotions. During this incredible stage of your life, it’s important to eat wholesome, good-quality food to supply the necessary vitamins and nutrients that you and your baby need.
Superfoods are considered nutrient-dense and beneficial for health and well-being. Of course, a healthy, varied diet is important so include the following superfoods to boost your pregnancy nutrition.
Leafy green veggies
These are nutritional powerhouses. Broccoli, kale and spinach are rich sources of folate, vitamins, minerals and calcium. Add them to stir-fries, soups or gently steam.
Beef up your stews, casseroles and curries for satisfying and comforting meals packed with protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron.
An excellent alternative to animal protein and full of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, folate, calcium and zinc, legumes are versatile. Try chickpea hummus, lentil soup or Mexican black bean nachos.
Full of folate, fibre, calcium, vitamin C and phytochemicals, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are delicious in smoothies, muesli and baked crumble.
Yoghurt and milk
Low fat sources of yoghurt and milk provide calcium, protein, vitamins A and B, magnesium and phosphorous. Pour onto breakfast cereals and add to smoothies.
Naturally sweet and delicious baked, puréed, steamed or mashed, sweet potato is brimming with vitamin C, folate, fibre, carotenoids and potassium.
Oats, brown rice, wholewheat flour and wholewheat flour and pasta will add fibre, B vitamins, iron and zinc to your meal.
With these superfoods in mind, I’ve created three delicious, simple recipes that will keep you feeling satisfied. My “Very Berry Oat Smoothie” is a terrific alternative for breakfast when the prospect of a bigger meal makes you queasy. Try the “Beef and Broccoli Bonanza” for a super-quick dinner—Asian inspired stir-fries are perfect after a busy day. The “Lovely Lentil, Sweet Potato and Kale Dal” is great for vegetarians and another speedy gem that can be cooked in large batches and stored in the freezer for those days when you don’t want to cook; plus it’s all prepared in one pot–less mess is always an added bonus in a busy household.
Choose the best quality and freshest ingredients available. Organic fruit and veggies are ideal—there are several local farms now delivering fresh produce straight to your door, which means less time at the supermarket and more time to yourself. Other tips to make cooking easier for you—prepare “one pot” meals such as curries, soups and casseroles that can be frozen; cook early in the morning when you have the most energy and have healthy snacks on hand so you don’t reach for the cookie tin. Here’s to a happy, healthy and wholesome pregnancy!
For more information regarding pregnancy nutrition, visit the following websites:
British National Childbirth Trust,
British Nutrition Foundation,
American Pregnancy Association,
Very Berry Oat Smoothie
Smoothies are ideal as they’re simple to make, require no cooking plus you can add other ingredients to suit your taste buds. Store your favourite fruits in the freezer and you’ll always have a quick and tasty smoothie on hand. Serves two.
- ½ cup oats
- 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
- 2 tsp of chia seeds, optional and available at Lulu and Megamart
- 2 tsp honey (optional)
Blend all the ingredients until smooth, leaving chunks if desired. Pour into glasses and serve.
Beef And Broccoli Bonanza
At the end of a long day, this Asian stir-fry with strips of lean beef and broccoli is super easy for dinner. You can also adapt this recipe to include chicken or salmon. Serve with some soba noodles or brown rice and you have a delicious meal. Serves two.
- 100 g soba noodles
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 spring onions, cut into short lengths
- 175 g thinly sliced lean beef (rump or fillet)
- 150 g broccoli, cut into small chunks
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- Water (if needed)
- Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions. When cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the garlic, spring onions and beef. Stir-fry until cooked. Add the broccoli and sesame seeds. Cook for an additional two minutes.
- Stir in the honey and soy sauce. If preferred, add a little water to thin out.
- Add cooked soba noodles and mix well. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Lovely Lentil, Sweet Potato And Kale Dal
This hearty recipe is packed with lentils, sweet potato and kale. Mildly spiced and super satisfying, just top this with a dollop of plain yoghurt, a sprinkle of coriander and serve with whole wheat naan. Serves two.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- 450 ml low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups sweet potato cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 100 g red lentils
- 1 cup kale, stalks removed and shredded
- Fresh coriander for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook until soft.
- Add the cumin, garlic, turmeric and coriander powder.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, sweet potato, tomato paste and lentils. Stir well. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat until tender.
- Stir in the kale and cook until wilted. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.