pregnancy nutrition

15-Minute Pregnancy Chili

Pregnancy Chili

It is officially fall, mamas, and with fall comes cooler weather, changing leaves, football and chili! Here’s a super easy and quick recipe that calls for turkey instead of beef. It’s the perfect, simple dish for your pregnant belly and your family too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • 16 ounces of pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 28 ounces of chopped, stewed tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
  • ½ cup of salsa

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, brown turkey with chopped onions
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin and salsa to turkey mixture
  3. Cook until hot
  4. Serve chili with corn bread, cooked rice or on top of a baked potato.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese to taste.

Recipe transcribed from: food.com

 

What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

Breastfeeding While Pregnant

If you are pregnant with your second (or third or fourth) or are considering becoming pregnant, you may be wondering about the safety of continuing to breastfeed your baby or toddler throughout your pregnancy. There’s a lot of misinformation about the risks associated with breastfeeding during pregnancy and we want you to have the necessary information to make an informed decision for you, your child and your baby-to-be. Here are the most commonly asked questions about breastfeeding during pregnancy. 

Is it safe for my baby-to-be?

In most normal, healthy pregnancies there is no risk to your unborn baby if you choose to continue breastfeeding your toddler (or baby). A common misconception is that breastfeeding during pregnancy will lead to preterm labor or miscarriage. In actuality, the uterine contractions caused by the release of the hormone oxytocin from breastfeeding are quite mild and no different than the contractions you might experience following sexual intercourse. If you have not been placed on pelvic rest and have a normal, healthy pregnancy, there is no reason why you cannot continue to safely breastfeed as there should be no harm to your developing fetus.

Under what circumstances is it not safe to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy?

It may be advisable to wean your current nursling if you have a high-risk pregnancy for any of the following reasons:

  • You are carrying multiples
  • You have a history of, or are at risk for, preterm labor
  • You have bleeding or pain in your uterus
  • You have been placed on pelvic rest
  • You have been identified as high-risk for any other reason that may make breastfeeding dangerous for you or your developing baby

These reasons alone do not mean you must stop breastfeeding at once but it is important that you discuss it with your healthcare provider who may advise that weaning is the safest option for you and your baby.

Are there any risks to my current nursling if I continue to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Fortunately, the amount of pregnancy hormones released into your milk is minimal and pose no risk to your current breastfeeding child. You toddler may find that you milk supply begins to decrease by the fourth or fifth month of your pregnancy or that the taste of the milk begins to change. Because of this, some toddlers and babies who are nursing while mom is pregnant will naturally self-wean. It is important to ensure that your current nursling is receiving adequate nutrition once you experience a drop in your milk supply. Particularly if your baby is under six months and has not begun eating solids or if they are over six months and breastmilk is still their primary source of nutrition, you will want to make sure they are receiving sufficient daily caloric intake.

What will breastfeeding while pregnant be like for me?

While many women go on to successfully breastfeed their baby or toddler through subsequent pregnancies and beyond, there can be some discomfort due to your rising pregnancy hormones. Up to 75 percent of women report having sore nipples during pregnancy which can consequently make breastfeeding painful at times. Some women also report feeling some nausea when their milk lets down but keeping light snacks on hand while nursing can help prevent this discomfort. In addition to making sure your nursling is getting adequate nutrition, it is vital to make sure you are also getting plenty of nutritive calories per day. During the second trimester of pregnancy, the average woman needs to consume an additional 350 calories per day. By the third trimester, it is recommended that you consume an additional 450 calories per day. When you are breastfeeding during pregnancy, in addition to those extra calories, you need to add an additional 500 calories per day for a nursing baby over six months and an additional 650 calories for a nursling under six months of age. A nutritious diet is important during any pregnancy but even more imperative while also breastfeeding your baby or toddler. Aside from a healthy diet, you’ll want to make sure you drink plenty of water and get as much rest as possible. Try laying on your side to nurse your toddler for naps and you may even be able to catch a few zzz’s yourself.

Deciding whether or not to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy is a personal decision that you should make based on your own comfort level and your toddler’s current nursing habits and physical and emotional needs. It also doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision and you can decide to cut back the number of nursing sessions per day or to limit the amount of time your toddler spends at the breast during each feeding. This may be a good option if you want to continue nursing but are experiencing any discomfort such as sore nipples or nausea.

For questions about breastfeeding during pregnancy, prenatal care, natural birth, and other women’s services, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife or for a tour of our Birth Center. We are here to help you make decisions that work for you and your baby.

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes Recipe

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

There are ways to feel like you are indulging during pregnancy and still be healthy! These Vegan Blueberry Pancakes are a delicious and hearty breakfast treat that are packed with pregnancy essentials like fiber, folate, calcium and protein. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups of plain, unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup of hot water
  • 1 1/3 cups of whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup of cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of blueberries 
  • 1 cup of pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • Canola oil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together soy milk and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken into a buttermilk-like consistency.
  2. Stir ground flaxseed and hot water together in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken. 
  3. Add flaxseed mixture and canola oil to the bowl with the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  4. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
  5. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined and fold in blueberries. If batter is too thick, add additional soy milk to thin. 
  6. Heat a cast-iron skillet or nonstick griddle over medium heat. Once pan is hot, brush with a thin layer of oil. Spoon ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. 
  7. Cook for 2 minutes, until batter begins to bubble and the bottoms are golden brown.
  8. Repeat with remaining batter.
  9. Top pancakes with a sprinkle of pecans, any extra blueberries and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: fit PREGNANCY and baby

Flank Steak and Asparagus Salad

Flank Steak & Asparagus Salad

This is a great recipe for nursing moms who need to get a substantial amount of protein each day. The asparagus salad offers a lighter complement to the hearty steak, creating the perfect nutritious meal for you and your family.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of garlic oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups of mixed spring greens
  • 1 pound of asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 pound of raw flank steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 4 slices of whole-grain sandwich bread, toasted and cut into small squares
  • 8 teaspoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill or broiler to medium. Whisk garlic oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper together. 
  2. Place mixed spring greens in a large salad bowl.
  3. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add asparagus and cook until tender but crisp (approx. 6 minutes). Remove spears with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  5. Bring water back to a boil and poach eggs by breaking open and gently slipping them into the water. Cook over medium-low heat for 3-6 minutes occasionally spooning water over the yolks to help them cook.
  6. Rub flank steak on both sides with garlic, soy sauce and salt and pepper. Place on grill or broiler pan and cook on 4 minutes each side. Steak center should be rosy. Set aside when done.
  7. Cut cooled asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to salad bowl along with toast squares. Toss salad mixture with half of dressing. Divide salad into four bowls and place a poached egg on each.
  8. Cut the steak on the diagonal into thin slices and arrange slices around the egg. Drizzle salads with steak juices and remaining dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: fitPREGNANCY

Freezer Stash Vegetable Enchiladas

Enchiladas

Is it time to start building your stash of freezer meals? Try whipping up these delicious enchiladas for a quick and easy meal once baby arrives!

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) of reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cups of grated pepper jack cheese (12 ounces)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 box (10 ounces) of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 box (10 ounces) of frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 16 corn tortillas (6-inch)

Directions:

Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, flour, and tomato paste; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of cheese, beans, spinach, corn, scallion whites, and remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin; season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square baking dishes; set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in damp paper towels; microwave on high for 1 minute. Or stack and wrap in aluminum foil and heat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and arrange, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes.
  3. Dividing evenly, sprinkle enchiladas with remaining 1 cup of cheese, and top with sauce. Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; serve garnished with scallion greens.

**TO MAKE A FREEZER MEAL** Prepare enchiladas through step 3; top with cheese, and cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Place sauce in an airtight container. Freeze enchiladas and sauce for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight (or microwave on high 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dishes, and pour sauce over enchiladas; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil, and bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Transcribed from: marthastewart.com


You Might Like

Broiled Pork Chops with Apple Slices

Pork Chops with Apples

Are you running out of healthy dinner ideas for your family? Try this quick and easy pork recipe for a dinner rich in protein and folate; two nutrients that are a must for every pregnant mama!

Ingredients:

  • 4 4-ounce pork loin chops
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 half of an orange (for juice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Rub pork chops with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Line a 10 by 12-inch pan with foil and place pork chops in pan; fold up edges of foil and set aside.
  4. Warm oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat.
  5. Add apple and cook until brown, approximately 2 minutes each side.
  6. Add beans, cayenne pepper and remaining salt and pepper.
  7. Pour juice from orange over mixture and cook until beans brown, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer.
  9. Place pork chops under broiler for 5 minutes on each side. 
  10. Top with apple slices and bean mixture and serve.

Recipe transcribed from: fitPREGNANCY

Cravings During Pregnancy

pregnancy cravings.png

We’ve all heard anecdotes about pregnant women indulging in peculiar snacks like pickles and ice cream because they had an insatiable craving. But where do these strange pregnancy cravings come from? And what should we do about them? 

Many women experience pregnancy cravings typically starting during the first trimester and ending in the second. Most cravings fall under the categories of sweet, spicy, salty or sour and may even be for a combination of two—like pickles and ice cream. Despite our best efforts to eat a nutritious diet while pregnant, unfortunately only about 10 percent of pregnancy cravings are for fruits and vegetables. The most commonly reported cravings during pregnancy include:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Potato chips
  • Ice
  • Spicy foods
  • Lemon
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit
  • Candy
  • Red meat
  • Veggies
  • Juice
  • Salt
  • Dairy
  • Soda
Photo via  VisualHunt.com

Photo via VisualHunt.com

What Causes Cravings?

Although there are several theories about why pregnant women experience food cravings, the most compelling explanation is hormone fluctuations. High levels of pregnancy hormones can heighten and sensitize a woman’s senses like taste and smell causing her to be more interested in certain foods and in some cases repulsed by others. It is also believed that cravings may represent a need or a deficiency in your body. For instance, if you are frequently craving fruit juice it may be your body signaling a need for more Vitamin C. In other words, it is not necessarily that your body needs the specific food that you are craving but some component or ingredient in that food like protein, calcium, sodium or potassium. Hormone changes during pregnancy are also likely responsible for the fluctuations in appetite throughout the nine months.

When to Contact Your Doctor

While most cravings during pregnancy are harmless, they become a cause for concern if you are craving a non-food item. This condition, called pica, is characterized by cravings for non-edible items like crayons, dirt, chalk and laundry detergent that may cause serious health repercussions for you and your developing baby. Particularly, cravings for non-food items like dirt or clay that may contain lead content can cause serious developmental, cognitive and motor skill impairments in your baby. If you are experiencing non-food food cravings, contact your doctor or midwife as soon as possible for help. You may have a nutritional deficiency in iron or zinc that will require further treatment. 

What about Food Aversions?

Equally as common as food cravings during pregnancy are food aversions. The same hormones that cause us to have a hankering for certain foods may cause you to be nauseated by others. This is also thought to be the result of heightened taste and smell senses during pregnancy. Food aversions may coincide with morning sickness during the first trimester when you are most likely to be offended by unpleasant scents or tastes. Like cravings, food aversions will likely disappear by the second trimester as the hormones in your body begin to stabilize. If your food aversions are interfering with your ability to eat a nutritious diet, talk to your doctor or midwife for ways to keep you and your baby healthy.

Managing Your Cravings

Photo via  Visualhunt

Photo via Visualhunt

Here are some basic tips for dealing with cravings during pregnancy:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet to avoid vitamin deficiencies in mom or baby.
  • Watch weight gain: Excess weight gain during pregnancy can lead to dangerous conditions like preeclampsia, high blood pressure and other complications during labor and delivery.
  • Find healthy alternatives that will satisfy your cravings: For example, substituting yogurt for ice cream.
  • Indulge every once in a while and eat a healthy diet the rest of the time.
  • Decipher your craving: What does your body really need? Vitamin C? Protein? Calcium?
  • Satisfy cravings for unhealthy or fattening foods only occasionally.
  • Don’t fill up on an unhealthy craving so that you have no room left for nutritive foods.
  • Limit sweets intake and consider substituting fruit when possible.

Cravings during pregnancy are a perfectly normal and common occurrence to be indulged in with moderation and balanced with a nutritious and vitamin rich diet. For questions about nutrition during pregnancy or any and all things related to natural birth, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our Birth Center.

Escarole White Bean Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Escarole White Bean Soup with Meatballs

A hot bowl of soup is always a great comfort food but when better to feel warm and cozy than when you are pregnant over the course winter! Try this delicious Escarole White Bean Soup with Chicken Meatballs which is chock full of nutrients like beta carotene and folate--two must haves during pregnancy! 

Ingredients:

1  pound of ground chicken breast

1  large egg

½  cup of bread crumbs

¼  cup of grated Parmesan cheese

2  teaspoons of dried thyme

2  cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2  teaspoons of vegetable oil

1  onion, chopped

4  cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth

1  tablespoon of dried sage

½  teaspoon (or more) of dried red chili flakes (optional), to taste

1  19-ounce can of cannellini beans

1  head of escarole, chopped

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1) In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Form into tablespoon-sized meatballs.

2) Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add broth, chili flakes and sage and bring to a boil. Gently drop in meatballs and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and beans and simmer for 5 more minutes.

3) Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with olive oil and black pepper.

4) Enjoy!

Recipe transcribed: Fit Pregnancy

Essential Vitamins and Nutrients During Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman w/ Prenatal Vitamins

Although it is always important to eat a nutritious diet and take your vitamins, it becomes even more necessary when you are eating for two. Your unborn baby receives all his nutrients from you through the placenta and is relying on you to send food his way that is rich with vitamins and nutrients. While many vitamins are readily available in the healthy foods you eat each day, some are harder to come by without supplementation.  A great way to fill the gap of nutrients and ensure that you are getting exactly what you need for your baby is to take a daily prenatal vitamin and any other supplements your care provider recommends.  Here’s a list of the most important vitamins and nutrients you need during pregnancy and how you can be sure you are getting them all.

What: Iron

How Much: 27 milligrams per day

Why: Iron is a mineral that is necessary to make the protein hemoglobin that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron is important for your baby because your body needs it to provide him oxygen and he needs it to make his own blood. When you are pregnant, you need two times the amount of iron that someone who is not pregnant does. Without sufficient iron, you may be more likely to get infections, feel tired and develop anemia during pregnancy. Your baby may also have a higher risk of low birth weight and prematurity.  

Where: Foods that are great sources of iron include leafy greens, lean meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, raisins, beans, dried fruit and some fortified cereals, breads and pastas.  Make sure your daily prenatal vitamin contains at least 17 milligrams of iron to account for what you are not able to get through your diet.

What: Folic Acid

How Much: 600 micrograms per day

Why: Folic acid is a B vitamin that is extremely important for the growth and development of your baby. When folic acid is taken before and during pregnancy, it can help protect baby from birth defects of the brain and spine, also known as neural tube defects. It may also prevent defects of the heart and mouth like cleft lip and cleft palate. Since neural tube defects happen in the first weeks of pregnancy, it is important to start taking iron even before you plan to conceive.

Where: When you get folic acid naturally through the foods you eat, it is called folate. The best sources of folate include leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, orange juice, beans and lentils. You may also find some breads, cereals and pastas that are fortified with folic acid. In order to meet your daily needs during pregnancy, be sure you prenatal vitamin contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. 

What: Vitamin D

How Much: 600 IU per day

Why: Vitamin D does many good things for your body while you are pregnant. For mom, vitamin D helps your immune system, nerves and muscles and aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D also helps protect mom from infection as it strengthens the immune system. For baby, vitamin D is necessary for the development of his teeth and bones. 

Where: The best food sources for vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon and milk that has it added. Sunlight is another source of vitamin D but should be limited due to the other harmful consequences of sun exposure. Choose a daily prenatal vitamin that contains 400 IU of vitamin D to supplement what you receive in your diet.  

What: DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)

How Much: 200 milligrams per day

Why: DHA is a nutrient and an omega-3 fatty acid that aids in the growth and development of your baby. Specifically, DHA is integral in the creation of baby’s brain and eyes. 

Where: Foods that are rich in DHA include low-mercury fish such as salmon, herring, anchovies, halibut and trout. Orange juice, eggs and milk can also be sold fortified with DHA. Because DHA is not included in all prenatal vitamins, you may have to take a separate DHA supplement. Pregnant and nursing women need approximately 100-200 milligrams more of DHA than the 250 milligram omega-3 intake recommended for all adults.

What: Calcium

How Much: 1000 milligrams per day

Why: Calcium plays an important role in the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and nerves. For mom, calcium is important to prevent bone density loss.

Where: Dietary sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli and some orange juices. Choose a prenatal vitamin that contains 200-300 milligrams of calcium to ensure that you are getting your daily allotment. 

What: Iodine

How Much: 220 micrograms per day

Why: Iodine is a mineral that is necessary to make thyroid hormones. The thyroid is responsible for helping the body store energy from food intake. Your baby needs iodine for the development of his brain and central nervous system. A severe iodine deficiency can potentially lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, mental disability, deafness and physical abnormalities.

Where: Iodine can be found in fish, yogurt, milk, cheese, iodized salt and fortified bread and cereal. Prenatal vitamins don’t always contain iodine and it is important that you check yours to see if you need to take an additional supplement. 

Prenatal Vitamins:

It is important to remember that prenatal vitamins are meant to be a supplement, not a substitute, to a healthy diet during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins provide an efficient way to bridge the nutritional gap left between what you consume and what your baby needs. They also fortunately contain all of the daily recommended vitamins that you would find in any normal adult multivitamin. Prenatal vitamins can be beneficial not only during pregnancy but before and after as well. Particularly, if you are a breastfeeding mom you will want to continue taking your vitamins after baby is born as your body will need the extra nutrients. Prenatal vitamins can be bought over the counter or can be prescribed by your obstetrical caregiver. They even offer liquid and chewable options for moms who struggle with nausea or other difficulties from taking pills during pregnancy. 

We recommend Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins and Nordic Naturals Fish Oil which can be purchased at the Birth Center for your convenience.

Eating a healthy diet and taking a daily prenatal vitamin is one of the many ways you can begin to care for your baby before she is here. For questions about prenatal care and any and all other topics related to pregnancy and birth, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our Birth Center.

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Scones

Craving carbs during your pregnancy? Whip up this tasty breakfast treat that is sure to satisfy your morning hunger pangs! This guilty pleasure recipe does have some redeeming nutritional value, believe it or not. The citrus from the orange zest may help alleviate morning sickness discomfort and cranberries prevent UTIs which are common during pregnancy.

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup and 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup dried of cranberries
  • ⅔ cup and 2 tablespoons of low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add cranberries and stir.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk ⅔ cup of buttermilk, oil, zest and egg. Combine with flour mixture and stir. 

4. Spread mixture onto floured surface and knead thoroughly. Flatten mixture to a 9-inch round. Use a 2-inch wide glass to cut six scones from mixture. Combine leftover dough and repeat. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining buttermilk and sugar.

5. Bake 10 minutes until golden brown. 

6. Cool scones on wire rack and then serve and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from:

Fit Pregnancy - Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Scones

Chicken Soup for your Pregnant Soul

Feeling under the weather? As we wrote about, nothing is worse than being sick and pregnant! Try this easy, healthy chicken soup recipe for you and your family. It will be sure to warm your body, soothe your throat and satisfy your tummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped carrot
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice

Directions:

1) Remove skin from chicken and discard.

2) Carve meat from breasts, thighs and drumsticks and place in large pot.

3) Add broth and parsley and cook on high heat bringing to a boil.

4) Let simmer while preparing remaining ingredients.

5) Heat olive oil in a different large soup pot and add onion, carrot and celery.

6) Cook over medium heat and stir often for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. 

7) Place strainer over vegetables and carefully pour stock in from other pot. Discard any remaining bones and parsley.

8) Add chopped chicken and lemon juice and continue to heat and stir.

9) Add salt and pepper to taste.

10) Serve and enjoy!

Suggestions to spice it up!

  • Simmer broth with herb mix to infuse with flavor (e.g. sage, thyme and rosemary).
  • Add whole grains such as brown rice, couscous or quinoa while soup is simmering.
  • Add other frozen veggies to cook while soup is simmering (corn, peas, broccoli, green beans, etc.).
  • Add black beans or diced tomatoes.
  • Add grated parmesan or pecorino to each bowl before serving.
  • Add whole wheat pasta (great mom hack for picky toddlers).

Recipe transcribed from: 

Fit Pregnancy

Recipe ~ Freezer Meal Eggplant Parmesan

One of the best ways to prepare for those first weeks at home with baby is to have a stash of premade freezer meals that can be easily heated and served. You won’t likely have the time or the energy to cook as you and your partner navigate your new life with your little one. Prepare this delicious and healthy eggplant parmesan recipe before your due date and pop it in the freezer to be saved for a dinnertime that is right around the corner. You will thank yourself later that you took the time to prepare ahead!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large eggplants , sliced across into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of plain dried breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound of whole fresh mozzarella, cut into large chunks

Directions:

1. Puree tomatoes in a food processor and transfer to a medium sauce pan. Stir in olive oil. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened for approximately 30 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

2. In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Press slices of eggplant between a double layer of paper towels to dry. Dip eggplant slices in flour, allowing excess to fall, and then dip in eggs mix. Sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs.  

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Heat oil over skillet until sizzling.  

4. In batches, fry the eggplant slices until golden. (Approximately 2-3 minutes per side) Transfer to rack and drain.

5. Spread one cup of tomato sauce in a 9 by 13 baking dish. Layer half the eggplant over sauce and sprinkle with ¼ cup of parmesan cheese. Top with 1 ½ cups of tomato sauce and then remaining eggplant. Finish with remaining sauce and place mozzarella slices on top. Add another ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.  

6. *** IF FREEZING FOR LATER USE: Do not bake. Wrap dish tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

7. When you decide to cook meal, remove from freezer, remove foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned and bubbling.  

8. Enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from:

http://www.marthastewart.com/336836/eggplant-parmesan

Macaroni with Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sausage for Nursing Moms

Macaroni w/ Gooat Cheese

Looking for a nutrient-rich, yummy recipe for that hearty nursing appetite you have? Try this delicious macaroni dish that is chock full of calcium, folates and protein-all things that breastfeeding moms need in order to nourish their own bodies while providing nutrition for baby.  

Ingredients:

¾ pound whole wheat macaroni pasta

1-2 cooked and cubed sausages

1 bunch of rinsed and dried spinach, chopped

½ cup crumbled goat cheese

½ small red onion, diced

2-4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

Directions:

1) Bring a large pot of water with a dash of salt to a boil.

2) Over medium-high heat, warm the oil in a skillet and add sausage, stirring regularly for 5 minutes.

3) Add onion to the sausage and oil and stir for 3 minutes. Then stir in spinach until wilted.

4) Once the water has boiled, cook the whole wheat pasta until al dente.

5) Drain pasta, saving one cup of water from the pot.  

6) Add pasta and ½ cup of pasta cooking water to the skillet and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed.

7) Add goat cheese and stir until creamy.  Use the remaining ½ cup of pasta cooking water if necessary to achieve desired creaminess.  

8) Stir and serve immediately. 

*Note* This recipe is not intended for pregnant moms as it contains goat cheese which is considered a soft cheese.  However, even if you’re not pregnant, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients to ensure your cheeses are made from pasteurized milk.  To learn more about what foods are not safe during pregnancy, click here.

This recipe was transcribed from:

http://www.fitpregnancy.com/nutrition/recipes/macaroni-goat-cheese-spinach-optional-sausage

Recipe ~ Yummy Berry Bananza Smoothie

Yummy Berry Bananza Smoothie

Few things can be as uncomfortable as being pregnant in the height of a summer heat wave. Why not cool down with a nutritious snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth and be healthy for your baby?  Smoothies are a great way to pack fruit, calcium and fiber into one tasty treat that is easy to prepare.  To make it even easier, keep bags of frozen fruit that are ready to pop in the blender when you feel a craving coming on for an ice cold, guilt-free indulgence.

Also See: 10 Great Foods for Pregnancy

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana 

1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt 

1 cup of berries of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries), frozen 

2 tablespoons of honey 

5 ice cubes

Directions:

  • Peel the banana and place in blender. Add berries, yogurt, honey and ice and turn blender on at high
  • speed until mixture is smooth.  
  • Pour into two cups and enjoy!

*If you prefer to use fresh berries instead of frozen, add 10 ice cubes to the mix instead of 5.

Recipe transcribed from:

http://www.babycenter.com/209_berry-bonanza-smoothie_17200001_85.bc

Recipe ~ Summer Garden Pasta Salad

Summer Garden Pasta Salad

Nothing says summer like a healthy pasta salad packed with yummy, farm fresh vegetables.  Pasta salad may be one of those foods that you don’t want to pick up premade from the store while pregnant since you won’t know all of the ingredients.  Fear not though, here is a delicious, healthy, pregnancy-approved pasta salad recipe for your next summer barbecue!

Ingredients:

8 ounces of whole-grain pasta, cooked and chilled

¼ red onion, chopped

¼ cup of fresh herbs of your choice (basil, thyme, tarragon, parsley)

5 cups total of the following veggies:

Green beans, blanched

Broccoli florets, blanched

Eggplant, cubed and sautéed in olive oil and salt

Spinach, chopped

Bell peppers, chopped

Zucchini, cubed

Summer squash, cubed

Cucumber, chopped

Cherry tomatoes, halved

¾ cup of salad dressing of your choice (Italian, vinaigrette, Greek, etc.)

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine cooked and cooled pasta with vegetables and dressing in a large bowl.  Set in the refrigerator to cool a half hour prior to serving to blend flavors.  Add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from:

http://www.pregnancy.org