Top 15 Healthy Recipes For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is the time when women have several food cravings and love to try different types of foods. Knowing some nutritious yet delicious recipes for pregnant women could help satisfy the cravings and ensure good pregnancy health. With the wild cravings and unpredictable meal timings, it may get challenging to stick to a healthy and balanced maternal diet during pregnancy. Nevertheless, it would be best to choose a well-balanced diet to ensure a healthy and stress-free pregnancy (1). So, how about picking some healthful yet delicious recipes, focusing on prenatal nutrition, to pamper your taste buds when pregnant? Read on as we bring a collection of simple and scrumptiousiXDelicious or extremely pleasant in taste recipes to try when you are expecting.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), good nutrition helps meet the body’s extra demands during pregnancy. ACOG reminds us to eat twice healthy instead of “eating for two” to maintain a healthy weight and adequate fetal growth. You may consume an extra 340 calories per day in the second trimester and a bit more in the third trimester to meet the additional requirements for one fetus. Daily extra calorie intake can be about 600 for twin pregnancies and 900 for triplets pregnancies (1).

In This Article

Top 15 Healthy Recipes For Pregnant Women

1. Chicken And Tomato Pasta:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 350 grams of dried penne pasta
  • 100 grams of snow peas
  • 500 grams of chicken breast filets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato pasta sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper Powder

How To:

1. Cook the pasta by following the directions on the packet.

2. Add the snow peas in the pasta while cooking.

3. Brush chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. In a large frying pan cook the chicken filets until tender. Let them cool for ten minutes and then cut diagonally.

5. In another pan, heat the pasta sauce and add the pasta. Then add the chicken pieces and mix it well. Serve hot.

2. Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chip Energy Bars:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of peanuts (roasted)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 20 dates (pitted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt

How To:

1. Add oats, peanut butter, peanuts, sunflower seeds, oats, and dates in a blender and churn.

2. In a bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla essence, and salt.

3. Add the egg mixture to the peanut mixture and blend again to make a coarse paste.

4. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Grease a baking pan. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 35 minutes at 200 degrees F. Let it cool before you cut it into bars.

3. Apple And Lettuce Salad With Melon Dressing:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

For The Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of muskmelon purée
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds (roasted)
  • 3 Tbsp coriander (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper Powder

For The Salad:

  • 1 cup of lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of cabbage
  • 1/4thcup of grated carrot
  • 1/4thcup of red and yellow peppers
  • 1/2 cup of chopped apples
  • 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of bean sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped grapes
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped spring onions
  • Salt

How To:

1. Put cabbage, carrots, lettuce and pepper in ice-cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and refrigerate the vegetables.

2. Toss the apples in lemon juice and refrigerate. Combine lettuce, carrots, cabbage, peppers, bean sprouts, spring onions, grapes, salt in a bowl and mix gently. Blend the dressing ingredients and add them to the salad. Toss well and serve.

Describing her dietary preferences during her second trimester, a mother and blogger says, “Salads were always a big event in our household; the bigger, the better. It’s astonishing what all can be crammed on a bed of organic lettuce. My main meals were usually a large salad with a lot of protein and other toppings or a burrito with the same type of toppings (i).”

protip_icon Point to consider
Wash all the vegetables properly before adding them to your salad. It is ideal to cook or roast your sprouts too. These practices will decrease the risk of toxoplasmosisiXA parasite infection, usually transmitted through raw meat or exposure to cat feces (3).

4. Banana Walnut Pancakes:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • ¼ th cup of banana puree
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp of wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 4 Tbsp of castor sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 Tbsp of baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp of butter

To Serve:

  • Banana slices
  • Honey

How To:

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Add ½ a cup of water and mix well.

2. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add a ladle of the mix. Spread it evenly to make a pancake. Toss and cook it on both sides until golden brown.

3. Serve with banana slices and honey.

5. Bean Soup:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 3/4thcup of kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp finely of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Salt

For Serving:

  • Sliced spring onions
  • Chopped coriander

How To:

1. Soak the kidney beans in water and leave it overnight. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add chopped onions. Cook until it turns transparent.

2. Then add garlic, tomatoes, salt, chili powder and sauté for a few minutes.

3. Add beans, water and pressure cook for 15 minutes.

4. Let the kidney beans cool then put them in a blender and churn.

5. Heat the soup and add lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

6. Broccoli And Baby Corn Stir-Fry:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 3/4 cup of broccoli
  • 1/3rdcup of baby corn
  • 1/3rdcup of capsicum
  • 1/3rd cup of onions
  • 2 Tbsp of French beans
  • 8 toasted cashews
  • 1 Tbsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of corn flour
  • A pinch of sugar
  • ½ Tbsp of Black Pepper Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of oil
  • Salt

How To:

1. In a wok, heat oil over a high flame. Add garlic and cook for a minute.

2. Add and stir-fry the remaining vegetables.

3. Mix corn flour with ½ a cup of water and add to the vegetables.

4. Then add seasoning and cook for a minute. Serve hot with toasted cashews.

7. Cabbage Rice:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 ½ cups of cooked rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of shredded cabbage
  • 1 capsicum, sliced
  • ½ Tbsp of Pepper Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp of grated processed cheese

How To:

1. Melt the butter in a wok, add the onions and sauté it.

2. Add capsicum and cabbage into the pan and cook until tender.

3. Add rice and seasoning. Mix well. Garnish with cheese and serve.

8. Cream Of Celery Soup:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • ½ cup of chopped onions
  • ¼th cup of chopped potatoes
  • 1 ¼th cups of finely chopped celery stalks
  • 2 Tbsp of corn flour
  • ½ cup of milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Garnish:

  • 1 Tbsp of fresh cream

How To:

1. Heat the butter in a pan and add onions and potatoes. Saute for a few minutes.

2. Add and sauté the celery. Add two cups of water and let the mix come to a boil.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mix cool.

4. Now add it to a blender and churn. Strain the contents. Transfer the soup to the pan and heat it.

5. Mix corn flour with ½ a cup of milk. Add it to the pan along with the seasoning. Let it simmer until it thickens. Garnish with cream and serve.

9. Date and Banana Shake:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1/4th cup of dates
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 to 5 ice-cubes

How To:

1. Soak the dates in warm milk for 30 minutes.

2. Add all the ingredients into a blender and churn to make a yummy shake.

protip_icon Quick tip
You can replace the ice cubes with frozen bananas. Adding frozen bananas gives a rich and creamy texture to the shake.

10. Chicken Salad Wraps:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 1/3rd cup of Tabasco sauce
  • ¼th cup of sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼th Tbsp of crushed red pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 4 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups of shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 large ripe tomato sliced
  • 1 cup of grated carrots
  • 2/3rd cup of chopped scallions
  • 2/3rd cup of slivered fresh mint

How To:

1. In a bowl add Tabasco sauce, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

2. Wrap the tortillas in a foil and heat for ten minutes.

3. In a large bowl add chicken, lettuce, tomato, carrot, mint and scallions. Mix the ingredients well. Add the dressing to the chicken mixture.

4. Place the chicken mixture on the tortillas and serve.

11. Lemony Lentil Salad with Salmon:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1/3rd cup of lemon juice
  • 1/3rd cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsps of Dijon mustard
  • ¼th Tbsp of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3rd cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of diced cucumber
  • ½ cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 3 cups of cooked brown lentils
  • 1 ½ cup of cooked salmon

How To:

1. Whisk dill, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl. Then slowly add oil into the bowl.

2. Add cucumber, onion, lentils, bell pepper, and salmon, which is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Toss the salad well.

Many expecting mothers may avoid consuming fish due to the fear of the effects of mercury on the unborn baby. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eating fish during pregnancy helps a baby’s cognitive developmentiXDevelopment of intellectual or mental abilities such as thinking and reasoning . Salmon, a low mercury seafood, is considered as one of the best fish choices for pregnant women. The FDA also recommends limiting the fish and seafood to 8 to 12 ounces per week during pregnancy (2).

12. Yogurt Crunch:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp of light olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1/3rdcup of blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1/3rdcup of pecans, chopped
  • 1/3rdcup of chopped dried apples
  • 1/3rdcup of chopped dried apricots
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • ½ cup of yogurt

How To:

Add oats in a bowl and drizzle olive oil and maple syrup over it. Stir well. Grease a baking tray. Spread the oats over a baking tray and bake for five minutes. Sprinkle almonds and pecans over the oats mixture and bake for seven minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and keep it aside to cool. Then add dried apricots and dried apples to the bowl. Add yogurt to the mix. Stir it well and serve. This is one of the healthy recipes for pregnant ladies.

protip_icon Health fact
Rolled oats have a low glycemic indexiXRating that helps determine how specific foods containing carbohydrates increase the blood sugar levels and can keep you full for a long time without adding too many calories (4) (5).

13. Banana Yogurt Muffins:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 ¾ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3rd cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 large bananas, mashed

How To:

1. Sift the flour and sugar in a bowl.

2. Add egg, oil, yogurt, and banana puree in a bowl. Mix it well. Then gradually add the flour and sugar mix. Stir well.

3. Grease a muffin pan and add the mixture to it. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

14. Sprouts Cutlet:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 100 grams sprouts
  • ½ cup of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 8-10 cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of corn flour
  • 100 grams of bread crumbs
  • Cooking oil

How To:

1. Mash the boiled potatoes in a bowl. Now add coriander, salt, cashew, corn flour and sprouts, into the bowl. Mix well.

2. Make small cutlets with the mix. Coat the cutlets with crumbs. Brush some oil on the cutlets and shallow fry until it turns golden brown.

15. Savory Omelet:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • ½ packet of instant noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp of Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • 30 grams of snow peas, thinly sliced
  • ¼ small red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 170 grams of cooked crab meat
  • 20 grams of snow pea sprout
  • Brown bread toast

How To:

1. Cook noodles according to the directions on the packet. Drain and leave it aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk egg and then add noodles and cheese. Season with pepper and salt.

3. Melt butter in a frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook until the base turns golden.

4. Add the remaining ingredients on top and cook for a minute. Serve with toast.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I skip breakfast when pregnant?

You should not skip breakfast during pregnancy, as it may adversely affect your and your baby’s health. Studies suggest that skipping breakfast during early pregnancy may increase the risk of gestational diabetes. However, more research is required to enhance this understanding (6).

2. Which vegetables should I avoid during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid mung bean, radish, clover, and alfalfa sprouts. In their raw or undercooked form, they may contain E.coli and Salmonella that may be harmful during pregnancy (7).

3. What should a pregnant woman eat daily?

To get appropriate nutrition for the mother as well as her baby, it is important to consume fruits and vegetables daily, in addition to pasteurized dairy products, and carbohydrate and protein-rich foods. These foods help in consuming the required vitamins, minerals, and fiber necessary for the body (8).

Pregnancy is the period when your body needs extra nutrition, energy, and care, as it also counts for the developing fetus. With the help of these recipes for pregnant women, it will be easy for you to satisfy your cravings and get the required nutrients and avoid resorting to unhealthy food. These recipes are easy to make and packed with nutrition and taste, including options for high fiber meals to support your overall health. You could also modify the recipes to include your own preferred protein sources and ingredients.

Infographic: Some Quick Recipes To Try With Minimum Effort

When you are pregnant, you should eat a healthy and filling meal as you are eating for two people. But with your growing baby adding on to your tiredness, you may wish for something tasty and healthy that can be whipped up quickly. So here are some quick and easy recipes that require minimum effort and time but will turn out very delicious.

Save this infographic to come back to it every time you crave a quick meal during your pregnancy.

easy and healthy meals for pregnant women (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • During pregnancy, following a healthy and hydrating diet is of utmost importance.
  • You should be on the lookout for quick, nutritious meals that help satiate your cravings and provide ample nourishment.
  • Healthy meal preparations such as bean soup, fruit and vegetable salads, and pasta and rice are some of the quick and nutrient-rich meal choices.
  • Including energy bars, dried fruit shakes, pancakes, or waffles can add that extra flavor and energy needed during pregnancy.
  • Nevertheless, pregnant women should consult their doctor before making any major changes to their diet.

Including healthy and nutritious food in the pregnancy, diet is essential for both the mother and the baby. Learn about important foods to eat during pregnancy and get delicious recipes to try.

Personal Experience: Source

i. What I ate: 2nd trimester w/ twins (part 4).


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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