12 Ways to Make Eating Healthy Meals While Pregnant Easier
Maintaining proper nutrition throughout your pregnancy is incredibly important, so check out these 10 ways to make eating healthy meals while pregnant easier.
We all know we need to take care of our bodies with healthy nutrition, but it's particularly crucial when you're eating for two. Many of us can excuse subjecting ourselves to unhealthy food, but when it's a baby we're nourishing, the game is entirely different.
Tips for Healthy Meals While Pregnant
To beat challenges like temptation, limited time, and low energy, try on these healthy eating tips for size.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
Sticking to a calorie budget while getting the correct balance of macronutrients (as well as all the micronutrients you need) is harder than it sounds. Each meal needs to incorporate a healthy variety among the food groups, which may be difficult to do on the fly.
To strike that perfect balance, healthy meal plans are a staple for countless people. It gives you time to determine all the food you need in advance, which makes shopping easier and reduces the temptation of last-minute takeout.
Try Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is a major craze among moms, and for good reason. It involves making meals in large batches and separating them into one-serving dishes. You can freeze the meals and heat them in the oven, microwave, or slow cooker each day of the week.
One of the largest challenges of healthy eating, during a pregnancy or not, is that healthy food tends to take a lot of preparation time, while unhealthy foods are convenient and inexpensive. Meal prepping (especially when used with strategic meal planning) turns healthy food into convenience food.
Join a Support Group for Pregnant Women or Moms
They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and that effort begins the moment you find out you're pregnant. The internet has brought together people from all over the world, and it's become a popular way for moms and moms-to-be to help each other.
A support group for pregnant women is a great place to get healthy eating tips and advice for other aspects of your journey, as well.
Shop in Advance
Pregnancy cravings are infamous. Unfortunately, if given in to regularly, they can torch a healthy pregnancy diet. One of the best ways to beat cravings is to grocery shop ahead of time (not when you're craving a certain food or flavour) so you can stock up on healthier foods. It's all about surrounding yourself with the right options so that when cravings hit, you can satisfy them with healthy alternatives.
Indulge Cravings in Moderation
With all that being said, sometimes your cravings become too intense and are too much to pass up. In these cases, you just need to keep your indulgences in moderation.
If you tend to crave chocolate, buy individually wrapped chocolates so it's easier to eat smaller portions. You can do the same with cheese, potato chips, and many other indulgent foods.
Get a Diet Buddy
A "diet buddy" is a tool that has been used often for people trying to lose weight. Your goal is different during pregnancy but the idea is the same: it's easier to stick to your goals when someone else is doing it with you.
Ideally, make diet buddies of the people you spend the most amount of time with, like a spouse, roommate, or close coworker. If the people around you are eating healthy too, you'll be less tempted than if they're eating a burger next to your salad.
Ask Your Obstetrician for Tips
It's important not to look for generic healthy eating tips or weight loss dieting tips. Pregnant women have their own sets of nutritional needs, and it can be quite different from the needs of someone who's trying to lose weight.
Your obstetrician is a perfect source of information. He or she knows exactly how you should nourish your baby and yourself and can point you in the right direction or answer specific questions you may have.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a term that's been on the rise lately, and it's a great way to feel satisfied without overindulging. Mindful eating involves avoiding distractions like television or social media while you're eating. Instead, you focus on the sensation of the food and the taste of it.
One idea behind mindful eating is to eat only what you need to nourish your body, rather than eating out of boredom or to mask emotions. It's also a great way to disconnect from electronics and be at peace.
Post Reminders Around the House
Another way to keep yourself motivated is to remind yourself why you're trying to eat healthily. Stick a post-it note inside your cupboard that says, "It's all for baby!" or "Only three months to go!" The trick is finding out what motivates you.
Put Unhealthy Foods in an Inconvenient Place
"Out of sight, out of mind" holds up for many people on a healthy diet. It's easier not to get tempted by unhealthy food if you don't see it and you can forget that it's there.
Ideally, limit the number of unhealthy foods in your home. But for the unhealthy items you do have, put them in the back of the cabinet or tucked to the side. Just be careful that they're not at such an inconvenient place (like a high shelf) that you could hurt yourself trying to get to them.
Drink More Water by Sweetening the Deal
Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your health any time, but it’s especially true when you're pregnant. If you don't enjoy the taste of plain water or you're getting tired of it, try a water infuser. Simply soaking certain fruits in your water can infuse the water with a sweet flavour, making it more palatable. Try strawberries, lemons, or watermelon.
Look for Healthy Alternatives to Your Indulgences
We all have our Achilles heels when it comes to a healthy diet. Giving them up is tough, so try simple swaps instead. For instance, look for sugar-free brownies to replace traditional ones, or baked french fries instead of fried ones. Better still, bake your own treats so you can control the ingredients that goes into them, including the type and amount of sweetener.
Giving Your Baby a Healthy Start
Parenting starts far before your child's birth. A healthy diet gives your baby all the nourishment he or she needs to develop well and start life on the right foot.
For more wholesome living tips, check out our healthy lifestyle blog. And as always, I welcome your comments.