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Healthy Meals to Eat During Pregnancy

Filling your plate with nutritious foods is one of your most important responsibilities while pregnant. KidsHealth notes that you need only an additional 300 calories per day while expecting, and those calories should come from the most nutrient-dense foods possible. The growth of your baby depends on what you eat, so preparing nutritious meals is an essential part of your pregnancy health.

Eating a nutritious breakfast gets your day started out right and will encourage you to eat healthy meals for the rest of the day. Choose a breakfast that includes fiber and protein to boost your morning energy. A bowl of oatmeal will supply iron, an incredibly important nutrient during pregnancy as your blood volume increases. Add sliced fruit for vitamin C, which promotes development of healthy fetal tissue. Another option is dry cereal fortified with folic acid, a nutrient that decreases your risk of certain birth defects. Add skim milk for a healthy dose of calcium to foster proper fetal bone development. A scrambled egg will supply a good amount of protein, but make sure to cook it thoroughly, including the yolk.

A healthy midday meal will give you another burst of energy, as well as a chance to add vital nutrients to your pregnancy diet. A peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread supplies a healthy amount of iron and plenty of protein. Add a piece of fruit for vitamins A and C and a spinach salad for a boost of folic acid. A grilled cheese sandwich made with whole-grain bread is another healthy lunch that will supply B vitamins for your baby's red blood cell formation and calcium for strong bones. Add a glass of milk for some vitamin D, which helps your body absorb enough calcium for you and your growing little one.

Protein should be a star in your evening meal because it will give you energy until morning. KidsHealth adds that eating plenty of protein will foster healthy growth of your baby's cells and blood. A lean white meat chicken or turkey breast is a nutritious option that also provides some iron and zinc. Pair it with steamed carrots for vitamin A, which encourages healthy formation of skin and eyes, and a baked potato for potassium and energy-providing carbohydrates. Lean beef with rice and broccoli is another healthy dinner that provides the protein you need, as well as some fiber and vitamin C.

Snacks provide a good opportunity to add the 300 extra calories you need by eating a variety of nutritious foods. Eating snacks also helps you consume the additional nutrients you need to grow a healthy baby. Low-fat cheese or yogurt will help you get enough calcium and will also supply necessary protein. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a healthy choice that will increase your intake of fiber and a myriad vitamins and minerals. A baked sweet potato, small leafy green salad or a handful of nuts are additional snacks that will help promote a healthy pregnancy.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.