Healthy “Fast” Foods During Pregnancy
Handy little four-ounce fruit cups that count as a serving of the daily recommendation for fruits and vegetables. You can often choose varieties packed in their own juice rather than in sugary syrup. Soy milk, which is available in 8-ounce servings of plain, chocolate and vanilla flavor. Keep one in your purse or briefcase, as they don’t need to be refrigerated. One bottle can supply one-third of your daily calcium and vitamin D needs during your pregnancy.
A one-ounce box of raisins can provide 2 grams of fiber, 4% of the daily recommended amount of iron, and even 1 gram of protein.
Yogurt can provide you with 25% of your daily calcium requirement, protein, fiber and several other necessary vitamins and minerals. Mix a handful of shredded wheat-type cereal with a handful of dried cherries and almonds. Keep a zip-lock bag full on your desk or car for a handy, and healthy, crunchy snack.
Some fast-food restaurants and many grocery stores have salad bars where you can serve yourself practically the whole day’s worth of fruits and vegetables. Load up on spinach, carrots, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, raisins, and nuts. Add chickpeas and kidney beans for a protein boost.
Baby carrots, which are also available in single serving bags, are full of vitamin A and fiber. Dip into non-fat yogurt mixed with a little bit of dressing for an extra dose of nutrition. Look for other pre-washed and pre-packed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, and stir-fry them together for dinner.
If you don’t know about string cheese now, just wait until your baby is a toddler – this food will become a staple snack. Low-fat mozzarella sticks are full of calcium and contain some protein.
Calcium-fortified orange juice. A four-ounce serving provides half of the daily requirement of vitamin C and about 15% of your calcium needs. Single-serve boxes of cereal, not the sugar-coated kind, or packages of instant oatmeal. You can keep a few in your desk at work for a snack. Almost all breakfast cereal is now fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.
Single-serve cottage cheese bowls (available in the dairy section of most grocery stores). Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium.
“Fast” Foods To Avoid While Pregnant
Ramen noodles. Packed with salt, fat, and little else.
Sodas. Fill up on empty calories and sugar and you won’t have any room for more nutritious drinks.
Pre-packaged commercial lunches. They may be a quick fix for hunger pangs, but preservatives, salt, and fat make this a bad choice.
Almost all prepared, frozen meals. They tend to have astronomical amounts of salt and fat.
Iceberg lettuce. If you’re going to eat a salad, choose a green such as romaine that’s full of fiber, A, B, and C vitamins, folic acid, calcium, and potassium. Iceberg lettuce has only trace amounts of these nutrients.