Weekly Pregnancy Meal Plan: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

weekly pregnancy meal plan

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If you’re an expecting mother, you’re probably hearing this a lot lately- eating healthy food during pregnancy is very crucial. But what people may not be telling you is that being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean surviving on fruits and supplements throughout the day! A healthy pregnancy meal plan will not only help you and your little one hit the nutrition goal but also help you maintain a balanced diet without compromising on the taste.

When you have a weekly pregnancy meal plan, you can plan your snacks and munchies in advance and also keep track of whether you are having the right nutrients that you and your baby require.

Pregnancy itself can be stressful at times, but with a healthy pregnancy meal plan, feeling ‘hangry’ won’t be an obstacle in keeping you and your baby healthy.

What Is A Pregnancy Meal Plan ?

A healthy pregnancy meal planning includes choosing and planning a diet that will be the most helpful for you as well as your little one. It also implies knowing the quantity and timing to eat those foods. There are many ways you can plan your meals to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts, every day.

Benefits Of A Healthy Pregnancy Meal Plan

Among the many benefits of a meal plan, a healthy pregnancy meal plan has the following benefits:

  • The right nutrients depending on which phase in your pregnancy you are in
  • Prevents unnecessary weight gain
  • Keeps you and your baby healthy
  • Helps you plan your snacks and meals in advance

Nutrients Your Body Requires During Pregnancy

Even though you can enjoy your box of pizza or a tub of ice cream, incorporating the right nutrients into your diet will make sure you’re hitting your nutritional goals. As your baby grows, trimester by trimester, the needs of your body change, and with the changing needs, your diet changes.

Pregnancy Meal Plan First Trimester

During the first 12 to 13 weeks of your pregnancy, your body needs a variety of nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy.

  1. Folic acid (legumes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables)
  2. Iron (seafood, raisin, peas)
  3. Vitamin B6 (pork, peanuts, oats)
Nutrient Function
Folic Acid Protects your baby from neural tube disorders such as spina bifida and other birth disorders like cleft palate.
Iron Make healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body
Vitamin B6 Ease nausea and morning sickness

Pregnancy Meal Plan Second Trimester

During your second trimester, your baby’s bones and brain are growing. Your diet during the second trimester should include plenty of calcium and vitamin D for healthy growing bones and omega 3 rich food for your baby’s brain development. Unlike unhealthy fat, omega 3 is a healthy fat that your baby also needs for his overall development.

  1. Calcium (kale, okra, soya drink, and milk)
  2. Omega 3 (seafood, chia seeds, flaxseeds, plant oil, and fortified food)
  3. Vitamin A (cheese, eggs, and oily fish)
  4. Vitamin D (red meat, liver, egg yolk, and fortified food)
  5. Iron (seafood, raisin, peas)
Nutrient Function
Calcium Healthy growing bones
Omega 3 Baby’s brain development
Vitamin A Healthy blood and skin
Vitamin D Healthy growing bones
Iron Avoid anemia

Pregnancy Meal Plan Third Trimester

During your third trimester, the speed of your baby’s growth will increase as they are gaining weight. Do not worry about the few pounds you put on rapidly at this time, because the extra calories you gain will help your baby in building layers of fat. Just like the first and second trimester, iron continues to be an essential part of your diet. An important addition to your diet will be vitamin K.

  1. Vitamin K (kale, spinach, Brussel sprouts, liver, meat, and cereals)
  2. Iron (beans, tofu, spinach, and whole grains)
Nutrient Function
Vitamin K Essential for blood to clot, which is important after childbirth
Iron Prevent anemia and premature labor

Super Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Now that we know the nutrients that our body requires during pregnancy, let’s check out the list of superfoods during pregnancy. You can include these superfoods anytime in your healthy pregnancy meal plan, be it for breakfast, as a salad, or even dinner.

A list of top 8 superfoods during pregnancy:

  1. Milk and milk products
  2. Whole grains
  3. Eggs
  4. Broccoli
  5. Berries
  6. Avocado
  7. Dried fruits
  8. Lots of water
SuperfoodWhy Should You Have It?
Milk and milk products
  •  Protein, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc
  •  Strong bones
  • Better digestion
Whole grains
  • Fiber, vitamins B, magnesium, and plant compounds
  • Oats, quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries, and barley
Eggs
  • High-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals.
  • Contains choline (important in baby’s brain development and helps prevent developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine)
Broccoli
  • Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium
  • Reduces risk of low birth weight
Berries
  • Water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Reduces risk of blood sugar because of low glycemic index
Avocado
  • Fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C
  • Good source of healthy fats, folate, and potassium
  • Fats help build the skin, brain, and tissues of your baby
  • Folate may help prevent neural tube defects, developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine such as spina bifida
Dried fruits
  • High in calories, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals
Water
  • Channel hydration to your baby

Healthy Pregnancy Meal Plan Ideas

Now that you know the nutrients that your body needs in each trimester and the pregnancy superfoods, you can now add these food items to your weekly pregnancy meal plan as per your choice.

Here's a weekly pregnancy meal plan to fulfill the needs of your body during pregnancy:

Monday

Breakfast

  • Oats or muesli
  • Pasteurized milk or natural yogurt
  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits

Optional Snack

  • A handful of dried fruit or apricot

Lunch

  • Coleslaw sandwich or chicken sandwich
  • A bowl of salad

Snack

  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits
  • Homemade baked muffins

Dinner

  • Chicken soup
  • A bowl of salad

Tuesday

Breakfast

  • Hard-boiled or poached eggs
  • Av0cado
  • Whole wheat bread

Optional Snack

  • Sesame seed bar (good source of iron)

Lunch

  • Tortilla wrap with yellow and red bell peppers, tomato, lettuce, carrots, and cabbage.
  • Hummus with a dash of olive oil and cayenne pepper or paprika

Snack

  • Crackers with cheese
  • Baked chocolate cookies

Dinner

  • Chicken fillets stuffed with feta cheese
  • A bowl of salad

Wednesday

Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs with cheese and tomato
  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits

Optional Snack

  • A glass of pasteurized milk
  • Dry fruit

Lunch

  • Brown rice with sauteed vegetables or mushroom
  • A bowl of salad

Snack

  • Yogurt with bananas and kiwi

Dinner

  • Homemade pizza with whole wheat crust
  • Topping with pasteurized cheese of your choice
  • Add vegetables and chicken

Thursday

Breakfast

  • Oats or muesli
  • Pasteurized milk or yogurt
  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits

Optional Snack

  • Homemade fruit juice
  • Oats bar

Lunch

  • Sardines (good source of omega 3, calcium, and vitamin D) with toast
  • Green leafy salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Snack

  • Whole wheat bread with peanut butter

Dinner

  • Chicken risotto
  • A bowl of salad

Friday

Breakfast

  • Whole grain bread with peanut butter
  • Hard-boiled or poached eggs

Optional Snack

  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits
  • Sesame seed bar

Lunch

  • Couscous salad with green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, chickpeas, and bell peppers
  • Yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries

Snack

  • Baked chocolate cookies

Dinner

  • Spaghetti with tomato basil sauce
  • Add boiled pieces of chicken and broccoli.

Saturday

Breakfast

  • Greek yogurt with dry fruits, almonds, and muesli
  • Orange juice

Optional Snack

  • Hard-boiled or poached eggs
  • Sesame seed bar

Lunch

  • Kedgeree with fish (omega 3 rich), brown rice, and hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese with baked beans and potato

Snack

  • Banana smoothie with chocolate and peanut butter

Dinner

  • Stir-fried chicken with spinach (good source of iron and omega 3) and mushrooms
  • Green leafy salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Sunday

Breakfast

  • Whole wheat bread with peanut butter
  • Few slices of freshly cut fruits

Optional Snack

  • A cup of pasteurized milk
  • A handful of dried fruits

Lunch

  • Brown rice with sardines curry (rich in omega 3)
  • Yogurt with chopped apples, apricot, and grapes

Snack

  • Oats or granola bar

Dinner

  • Vegetable, meat, or chicken tacos with green leafy veggies and sprinkled with pasteurized cheese of your choice.

Do I Need To Take Supplements If I Am Eating Healthy ?

Eating healthy is the best way to get all the nutrients you and your baby need. But your doctor must have prescribed you some supplements to be taken at specific times. So, do not discontinue these supplements. A doctor mostly suggests:

Trimester Recommended Supplements
First Trimester Folic acid, iron, and vitamin B6
Second Trimester Iron and calcium
Third Trimester Iron and vitamin K
Always take supplements after consulting with your doctor.

Food To Avoid During Pregnancy

There are some food items that must be avoided by expecting mothers. Some food items can be harmful to you, some can be harmful or can act as a toxin for your baby. When you prepare a meal plan make sure you have a list of food items you’re allergic to so that you can opt them out of your plan.

Here's a list of 10 food items that you need to avoid during pregnancy:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Raw fish
  3. Undercooked or processed meat
  4. Unpasteurized cheese
  5. Unpasteurized milk
  6. Raw egg
  7. Caffeine
  8. Unwashed fruits and vegetables
  9. Papaya
  10. Carbonated drinks

Final Toughts

Your baby is waiting to take in all those nutritious foods from a well-balanced meal plan which includes whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats.

There’s a long list of delicious options that give you and your baby a healthy boost. Keep your doctor informed of your eating choices and let them guide you on a plan with any supplements if required.

Weekly Pregnancy Meal Plan FAQs :

1. What is a good meal plan for a pregnant woman ?

During pregnancy, healthy eating does not only mean having fruits all day. Your diet needs to have all the necessary nutrients that are required for you as well as your baby's development. This includes a healthy balance of protein-rich foods, vitamins, and minerals, as well as healthy fats.

2. What are the benefits of having a meal plan during pregnancy ?

Among the many benefits of a meal plan, a healthy pregnancy meal plan has the following benefits: The right nutrients depending on which phase in your pregnancy you are in Prevents unnecessary weight gain Keeps you and your baby healthy Helps you plan your snacks and meals in advance.

3. What should a pregnant woman eat for breakfast lunch and dinner ?

Your breakfast should be heavier compared to your dinner. You can choose from a wide range of healthy and nutritious breakfasts such as oats or muesli with milk or yogurt. Along with this, you can have a few slices of fruits of your choice. For breakfast, you can opt for spaghetti, risotto, soup, or even tacos.

4. What food should I have during pregnancy ?

Even though you can have almost anything that you want during your pregnancy, there are a few superfoods that can help you hit your nutrition goals. These include- milk, whole grains, eggs, broccoli, berries, avocado, dried fruits, and lots of water.

5. What should an ideal healthy meal plan for pregnancy look like ?

During your pregnancy, your diet should have a complete balance of vitamins, proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. There is a long list of pregnancy superfoods and essential nutrients that your body requires during pregnancy. You must also take care of the few things that are best avoided during pregnancy.

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