3 Power Foods That Will Change the Way You Eat During Pregnancy

Ever feel like eating well during pregnancy is a chore? Wondering how to transition into feeding both yourself and your baby? We asked Tandem Midwifery and Baby Taste Buds to share their tips for eating well and making food exciting and fresh during these crucial years. They told us about three versatile power foods to keep in your kitchen for quick, healthy meals and snacks.

Want to learn more? Sign up for SFC's cooking and gardening classes here!


1. Berries

During Pregnancy: Blueberries (as well as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries) are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, potassium and folate. Grab a handful for a snack, top off your oatmeal or granola, add to a salad or blend into a smoothie. If berries are out of season, try frozen blueberries.

First Foods: Sweet, flavorful, and full of vitamins, berries make a great add in for baby purees since babies will love them. Try adding berries and bananas to plain full-fat yogurt for a quick snack or add some blueberries to beets for a sweet antioxidant infused meal. Due to potential allergies, wait until 7 months to start babies on strawberries and blackberries and always check with your pediatrician if concerns arise.


2. Nuts & Seeds

During Pregnancy: Filled with protein, healthy fats, folate, vitamin E, magnesium and omega- and omega-6, nuts and seeds are wonderful power food. Fiber found in nuts and seeds also are helpful in aiding digestion. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and seeds aids in neurological and brain development of the baby. A handful of sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts can be a terrific snack between meals. Add a cup of walnuts, sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds to your breakfast, sprinkle on a salad or eat as a trail mix. Nut and seed butters, like almond butter or sun butter, make a great dip for apples or add a ½ cup to a smoothie for added nutrition.

First Foods: High in folate and protein, cooked beans and legumes are a wonderful food for babies. Start 6 month olds on a green pea puree. Around 8-10 months, once baby's digestive system has matured further, mash up some cooked black beans in chicken or veggie stock. Be sure to save some for whole beans to make quick tacos or a bean salad for yourself while you're at it!


3. Leafy Greens

During Pregnancy: Dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale and collards are terrific sources of calcium, Iron, and folic acid as well as necessary vitamins. In addition to being in season and really easy to grow, help build a healthy blood supply, aid in bone growth and development and provide fiber to help with digestion. Greens can be added to lots of things: smoothies, frittatas, soups and salads. Love pesto? Try making it with kale and walnuts instead of basil and pine nuts!

First Foods: Fall is the perfect time to pick up some dark leafy greens from your local farmers' market and start adding them into your baby's foods. Greens like kale, spinach and chard are great for babies 7-9 months old and add folate, iron, and numerous vitamins to the baby's diet. Plus, by introducing greens early, your baby will be more likely to eat them later in life. Remove hard stems and steam greens before adding them to purees such as unsweetened applesauce or berries and yogurt.