If ever there's a time in life to start eating a more nutritious, balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables, it's during pregnancy. Nutritious foods will not only help your growing baby, but will also boost your well being and immunity, and reinforce good habits that will stick with you and your child for a lifetime. That said, for many who are pregnant, healthier foods aren't always appetizing. It's common in pregnancy to crave more fatty and wheat-based foods. It's also common for certain foods to fall completely off of the pregnancy menu, so to speak, due to nausea and food aversions. Thankfully, there are several tricks to sneak in fruits and veggies to help incorporate more balance and nutrition.
Smoothies. A great choice for those craving sweets! You can add so many things into a smoothie, including fruits and vegetables, and with the right combination and addition of protein, a smoothie will help hold you over for quite a while. Consider adding berries, spinach, kale, chia seeds, protein powder, honey, yogurt, flax seed, cinnamon, or whatever your taste buds desire!
Spinach. Whie it's sounds counterintuitive to a sensitive palate to eat spinach, the reality is that spinach has very little flavor and can easily be added to things without influencing the texture or flavor. Consider adding minced or pureed spinach to pizza sauce, pasta sauce, smoothies, soups, eggs, or even brownies!
Fresh cut veggies and dip. Part of the problem with eating more veggies is the hassle in preparing them. When veggies are readily available, you're more likely to reach for a crunchy carrot and sliced red pepper than a bag of chips. Cut and pair your favorite raw veggies with a dip like hummus (great protein source!) ranch, or greek yogurt.
Fruit salad. Like keeping fresh cut veggies, freshly cut fruit has a much higher "eat me" appeal. You can chunk up watermelon, pineapple, or canteloupe and put it in a bowl to munch on, or consider mixing a combo of your favorite fruit for a fruit salad.
Juicing. Like smoothies, there are lots of possibilities for juicing. And while a juiced drink will not give you the bulk and fiber that a smoothie contains, it does offer lots of vitamins and minerals. Experiment with different combinations of fruit and vegetables to get the juice flavor you enjoy -- or can tolerate.
"Imitation" food. Spaghetti squash doubles as a delicious bowl of spaghetti, zucchini "noodles" are excellent in place of pasta, and breaded and baked eggplant cooks up nicely as french fries! There are several vegetable inspired "imitation" dishes to be found on Google and Pinterest -- take a look and experiment to see what you like best.
Baked goods. Banana bread, pumpkin bread, spinach and beet brownies, blueberry muffins -- the options are endless! While fruit and veggies in baked food may not be the most healthy way to get your servings in due to the added sugar, it's better than nothing! And generally agreeable to the pregnant palate.