When you first receive the magical news that you’re pregnant, your whole world is turned upside down in the absolute best way possible (cue happy pregnancy emojis!). No matter how prepared you *think* you are, everyone has that moment of worry when they realize that they’ll be eating for two for the next eight months or so. It’s common to ask your OBGYN what foods you should avoid during pregnancy (no raw sushi for you!), but it’s not until later that you start considering which foods you should add to your pregnancy diet. These 15 recipes are full of powerful ingredients that will benefit you and your growing baby — and they may even help ease some of those pesky cravings too.


1. Spicy Red Pasta With Lentils: When that spicy food craving hits, you’re absolutely certain that it is worth every ounce of milk you have to drink as your mouth burns with pleasure. This pasta dish is comforting and protein-packed, even with no meat in sight. Lentils are a great (vegan) way to add tons of plant-based protein to your meal. (via Minimalist Baker)


2. BBQ Chickpea Deep Dish Pizza: Pregnancy is all about balance. Sure, you can have a deep dish pizza all to yourself, but when it’s topped with chickpeas, caramelized onions and peppers, it’s way easier to justify. (via Oh My Veggies)


3. Best Hot Quinoa Burger: Plenty of women have aversions to meat products when pregnant. For those moments when you’re craving a burger but meat is a no-go, this quinoa burger will save the day. Whole grains like quinoa are an essential superfood that all pregnant ladies need to be eating on the regular, and what better way to enjoy them than in a spicy burger? (via Contentedness Cooking)


4. Blood Orange Sumac Chicken Tabouleh: This salad has lean chicken breast, bulgur wheat and tons of citrus, all of which are major players in the pregnancy nutrition game. Make a big batch of this to take for lunch all week so you feel great every day. (via Eat Love Eat)

Broccoli plaf

5. Broccoli Pilaf With Pomegranate and Almonds: Broccoli is not only packed with nutrients that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy — such as calcium and folate — but it’s also rich in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants to help keep you and your baby well. This broccoli pilaf has such great flavor, you’ll forget just how great it is for you. (via Drizzle and Dip)


6. Creamy, Zesty Spinach Soup: Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K. Like carrots, they’ve also been found to promote eye health, both for you AND baby. This zesty soup uses several cups of greens, so you’re sure to get a ton of nutrients from just one bowl. (via The Colorful Kitchen)

7. One-Pot Vegan Sriracha Chili: You know the importance of getting enough protein during pregnancy, and the same goes for fiber. Lucky for you, beans are full of both of those things, as well as iron, folate, calcium and zinc. This spicy vegan soup is sporting black beans, white beans and kidney beans, so you’re going to have one happy belly and baby. (via Brit + Co)

crock pot veggie soup

8. Crockpot Chicken Veggie Quinoa Soup: When you’re getting to that uncomfortable stage in your pregnancy, even the simplest tasks (like cooking) can seem totally daunting. That’s where easy and healthy slow-cooker meals like this one come into play. This soup offers lean chicken, beans, quinoa and ALL the veggies, and the best part is that it’ll be ready and waiting for you when you get home. (via Chelsea’s Messy Apron)


9. Easy Lentil Meatballs: Just four of these lentil meatballs pack 10 grams of protein… That’s the same as two medium eggs! Serve over shaved carrot noodles and jarred marinara for a quick weeknight vegan meal. (via Minimalist Baker)


10. Savory Oat Porridge With Greens + an Egg: This dish is a preggo triple threat: whole grain oats, spinach and a perfect free-range egg on top. Eggs are rich in choline, which promotes your baby’s overall growth and brain health. Some eggs even contain omega-3 fatty acids, important for both brain and vision development. (via Nourish Every Day)

Nourish Bowl

11. Nourish Bowl: Black Olive Broccoli Kale Salad: Add some roasted sweet potato, avocado and red kidney beans to your salad to beef up the heartiness and nutrients. This nourishing bowl will keep you satisfied long after lunch time. (via Pure Ella)


12. One-Pot Pesto Pasta With Smoked Salmon: Unlike other fish, salmon is low enough in mercury that you can enjoy it on the regular. Plus, it has a ton of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with your mood and development of your baby’s brain (two very important things). Just remember that even for salmon and other low-mercury fish, the FDA recommends eating no more than 12 ounces per week. (via Brit + Co)

spinach egg and avocado sweet potato

13. Spinach, Egg and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potato: Loaded with antioxidants, fiber and good fats, this avocado, egg and spinach stuffed sweet potato will be your go-to for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Sprinkle on a handful of nuts for a crunch and even more healthy fats. (via Hello Glow)


14. Thai Beef Noodle Salad: Lean meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein and choline, essential for baby development. Include a ton of veggies and a flavorful Thai dressing, and you have the perfect on-the-go lunch that you’ll want to pack every day. (via Brit + Co)


15. The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Greek Salad With Lemon, Mint, Turmeric Dressing: While too much sodium is a pregnancy no-no (your ankles are already swollen enough), a few olives and feta will nix that salty craving without adding too much additional salt. Plus, the citrus in this salad provides vitamin C, folate and fiber, and the high water content of the cucumber adds some necessary hydration. (via Perchance to Cook)

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