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Before you became pregnant, you may have been able to sneak by with a few quick bites of a bagel or a few sips of a nonfat latte before you jetted off for the day. After all, if you skimped, only you went hungry. Now, there’s someone else to feed at sunrise: a growing baby who needs a high-energy morning meal to power its tiny engine through the day.
“It’s important to supply nutrients to the fetus for a healthy pregnancy, and breakfast is a good place to start because a woman hasn’t eaten in several hours,” says Wahida Karmally, M.S., R.D., an associate research scientist at Columbia University in New York who frequently counsels pregnant women. And it’s a good time to stock up on some extra fuel. “Depending on a woman’s body weight, she needs about 300 extra calories and about 10 extra grams of protein in the second and third trimesters.” Additional fluids and nutrients such as calcium and folic acid are also important, along with fiber-rich foods, which help with regularity. (For more on your prenatal nutrition, see “Eat Right Now”.)
With that in mind, we have developed six power breakfasts for you and your baby-to-be. They focus on whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins, including tofu and ham. Some recipes, such as the Super Fruity Energizer, are perfect for hectic weekdays. Others, such as the buckwheat pancakes with berries and yogurt, require a few more steps and so are best savored on weekends. These high-energy meals offer a smart way to start your day. Not only are they energizing, but they’re also satisfying and healthful.
Super Fruity Energizer
1 1/2 cups calcium-fortified orange juice
1 medium ripe banana, peeled
1/2 cup whole frozen, unsweetened blueberries
1/2 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
6 whole pitted soft apricots
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth.
Nutritional information per serving (11/2 cups): 351 calories, 8 percent fat (3 grams), 81 percent carbohydrate, 11 percent protein, 401 milligrams calcium, 2.2 milligrams iron, 34 micrograms folate, 7 grams fiber.
Warm Ham-and-Cheddar Breakfast Wrap
2 large egg whites
1 large whole egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
2 burrito-size spinach tortillas
4 slices (about 1/4 pound) lean ham
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese