Everything in this slideshow
Leap Into Spring
Healthy prenatal eating isn't just about avoiding certain foods. It's also about choosing wisely. We share 10 of our favorite recipes to give you more energy and protect your and your developing baby's health.
Sesame Ginger Quinoa Spring Rolls
Quick-cooking quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") has a light, nutty flavor, a slightly crunchy texture and comes in beige, red and black varieties. It's a good source of folate, a B vitamin that, when taken before conception and in early pregnancy, helps protect against neural-tube defects such as spinal bifida. Plus, South American quinoa is one of the few grains that are complete proteins, containing all nine essential amino acids.
Escarole White Bean Soup with Chicken Meatballs
A member of the chicory family, escarole looks like romaine lettuce but has a stronger flavor with a hint of bitterness. It has beta carotene to boost your immune system and folate to help prevent birth defects.
Lentil Celery Root Soup
Also called celeriac, celery root tastes like a mixture of parsley and celery. It's a good source of vitamin K, necessary for your baby's bone development, as well as vitamin B6, which may help ease nausea.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
The chicken for this salad is cooked in a flavorful ginger broth. If you're pressed for time, skip the first step of this recipe and use skinless rotisserie chicken breast instead.
Pregnancy perk: Chicken is packed with protein, necessary for tissue growth for you and your baby.
Poached Salmon with Buckwheat
Related to rhubarb, buckwheat has a grassy flavor and tender texture. It has laudable amounts of fiber to help quell pregnancy cravings, and magnesium, a multipurpose mineral that supports your baby's bone development, may reduce your risk for gestational diabetes and bolsters immune health for both of you.
Popped Amaranth Nut And Fruit Cereal
A diminutive South American grain, amaranth has an earthy flavor and is naturally gluten-free. The seeds of the amaranth plant are rich in iron, a mineral that helps deliver oxygen to your baby for proper development. Amaranth can be cooked in liquid similar to other whole grains or—surprise!—popped like popcorn.
Albondigas Tacos With Chipotle Sauce
These Mexico City-style soft tacos are filled with albondigas, little meatballs swimming in a spicy tomato-chipotle sauce. (Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeños that have been packed in a tangy adobo sauce. Look for them in small cans in the Latino foods aisle of your supermarket.)
Pregnancy perk: The beef provides vitamin B12, essential to your baby's brain development.
Curried Squash Soup
A ginger chicken broth gives this spicy-sweet soup a kick.
Pregnancy perk: Ginger can help soothe your upset stomach, while winter squashes provide folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce the risk of neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Black Rice Cakes with Mango Salsa
Also called "Forbidden Rice," tender Chinese black rice has a nutty, floral taste and a high level of the same anthocyanin antioxidant that gives blueberries their superfood status and dark hue. High intakes of antioxidants during pregnancy can help boost your immune system and may reduce the risk of type II diabetes, obesity and wheezing in your child.
Spelt, Tomato and Bean Stew
A relative of wheat, spelt has a pleasantly chewy texture and tastes both nutty and sweet. The ancient whole grain is packed with fiber—8 grams in each cooked cup—to help alleviate pregnancy constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels. Other nutritional notables include iron, magnesium and zinc.
You don't have to give up your favorite ethnic foods to get the nutrition you need during pregnancy.
Pregnancy perk: Spinach is loaded with iron, which helps fight anemia and fatigue, and cheese provides calcium, vital for you and your baby's bone health.