Pregnancy Nutrition

Variety

Eating a variety of foods is one way you can ensure your body is receiving all the vitamins and minerals necessary for health. Why? Each food has a unique blend of vitamins and minerals. For example, avocado are a great source of potassium, while papaya is high in vitamin C. Including both in your daily food choices allows the benefits of both foods.

For some women, eating a variety of foods becomes more difficult while pregnant. Fatigue, food aversions, feeling full sooner and cravings can cause trouble for women who never had trouble eating a variety of foods before. If you find yourself eating the same foods every day, it might be time to take a serious look at how you can improve your daily diet. Here are some tricks for increasing the verity of foods you eat.

Alternate Proteins

Most people have regular sources of protein in thier diet. But if your usual sources suddenly make you sick to your stomach, it's time to find something different.

Why not try recipes with alternate protein sources, such as beans or nuts. Possibilities may include a bean salad, a bean dip, bean fillings for tortillas and soups with beans. Nuts can be added to salads, baked goods, grains or eaten plain as a snack.

If you don't normally like eggs, this might be a good time to start experimenting with this versitile and nutrient packed food. Eggs can be fried, boiled, poached, baked and pickled. Eggs form the base to souffles, quiches, and some puddings. Eggs can be used to make French toast, egg drop soup, casseroles and pasta dishes.

Experiment with different meats. There is such a wide variety of meats available, but many people stick to the two or three they are most familiar with. Consider beef, pork, chicken, turkey, bison, ostrich, venison, fish, shellfish, or lamb. Consider using a different cut of meat such as a roast, steak, ground portions, sausages or lunchen meat.

One Dish Meals

Casseroles, salads and soups can give you a variety of ingredients at one time. These allow you to eat a variety of nutrients in one meal or snack, and can usually be stored well for easy meals and snacks. As a bonus, many can be prepared a in advance and simply heated in the oven for added convenience.

Soups may include vegetables, meats, whole grains or pasta. Casseroles can include pastas or breads, eggs or meat, a variety of fruits or vegetables.

Salads give you an opportunity to use meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and even grains. Do not limit your salad to lettuce. Use spinach and other greens you may like. Add in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and even dried fruits. Try grain salads such as rice salad, pasta salad or tabbouleh. Fruit salad such as ambrosia can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert.

Keep it Fresh

Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables. Wash them when you bring them home, then place in a bowl on the counter for a reminder to eat them. Cut vegetables and keep them in a container in your refrigerator. Freeze extras for use later.

Smoothies can be made from fresh or frozen fruit. You may enjoy adding vegetables to your smoothies. Fesh vegetables can be made into salas, grilled as a side dish, or added to a salad.

Eating Out

Read menus carefully to determine what is and is not inlcluded with each meal. Ask if you can substitute a vegetable salad for a side of french fries. Order a bowl of fruit for dessert as an appitizer or desert.

Order pizzas with extra vegetables. Common toppings include green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomato or broccoli. If you have the option or make the pizza at home, use a whole wheat crust.

Dine with a friend who is willing to split both meals, increasing the variety availble to both of you. This can work well in resturants that only offer large portions of single menu items such as salads or burgers.

Consider ordering a soup, which may have a variety of vegetables.