Third Trimester Healthy Meals
I shared a healthy meal plan that I was following in my second trimester, but thought I should share an updated version based on the foods I've been craving in my third trimester. It's so true that your appetite increases as you get toward the end of pregnancy, meaning you have to eat more. I also found out that I was low in iron and needed fiber, so I definitely tried to add that into my diet as much as possible. Here is what worked for me...
I want to preface that nothing has been off limits this pregnancy. I am eating carbs, dairy, veggies/fruits, and protein daily, along with healthy fats and sweets. I do try to eat my carbs & dairy for breakfast or lunch because my tummy gets upset and bloated if I eat too much at night. Pre-pregnancy, I really tried to avoid carbs and dairy but know that baby needs both of these in small doses!
A few of my go-to healthy meals in the third trimester include:
Egg Bites (egg, bacon, spinach & cheese): I've needed extra protein in the third trimester and having eggs for breakfast has been one of my favorite options to start the day! This is so easy to make ahead of time in muffin pans or you can by pre-made egg bites at most grocery stores. The Sous Vide Egg Bites from Starbucks have also been a favorite when on-the-go!
Avocado Toast: Avocados are full of healthy fats and having avocado toast for breakfast on a hearty piece of grain toast has been a go-to.
Bran Muffins: Might be TMI, but I've needed extra fiber in the third trimester due to constipation. Trader Joe's has delicious bran muffins with healthy berries and oats that feel like you are eating a treat, but are full of fiber and oats that are good for you during pregnancy.
Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit: For some reason, I have loved greek yogurt during this pregnancy! I love the honey Greek yogurt from TJ’s topped with fresh berries.
Quinoa Protein Bowl: After a workout, I need extra calories and this is a great option. Simply mix quinoa with a protein (ex. Chicken) and whatever fresh greens you have (ex. Kale or spinach) and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
Snack Plate: I love a good snack plate! Mine typically include some mix of hummus, pita chips, grapes, carrots, and cheese.
Salad Bowls: I’ve loved salad bowls this entire pregnancy. I buy the pre-mixed bags for the week and top with extra ingredients for crunch.
Zucchini Noodles + Sausage: This is one of my favorite dinners! I buy zucchini noodles at Trader Joe's or Target and mix with sausage, onions and tomato sauce.
Steak, Mushrooms & Salad: I’ve craved red meat this entire pregnancy, which is likely due to my iron deficiency. So, it makes sense that steak is one of my favorite meals. Pair with a good kale salad or grilled veggies and you’re set!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza: For days when you crave pizza, but don’t want a tummy ache from the cheese + gluten. Top with grilled veggies like green peppers, mushrooms or fresh greens.
Bun-less Burger with Zig Zags: burgers have been a favorite this entire pregnancy, so I love a juicy at-home burger sans the bun (it takes too long to digest carbs at night). Top with avocado and all the fixings! As a side, I love sweet potatoes or the butternut squash Zig Zags from TJ’s topped with olive oil and baked until slightly crispy.
Some days, my meals are comprised of a series of snacks. I’ve noticed that it’s easier to eat small amounts of food more frequently than enjoying big meals. Anytime I overeat, I feel uncomfortably full (painful, at times) and it takes forever to digest. These are some of my favorite snacks to enjoy:
Sliced Apples - enjoy with a spoonful of peanut butter or sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake!
Plantain chips & guac - clearly, I luv avocados. There have been days when this was my primary meal of the day!
Bananas, PB and berries - the best non-dairy “dessert”. Plus, the potassium helps with late-night leg cramps!
Trail Mix - I am obsessed with the mini bags of trail mix from Target for a mid-day sweet and salty snack.
Dried Fruit (love apricots) - full of fiber and nutrients and they taste like candy!
Almond Protein Smoothies - so yummy and filling! All you need is vanilla protein powder, almonds (soaked) or a spoonful of almond butter, banana, cinnamon, and ice with a slash of nut milk.