If you’re pregnant and on a budget, good choices are paramount. Here are 10 frugal foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Nutrition and food choices are the key drivers of health during pregnancy. Based on recommended nutritional guidelines you should be eating more for a healthy baby.
How much more?
Just 350-500 extra calories are plenty-however they need to be healthy, high-quality foods.
But it can become a challenge to eat well when you are pregnant and on a budget.
Here’s a list of 10 frugal foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy and baby. It can be a challenge to remember them too! So I’ve made a printable list for you, and it’s available at the bottom of this post.
Most of these foods below will be less expensive than processed options, and all of them will provide more nutrition.
In fact, this list covers the recommended nutritional guidelines for eating while pregnant.
10 Frugal Foods to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy and Baby
- Milk and Greek yogurt (probiotic bacteria). Dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium. These foods also contain phosphorus, various B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
- Lentils beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts. Legumes are good sources of protein, fiber, iron, folate, and calcium.
- Sweet potatoes (fiber), carrots, squash, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, and kale. All variety of berries. Aim to eat the colors of a rainbow in produce. For example, orange and bright colored produce are good sources for beta-carotene and vitamin A. Try new vegetables several ways before you say you hate eating vegetables.
- Avocados are a great choice! Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as potassium, copper, vitamin E and C, healthy fats, and folate.
- Salmon is rich in omega 3 acids & vitamin D (for brain development). Be sure to limit consumption to 2-3 meals a week due to mercury and other contaminants. Talk to your care provider before eating fish.
- Broccoli and dark, leafy greens provide the vitamins A, C, K, as well as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, antioxidants, and fiber.
- Eggs are a good choline source.
- Water consumption helps with cellular metabolism and waste removal.
- Healthy fats include olive oil, chia seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Lean meats ( beef, pork, and chicken) provide iron, choline, and other B Vitamins (not processed meats).
Plus 2 Bonus Frugal Food Ideas:
- Oats, quinoa, brown rice are whole grains that are rich in fiber (start eating whole grains with a goal of 50% of your diet, then aim to get to 80/20 whole grains). Whole grains provide vitamins and protein, B Vitamins, and magnesium.
- Dried fruit makes great snacks. Watch portion sizes.
Ways to Buy the 10 Frugal Foods to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy and Baby
First, watch for seasonal sales to pick up fresh produce during the peak of the season – and with the peak flavors.
Frozen is the next best nutritional option for produce, followed by dried and canned.
Then, stock up on lean meats, dry goods, and dairy during sales by watching flyers, using coupons, reward cards, online apps, and scanning the ads.
In closing, good nutrition is the most important thing you can give your baby when you are pregnant.
High-quality food and nutrition are instrumental for growth, development, cognition and future behavior.
And, yes you can absolutely eat healthy for your baby – even on a budget.