Lunch ideas for pregnant women


by Peita Hyneseat smart nutrition

One of the hardest meals to work out what to eat when you’re pregnant is lunch.  Concern of listeria and food poisoning risk means that your usual ham and cheese sandwich is not as safe as it once was!  Some suggestions which will hopefully inspire a more interesting lunch are;

  • Tuna on rice: Don’t be scared to have fish during your pregnancy due to mercury concerns!  It is important to have fish during your pregnancy, just chose those lower in mercury. Fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega 3s and are lower in mercury so can be eaten 3 x/week (150g serve).  Tinned tuna or salmon is so quick and easy and if you are low in time, mix with microwave brown rice or quinoa.  Throw in either some left-over vegies, frozen vegies or dice up tomato, capsicum and cucumber and wallah, you have an easy, healthy lunch!
  • Toasted wrap or sandwich with left-over chicken and salad.  As long as you have cooked the chicken fresh the day before and stored it correctly (below 5°), there is no reason you cannot have a toasted chicken wrap or sandwich with the left-overs.  Food safety guidelines recommend you reheat food to at least 60° so that it is steaming hot.
  • Egg salad.  Eggs are high in protein and a good source of vitamin D.  Chop up your salad ingredients of choice and add a boiled egg as your source of protein.  Why not add some tinned beans such as chickpeas or cannellini beans to bump up the protein and fibre content!
  • Mini pizzas:  Use a wholegrain wrap, a sprinkle of cheese, vegies of your choice and either some meat/chicken or try chickpeas/beans for extra fibre.
  • Left-overs:  Left-over pasta, stirfry or other dishes as long as stored correctly and reheated to at least 60°.
  • Quick and easy at work: Avocado + tomato + hard cheese on 2 slices of multigrain or sour dough toast.  This was always my go to when I was pregnant!
  • A hearty soup with a slice of grainy bread or a roll
  • Omlettes or frittatas: omelettes and frittatas are a great way of getting some protein and a good whack of vegetables in a delicious meal.  Pop in some corn or sweet potato or serve with a slice of grainy bread.  Just make sure you eat straight after cooking.
  • Sushi and rice paper rolls.  Once again, there is no reason you could not have these, just make it yourself and DON’T use raw meat of course!
  • Another quick and easy, Baked beans on toast.  They are great for breaky but also make a good emergency lunch when you are running low on food.

Written by Peita Hynes, dietitian/nutritionist at GOG.  Peita has 12 years’ experience as an accredited practicing dietitian and is also an accredited sports dietitian specialising in weight management, pregnancy, metabolic conditions and sports nutrition.

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