breakfast spread behind the article title, "Breakfast in Pregnancy: 9 Ideas to Fuel Mom and Baby"

Pregnancy Breakfast Ideas: 9 Ways to Fuel Mom and Baby

Growing another human is hard work. 

When you’re tired, lacking energy, and having nausea, cooking may be the last thing you want to do.

We get it!

In this article, we will discuss why breakfast in pregnancy is important, components of a balanced breakfast, and some easy, nutritious breakfast ideas.

Let’s dive in!

Why is Breakfast in Pregnancy Important?

A healthy breakfast for pregnant women is important for a few reasons.

  1. Your energy (calorie) needs are higher in the second and third trimesters. Without breakfast, it may be challenging to get enough energy from food. Nausea and early fullness can also make it difficult to eat your normal quantities of food.
  2. Breakfast can help with morning sickness. While this may seem counterintuitive, many people with nausea will feel worse if they are not eating consistently.
  3. Having an extra meal in the day increases the opportunity to get vital micronutrients, like folate, choline, and iron.

Components to a Balanced Breakfast

Many conventional pregnancy meal plans will list cereal with fruit for breakfast. While there is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a nice bowl of Cheerios, there are some key nutrients lacking from this breakfast. 

Cereal and fruit are both nutrient-rich carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide quick energy, but also lead to a blood sugar spike (and often blood sugar crash) afterward. The best bread for pregnancy is one that is whole grain or whole wheat. The fiber help reduce the rapid blood sugar changes.

The other key is to include protein and fat. These help balance blood sugar, keep you full longer, and add more variety of nutrients at the meal. 

There are four components to keep in mind when building a breakfast for pregnancy:

  1. Carbohydrates- grains, fruits, milk, sweets
  2. Protein – eggs, sausage, bacon, yogurt, cottage cheese
  3. Fat – butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut
  4. Fiber – make one of your foods at breakfast a high fiber food, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds

Also, try to make one food per meal a superfood, which are simply foods rich in micronutrients that are essential for pregnancy.

You may notice some crossover between fiber, superfoods, and the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) categories. 

Some foods will fall in multiple categories (especially the superfoods). For example, eggs are both a protein and superfood due to their high choline content, which helps baby’s brain development. 

Sunflower seeds are fat, fiber, and superfood because of their folate content.

The goal is including as many key nutrients as possible at meals. 

If that seems like a lot to keep track of, that’s okay! We have included nine breakfast ideas for pregnant women below to pack as many nutrients as possible.

The 4 components for breakfast is a guide, not a rule. Not all meals will fall into this category, and that’s okay. (Even one of the ideas below doesn’t fit this formula because it serves a different purpose). 

Pregnancy Breakfast Ideas: 9 Ways to Fuel Mom and Baby

Breakfast Sandwich in Pregnancy

Add eggs, cheese, and sausage or bacon to a whole grain english muffin or bagel for a high protein grab-and-go breakfast. You can even add some spinach to the eggs during cooking to add some folate.

These also freeze well!

Oats for Pregnancy

How to prepare oats for pregnancy

The key to a satisfying oatmeal is adding protein and fat. Consider a peanut butter banana oatmeal or chocolate coconut oatmeal with dark chocolate chips and chopped pecans. 

Bowl of Oatmeal with berries and almonds on top

Smoothies for Pregnancy

Who doesn’t love a hands-free breakfast for chaotic mornings? 

For our smoothie lovers, consider adding frozen strawberries, half of a frozen banana, a handful of spinach, and whole milk to the blender and dumping into your favorite travel mug.

Pregnancy Smoothies For Nausea

Morning sickness smoothies will typically include ginger, which can naturally help reduce nausea. You will also want to include low fiber ingredients to make it easy to digest, such as bananas, peaches, or apples without the peel.

Green Smoothies for Pregnancy

Green smoothies can be a great way to pack in vitamins and minerals. especially when you don’t feel like eating.

Spinach and kale are usually the most common veggies used to make the smoothies “green.” Spinach is typically easier to digest and may be a better option if you have had any stomach upset.

Don’t forget to include some protein to help keep you full for longer. Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and nut butters and all help boost the protein content of your green smoothie for pregnancy.

Iron Rich Smoothie For Pregnancy

You can boost your iron intake by adding iron-rich ingredients to your favorite smoothie recipe. Spinach, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate are high in iron and can be made into an iron rich smoothie for pregnancy.

No worries though if regular fruit smoothies aren’t your favorite. Full fat yogurt, cocoa powder, whole milk, frozen banana, and a drizzle of honey can make a nutritious chocolate shake that can be made to-go. 

Eggs in Pregnancy

Eggs are an incredibly versatile breakfast food. They can be eaten on their own, placed on a sandwich, or rolled into a burrito.

Add a whole grain and a piece of fruit for some carbohydrates and fiber. 

The other thing to consider with eggs during pregnancy is food safety. Eggs should be cooked all the way through to prevent illness from salmonella. Pasteurized eggs can help reduce risk of foodborne illness.

Ginger in Pregnancy

If you struggle with morning sickness, ginger may help. Ginger has shown to be safe and effective for reducing nausea during pregnancy. 

Many pre-made ginger products are on the market, but can often be expensive. This recipe for ginger bites from Wholefully may be a good option.

Picture of ginger root on a wooden table

Pancakes During Pregnancy

A whole wheat pancake mix with a couple of mix-ins can make for a quick and filling breakfast. 

Kodiak Cakes makes a fantastic pancake mix that is whole grain without the gritty/plywood texture of other whole wheat mixes (if you’ve ever tried whole wheat pancakes before, you know what I’m talking about). 

Add some chopped pecans and fresh blueberries to the batter before cooking. Alternatively, cook pancakes as normal and top with bananas and peanut butter.

For an even faster breakfast, consider buying some of the Kodiak Cakes flapjack cups. Just add water and microwave the cup for one minute to have an easy pancake breakfast. 

Protein bar in Pregnancy

This is a easy pregnancy breakfast that quick and requires no prep.

A couple of fruit and nut bars can go a long way when you don’t have a lot of time to plan ahead. Kind bars and Larabars are great options because they have carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber.

Something to note: one of these bars may not be enough to get you through to lunch. 

Two bars or one bar + something else (fruit, cheese, eggs, etc.) are going to come closer to meeting your nutrient needs.

Breakfast box during Pregnancy

I called this a breakfast box because “box of random foods I found in my fridge” doesn’t sound as put together 😉 But this can be a good way to use up what you have at home, as well as provide you with several different options when food aversions make it hard to plan meals ahead of time.

You’re options here are unlimited, but we’ve listed some ideas below to help you get started.

Option 1: almonds, grapes, whole wheat crackers, string cheese, ginger bites

Option 2: boiled eggs, sliced pita bread, hummus, trail mix, cubed melon

Option 3: dark chocolate covered cashews, strawberries, full fat greek yogurt

Yogurt During Pregnancy

Make a yogurt bowl for breakfast with all of your favorite toppings.

Yogurt plus lots of toppings makes for a light but satisfying breakfast. Like with the breakfast box, there are a million varieties you could use. Here are some of my favorites:

Option 1: full fat yogurt, dark chocolate chips, sweet cherries or raspberries

Option 2: greek yogurt, blueberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, ground flaxseed

Tip: using thawed frozen fruit will allow some of the fruit juice to seep down into the yogurt that can be swirled in to add more flavor. 

Bowl of yogurt topped with bananas, strawberries, granola, and jam

Final Thoughts: Our Favorite Pregnancy Breakfast Ideas

Most women will find that including carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber makes for the most balanced pregnancy breakfast ideas.

Finding one food from the superfoods for pregnancy list can help add extra nutrients. 

Pregnancy can be a really exciting season of life, but can also come with symptoms that make it harder to cook and eat big meals.

At the end of the day, the best eating pattern is the one that works best for you and your family. We are hopeful that this article has equipped you with some practical ideas to help you feel your best during pregnancy.

Interested in learning more about optimal nutrition for pregnancy? Check out our article on the top 9 superfoods in pregnancy.

Comment below with your tried and true prenatal breakfast recipes!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *