Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Healthy, budget-friendly pregnancy recipes

Image credit: lifesambrosia.com

Today I had a visit with my midwife, and as expected, my food log didn't quite pass muster. At my last visit, she asked me to write down everything that I ate, and I knew it wasn't going to be that great. With my first birth, the midwives were more concerned about my weight gain and gave me a simple rule to follow: Try to keep everything as close to its original form as possible. With that rule, my husband and I made a major overhaul to our diet. I decided to take it slow and think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

Fast forward several years and this Louisiana girl is pretty much on the same diet as when pregnant before, but allowing a few more treats every now and then. Still, I am mostly cooking our dinners every night. It's very difficult for me to wrap my mind around healthier foods because when I look up recipes they tend to have all these tiny little ingredients that would add up a grocery bill rather quickly, and they also have these tiny little ingredients that I have no clue what they are. And even if they say "budget-friendly" they are really not very budget-friendly at all. I mean, I need to be able to spend $5 or less per meal here.

Basically my new assignment is to eat more leafy greens and protein and less starch. (There's lots of rice in my recipes. I love love love rice! I could live off of rice and gravy.)

I have decided to share some of my recipes that I come up with as I go along this pregnancy food- overhauling journey of mine, and I welcome suggestions on how to make my already-decent-but-not-quite-there-yet recipes a little more healthy for pregnancy. Not only do I welcome suggestions, I am pretty much saying, "Help me please!"

A few ideas I gathered today:

  • Substitute brown rice for white rice
  • Put parsley in everything
  • Hide some spinach in everything (including spaghetti)
  • Whole grain bread instead of wheat bread (including tortillas)
  • More nuts
  • Snack on celery
  • Use lettuce and make wraps rather than sandwiches

Tonight I plan to keep with the meatballs and rice and gravy I was planning, only I will try to hide some spinach in the meatballs and use brown rice. Wish me luck!

Image credit: blog.fatfreevegan.com

Have a favorite budget-friendly recipe you would look to share? Please leave a link to it in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about this post a lot, so much so that I'm thinking of writing a blog post about it. The truth is eating balanced whole foods is more expensive than eating a lot of processed foods. (wah, wah)

    I though maybe swapping one of your meals (breakfast/lunch) or snacks with a "green smoothie" would be a good option. I think a combo like spinach (I promise you can't taste it) + frozen fruit of your choice + fruit juice of your choice would be a nice, easy affordable option. Ben really likes spinach + frozen mango + OJ (start with 1 part of each). I buy those big boxes of pre-washed organic spinach for $4/box from Costco. When you factor in the frozen fruit and juice, I'm thinking it's probably about $2 a smoothie...and you're probably getting your vitamin C for the day!

    Also, if the transition from white rice to wheat is too much, you could do 1/2 & 1/2. Oh, and don't be intimidated by random expensive ingredients. Just ignore them and follow the essence of the recipe.

    Okay, I have a lot more percolating, but I don't want to do an entire comment post!