Here’s another lunch idea that you can throw together in a couple of minutes: a chicken wrap! It is quick and easy to make and provides a nutritious lunch. The nutrition in this meal is especially helpful if you are pregnant, as it provides essential nutrients like fiber, protein, choline, and DHA—nutrients you and your growing baby need.
1 large whole wheat tortilla
2oz grilled chicken
½ avocado, sliced
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 tomato, sliced
1 tbsp. cream cheese
Directions: Spread cream cheese on tortilla, fill with chicken, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. Wrap up tortilla.
I recommend using whole grain products, including tortillas, whenever you have the option. Whole grains have many health benefits over refined grain products. The first is fiber. Whole grains on average have 5gm of fiber per serving, while refined products typically have 1gm. Fiber is especially important during pregnancy to maintain a healthy digestive tract and prevent constipation. Constipation affects nearly 50% of pregnant women because of hormonal changes that relax the digestive tract as well as the pressure of your growing uterus. The main thing you can do to prevent constipation is to eat plenty of fiber and drink enough water. Physical activity is also important. Another big benefit is that whole grains also have significantly more micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, that are important for optimal health.
The meat I eat the most of is chicken breast. It is very lean with little fat but a lot of protein. In just a 4oz portion there is 26gm of protein and only about 1.5gm of fat. Protein needs increase by about 25gm/d during pregnancy so it’s important to include a rich source of protein at every meal. Chicken is also a great source of niacin, vitamin B6, and selenium. You can use either rotisserie, canned or grilled chicken breast for this wrap. When I meal prep at the beginning of the week I often grill extra chicken breasts and slice them into strips for quick meals such as this one.
The avocado in this meal is what makes this a real winner—both for taste and nutrition. Avocados are a definite “superfood” in my book. They contain more antioxidants than red cabbage, broccoli, grapes and even bell peppers. They are a surprisingly good source of fiber with 6grams of soluble fiber in half of a medium avocado, which aids in digestion. They are full of good fats that improve the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, like DHA, choline, and lutein. To ripen an avocado you can put it in a paper bag on the counter with a banana to shorten its ripening time. To keep a cut avocado from browning you can pour olive oil or lemon juice over the flesh and put in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.
A fresh, juicy tomato picked straight from the garden is the perfect addition to this wrap. Tomatoes are most well known for their high lycopene content. Lycopene is a carotenoid with high antioxidant activity. Their anti-inflammatory properties are even more important during pregnancy as inflammation is linked to many health problems during pregnancy including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.