This meal is about as simple as they go and is perfect for the expecting and postpartum mother alike. Plus, as the weather gets colder, eating hot cereal like oatmeal on a cold morning always hits the spot.
Oatmeal & Eggs:
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup of milk (to drink)
2 eggs, cooked any way
½ cup of blueberries
Directions: Cook oatmeal according to package instructions. Once cooked, top with berries.
Oats are a whole grain with many health benefits. They are high in soluble fiber, which is known specifically for its role in lowering cholesterol levels, but it also increases satiation and helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is especially important if you have gestational diabetes or hypoglycemia. Oats are also rich in many minerals including manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Rolled oats and steel cut oats provide the same health benefits so the choice comes down to personal preference of taste and texture.
Cow’s milk is a rich source of nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. Each cup of milk contains 8gm of high-quality protein. This is important because protein needs increase by about 25gm/d during pregnancy and lactation. It is also important to space your protein intake throughout the day and include a rich source at each meal and snack versus the typical American diet, which is light on protein throughout the day with a heavy protein meal at night. Milk is also a great way to meet your calcium needs as adequate calcium intake has been shown to decrease the risk of preeclampsia—one of the most common health conditions of pregnancy.
I love topping my oatmeal with any kind of berries including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Berries are some of our most nutritious fruits and provide the perfect natural sweetness in oatmeal. They are packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber, as well as countless antioxidants, to help keep both baby and mother healthy and developing properly. Berries are so nutritious that I recommend eating a ½ cup of berries every day.
A side of eggs provides just the right amount of protein and fat to balance out this carb-heavy meal. I recommend buying DHA enriched eggs if you can afford them, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is often deficient in our diets. DHA is especially important during pregnancy, lactation, and early childhood as it is essential for brain growth and development. Eggs are also a great source of choline, protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and lutein.