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17 Pregnancy Dinner Recipes for Healthy Eating

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Pregnancy is a time of significant transformation and growth; it’s not only your body changing, but your nutrition needs are also evolving. You’re now eating for two, and making smart food choices is more important than ever, especially during the second trimester. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you need an extra 340 calories daily in the second trimester and slightly more in the third trimester. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet, also known as a healthy diet, not only fuels your tired body but also supports the development of your growing baby. From helping to minimize morning sickness to increasing the likelihood of a healthier birth weight, eating well during pregnancy has numerous benefits. Plus, with these easy and delicious recipes, you can have leftovers for a quick and healthy dinner the next day.

To help guide you on this journey, we’ve rounded up 17 delicious and nutrient-packed dinner recipes. This collection, designed with the appetite, nutrition requirements, and cravings of pregnant women in mind, offers a mouthwatering range from Paneer Tikka Masala to Zucchini Noodles.

So, let’s explore these delightful dinner recipes tailored to make your pregnancy healthier and tastier.

17 Pregnancy Dinner Recipes Ideas For Delights

1. Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer tikka masala

Paneer tikka masala

One of the best vegetarian protein sources comes from paneer or cottage cheese. Protein is crucial during pregnancy as it aids the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. Let’s introduce you to the first recipe on our list, Paneer Tikka Masala. It’s a tempting dish from Northern India that combines marinated, grilled chunks of paneer with a creamy tomato sauce.

The flavours of masala in the recipe not only tingle your taste buds but also offer various health benefits. Masala powder, rich in antioxidants, helps control blood sugar levels, making it a significant addition to the dish. As a bonus, the tomatoes in the sauce are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in absorbing plant-based iron from your other foods, reducing the risk of anaemia during pregnancy. Ultimately, this Paneer Tikka Masala dish packs in a flavorful punch while delivering essential nutrients from strawberries for a healthy pregnancy.

2. Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Paratha

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Paratha

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Paratha

Next on our list is a classic Indian dish with a twist: Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Paratha. This savoury flatbread incorporates nutritional powerhouses like spinach and mushroom, making it hearty and healthy. Spinach, an excellent source of iron, folate, and calcium, promotes your baby’s growth and development throughout pregnancy. Mushrooms, on the other hand, especially those treated with UV lamps, are a good source of vitamin D, which supports immune and bone health.

Stuffed parathas are a staple in many Indian households, and adding ingredients like spinach and mushroom multifold increases their nutritional quotient. This delicious dish can be served with a dollop of yoghurt or a supplementary protein like tofu or paneer, making it a balanced meal for pregnant women. With such good flavour and nutritional combination, this spinach and mushroom-stuffed paratha deserves a spot on your pregnancy dinner plate. You can also try incorporating barley into the dough for added fibre and nutrients to meet your nutritional requirements during pregnancy.

3. Kidney Bean Curry (Rajma)

Kidney Bean Curry Rajma

Kidney Bean Curry Rajma

 

Talk of comfort food and a bowlful of steaming Kidney Bean Curry (also known as Rajma) served with brown rice tops the chart for most Indians. It’s not just soul-satisfying but also stacked with pregnancy-friendly nutrients. Kidney beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, vital for forming your baby’s cells. These are fibre-rich, which helps to keep those pregnancy-related constipation woes at bay. In addition, kidney beans offer a generous amount of iron, which aids in producing extra blood required during pregnancy. Paired with brown rice, you get a complete essential amino acid profile, making it a well-balanced protein meal. Brown rice also contains folate, a B vitamin that is vital for the formation of the neural tube and the prevention of congenital disabilities. This dish is relatively easy to prepare and customizable per your taste preferences. This delicious kidney bean curry will become your go-to comfort food during pregnancy.

4. Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Biryani, a famous Indian delicacy loved by all, can be made healthier with various veggies. The vegetable Biryani in our list is a nutrient-dense version of the traditional rice dish. It includes a colourful mix of vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, and beans. These veggies add a crunch to the Biryani and pump up your immune system with their high vitamin C and fibre content. The prime ingredient, brown rice, is a complex carbohydrate and provides sustained energy, which can help manage gestational diabetes and tiredness. It’s also rich in fibre, promoting better digestion. Spices like turmeric and cumin added to the Biryani have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating this vegetable biryani is an enjoyable way to include a variety of vegetables in your pregnancy diet while pampering your taste buds.

5. Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Chana Masala Chickpea Curry

Chana Masala Chickpea Curry

Next on our list is Chana Masala, a comforting North Indian delight that is as tasty as it is nourishing. As the name suggests, the star ingredient of this recipe is chickpeas. A superfood in their own right, chickpeas are rich in protein, fibre, folate, and iron, making them a perfect choice for expectant mothers.

They are also high in calcium, which supports the bone health of both the mother and the baby. Since it’s gravy-based, Chana Masala can easily be paired with whole wheat rotis or brown rice to make a wholesome meal. The rotis provide complex carbohydrates, which are a great energy source and keep you full for more extended periods. The robust flavours of this dish come from a blend of various spices, which not only tantalize your taste buds but also have numerous health benefits. From easing digestion to boosting immunity, these spices have medicinal properties that can positively affect your overall health.

 Whipping a Chana Masala bowl is easy and quick, making it a perfect weeknight dinner for pregnant ladies.

Read how to make Chana Masala at home

6. Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka, an all-time favourite appetizer, can also serve as a healthy and delicious dinner option for pregnant women. Chicken cuts like the breast are jam-packed with high-quality protein, providing structure to new cells formed during pregnancy. It’s a brilliant source of choline, which supports your baby’s brain development. Additionally, chickens have a good amount of B vitamins, particularly Niacin, which aids digestion and converting food into energy.

The characteristic smoky flavour of Chicken Tikka comes from the marination of spices and grilling, which can be achieved by using an egg wash made with two egg whites lightly beaten with a fork. Grilling is a healthier cooking method that locks in the nutrients while reducing the use of excess oil. Paired with a side of mixed vegetable salad, the Chicken Tikka makes a perfect, wholesome, nutritious dinner with over 50 grams of protein.

For a twist on the traditional recipe, try using pork tenderloin instead of chicken for a lean and flavorful option.

Know the complete recipe for Chicken Tikka here.

7. Fish Curry with Coconut Milk

Fish Curry with Coconut Milk

Fish Curry with Coconut Milk

Including low-mercury fish in your pregnancy diet is an excellent way to get vital nutrients, as experts at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend. Our following recipe, Fish Curry with Coconut Milk, features white fish like cod, which provides lean protein, potassium, and zinc to support your baby’s growth and development. The curry is simmered in coconut milk, which lends a creamy texture and teems with healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs are more accessible to digest and beneficial for heart health. This delicately spiced curry can be served with brown rice– a whole grain providing fibre and maintaining blood sugar levels. Embrace this easy-to-make, luscious fish curry to enjoy a hearty dinner filled with essential nutrients required during pregnancy and recommended by experts in drug administration and pregnancy health.

8. Egg Curry

Egg Curry

Egg Curry

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, and when included in a spicy Indian-style curry, they make a flavorful, protein-rich dinner. Eggs provide an excellent source of protein, choline, and many other vital nutrients. They are also one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, which promotes bone health and immune functioning. This egg curry recipe pairs boiled eggs with a tangy tomato-based sauce, offering extra vitamin C and improving iron absorption. The curry also includes nutrient-packed sweet potatoes, peppers, spinach, and squash, making it a well-rounded and delicious meal for pregnant women. The numerous beneficial properties of eggs and squash make this egg curry dish a winner in your pregnancy recipe arsenal.

9. Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Next on our menu is Grilled Tandoori Chicken, a delicious dish with a good protein source. It’s nutritious and lighter on the stomach than its creamy curry counterparts. Grilling the chicken improves its nutritional profile by preserving the protein content and reducing calorie intake. The characteristic red hue and smoky essence are achieved by marinating the chicken with spices like turmeric and paprika. These spices are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Served with a side of mixed vegetable salad, this healthy option indeed keeps your dinner exciting when you’re pregnant.

Read the complete recipe of Tandoori Chicken

10. Prawn Masala

Prawn Masala

Prawn Masala

Seafood lovers would appreciate the variety, and what better way to introduce a prawn delicacy to the pregnancy diet than introducing prawn masala? Prawn Masala is a zesty dish with flavours from various spices and juicy prawns served on top of quinoa.

Quinoa, one of few plant sources of complete protein, offers an extra dose of protein – a building block of every one of your baby’s cells. Prawns, like other low-mercury seafood, are a rich source of protein and offer a unique taste that sets them apart. They also contain other vital nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, which help the baby’s brain development.

Accompanied with brown rice or whole wheat rotis, this delightful prawn masala can make your dinner time special.

Also Read: How to make Prawn Masala at home

11. Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup is a hearty and satisfying dish that packs powerful nutritional benefits. Lentils are protein-rich and an excellent source of iron needed to prevent anaemia during pregnancy. Also, they play a crucial role in your baby’s growth and neurological development. The broth, made with fresh veggies and folic acid-rich ingredients like leafy greens, provides ample vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect healthy pregnancy meal.

This quick and nourishing soup is a wholesome meal, offering various flavours and essential nutrients in one bowl.

12. Mixed Vegetable Salad with Tangy Dressing

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Tangy Dressing

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Tangy Dressing

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Tangy Dressing will not only satisfy your taste buds but also supply a multitude of nutrients. It is light, refreshing, and filled with beneficial antioxidants during pregnancy.

Packed with nutrients and bursting with flavour, this salad is quick to make and a great way to get your daily dose of veggies. Chop up your favourite fresh vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and carrots, then add some protein with 1 1/2 cans (185g) of tuna in spring water, drained (210g drained weight). Drizzle the salad with a tangy dressing made from lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of sea salt.

This refreshing salad is perfect for hot summer evenings when you’re craving something light yet satisfying. To make a white bean salad, add 1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned white beans, one tablespoon chopped red onion, one teaspoon olive oil, and one tablespoon balsamic vinegar.

13. Beetroot and Carrot Soup

Carrot and Beetroot Soup

Carrot and Beetroot Soup

Beetroot and Carrot Soup is another superbly nutritious and delicious addition to the dinner menu. Beetroots are rich in vitamin C, fibre, and essential minerals like potassium, which help manage blood pressure, manganese, and other health benefits. Carrots add a sweet touch, enhancing the vitamin A content, which is beneficial for eye health.

The vibrant colour of this soup indicates the presence of powerful antioxidants that can help boost the immune system. Whip up a batch of this comforting soup to nourish yourself and your little one during pregnancy. Read the detailed recipe here for beetroot and carrot soup.

14. Tabbouleh, Hummus & Pita Plate

Tabbouleh Hummus Pita Plate

Tabbouleh Hummus Pita Plate

For those evenings when you crave something light and refreshing, a plate of Tabbouleh, Hummus, or pita comes to the rescue. Tabbouleh is a Levantine salad made of finely chopped parsley with tomatoes, mint, and bulgur seasoned with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Packed with antioxidants, tabbouleh provides ample vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Accompanying hummus made from chickpeas provides a decent amount of protein and fibre. The creamy texture and rich hummus taste perfectly complement warm, soft pita bread sprinkled with toasted pine nuts. This Mediterranean-inspired dish is satisfying and nutritious, offering balanced flavours and various textures.

Also Read: Turkey Salad Pita Recipe

15. Black bean and sweet potato taco

Black bean and sweet potato taco

Black bean and sweet potato taco

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos are a fantastic, quick, and nutritious dinner option. The star ingredients, black beans and sweet potatoes provide remarkable nutrients, making it a perfectly healthy dinner choice. Black beans are rich in fibre, helping to maintain fullness and supporting digestive health while enriching the diet with iron, protein, and folate.

 Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, fibre, and potassium, which support eye health, digestion, and blood pressure, respectively. This recipe provides a flavoursome experience, spiced up with cumin, garlic, and chilli powder. Served on soft tortillas along with lettuce, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime, these tacos offer nutrition-packed fillings that are satisfying and easy to make.

16. Blueberry Almond Smoothie

Blueberry Almond Smoothie

Blueberry Almond Smoothie

Kickstart your day or substitute your usual dessert with a delicious and nutritious Blueberry Almond Smoothie. Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, while almonds lend their unique crunch and healthy fats. Chewy dried figs add antioxidants and natural sweetness to this pregnancy-friendly meal. Blending them with Greek yoghurt adds creaminess while increasing protein and calcium. This smoothie is mouthwateringly good and packed with the necessary nutrients for a pregnancy diet. Read our list of healthy smoothie recipes that taste good.

17. Peanut Butter Crackers

peanut butter crackers

peanut butter crackers

Peanut Butter Crackers make a reliable snack when hunger pangs hit you unexpectedly. Made of whole grain crackers topped with protein-rich peanut butter and a sprinkle of black pepper, it delivers a substantial amount of healthy fats and protein — essential for cell growth during pregnancy. The crunch of the crackers, along with the creamy peanut butter and black pepper, offers a satisfying texture balance and keeps you full for longer. This simple, quick, and nutritious mini-meal is ideal for curbing those sudden hunger pangs. For a sweet twist, try using chocolate chip crackers instead of plain crackers for a delicious treat.

Conclusion

Maintaining a balanced diet during pregnancy is essential for your health and your baby’s growth and development. This blog aims to guide you with an array of nutrient-enriched dinner options. From Indian classics like Rajma and Vegetable Biryani to merging popular dishes like tacos and lasagna nutritiously, we attempted to curate a menu that offers health, variety, and rich flavours. Each recipe discussed here focuses on providing at least one or more crucial nutrients needed during pregnancy. Trying out these recipes will satiate your taste buds and ensure that you are well-nourished in this essential phase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods are good for pregnancy?

Fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, nut butter, whole grain bread or pasta, fresh fruits, and lean meats, including pork, chicken and fish, pulses, lentils, and seeds, are all good for a varied, nutritious pregnancy diet suitable for pregnant women.

Can I eat spicy food during pregnancy?

Spicy foods are safe to eat during pregnancy if they’re part of your regular diet, but you may want to avoid them if you have heartburn or indigestion.

How can I improve my diet during pregnancy?

Consuming nutrient-dense food, managing portion sizes, limiting intake of processed foods and sugars, drinking abundant fluids, and focusing on variety can help improve the quality of your diet during pregnancy. Opting for whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits also assists in maintaining a good pregnancy diet.

 

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