The four meal prep recipes to have on high rotation during pregnancy
New mum Katie Lolas is on a mission to make getting the right nutrition during your child’s first 1000 days right (and that starts in pregnancy).
‘The First 1000 Days’ is internationally recognised, and refers to a child’s life on the moment of conception, during pregnancy and up until they’re two. Poor nutrition during this time can have short- and long-term health consequences because this is a time when the brain, body and immune system develop significantly.
Let’s break down the first 1000 Days and talk specifics.
It’s important to build up essential nutrients prior to pregnancy to support your baby’s healthy development from the very start. In fact, nutritional needs increase by up to 50% as soon as you fall pregnant, and a range of micronutrients are needed for critical developments that take place during the early weeks – often before you’ve noticed the signs of pregnancy!
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
Micronutrients like folic acid, iodine and iron, magnesium, B group vitamins and vitamin D are some of the key ones and it’s important to build up the required nutrient levels to ensure that baby is supported from pre-conception and then throughout pregnancy, all the way through until baby is two.
Once bub arrives and you commence breastfeeding, nutritional requirements increase by up to 88%! As a new mum, eating healthily can support breastmilk production and provide essential nutrients – like DHA, betacarotene & iodine.
Of course, it’s all about balance and it can be difficult to meet your nutritional requirements from diet alone. For example, you’d need to eat 15 slices of bread to get the recommended daily amount of folate required for pregnancy. That’s a lot of toast! That’s where a supplements such as Elevit can help.
If you’re looking for new ways to support your nutrition during the First 1000 Days, I’ve put together some of my best go-to meal prep recipes so you can grab-and-go knowing you’re supporting your little one’s journey at the same time.
Ginger miso salmon with greens
This recipe a no brainer! It’s super speedy to make and there are omega-3s found in salmon, plus the greens contain vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and folate.
It’s worth noting that, although you may have heard that you should avoid fish due to mercury, the guidelines recommend that you enjoy a serve of freshly cooked fish up to 2-3 times a week. Just make sure that it’s well cooked so that there’s no listeria risk.
- 6 tbsp miso paste
- 6 tbsp honey
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 4 salmon fillets
- 150g beans of choice, roughly chopped
- 4 bunches baby bok choy, roughly chopped
- ½ cup shallots, sliced (garnish)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (garnish)
Pumpkin lentil chickpea curry
Lentils are high in plant based iron and contain B vitamins, especially folate, which is super important in the first 1000 days. They’re so good in this curry.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup shallots, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 2 cups of pumpkin, diced
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1x 400g can tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 120g fresh baby spinach
- 4 tbsp plain yoghurt and fresh parsley to serve (optional)
Loaded beef bolognaise
This is a great recipe that is jam packed with veggies, red meat and plant based protein!
- 1 x 500g packet pasta
- 500g lean beef
- 1 x 400g can lentils, rinsed and drained2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, grated2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup shallots, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 700g passata (tomato cooking sauce)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
- 1 tbsp oregano leaves
- 1 tbsp nutmeg1tbsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)
Orange Almond & Dark Chocolate Parfait
Sometimes you just need a sweet treat that’s not too naughty. Look no further. This recipe has dried apricots, which are a great source of iron and roasted almonds and almond meal, which are high in folate.
- ¾ cup plain yoghurt
- 1 orange, ¼ juiced, ¾ diced
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp almond meal
- ¼ tsp cacao powder
- 2 squares of Lindt dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 dried apricots, finely chopped
- 10 roasted almonds, roughly chopped
Katie Lolas is a first time mum, businesswoman, and an advocate for healthy eating. She’s built an online community @lady.lolas around sharing quick, easy, and delicious recipes.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Vitamin supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet.