Have you ever had that sinking feeling of finally arriving at the grocery store after a long work day and realizing that you lost your shopping list? I rely on that back-of-the-envelope list to keep me on track for good meals and eating well at home. Without it, my week ends up like a chaotic free for all filled with non-optimal food choices. The fact that I am generally starving while picking up groceries only makes the problem worse. So, generally every Tuesday or Wednesday evening I comb through the flyers for the week and put together meal ideas in my head with what is on sale. I secretly love this, it’s almost as good as grocery shopping without kids.
Look back at the previous blog, Eating for Two, and take this list along with you to the grocery store to make sure that you are surrounding yourself with great choices for your growing baby, and for your body’s benefit too! Healthy eating in pregnancy is beneficial for both you and your baby. I have tried to include vegan, vegetarian, and food allergy alternatives and feel free to modify based on your likes and dislikes. Keep checking back in for a weekly meal plan with some delicious recipes to get all of these great nutrients into your diet.
Now, everyone will organize their list in different ways. I must admit that I am very particular about how I write out my food needs for the grocery trip. Usually I’m short on time so I need to be efficient in the store. I keep in mind the store layout and clump together the foods that go together. Otherwise, I’d be wandering all over the store and will definitely forget something important on my list. You may need to change this all around, be my guest. Don’t forget to price match if your store allows (my other secret pleasure), there are some great apps out there for smartphones that can help you do this! And maybe have a snack before going in?!
Use the legend below to choose the foods that contain lots of the important nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy and baby:
Iron Calcium Folate Zinc Choline EFA Vit D Fiber Protein
Vegetables and Fruit
Load up on deeply coloured veg for a variety of minerals and vitamins. Dark, leafy greens will give you folate, calcium and iron. Bright fruit and veggies give you great vitamin C and antioxidants to keep your immune system strong. Choose veg over fruit to reduce sugar.
Brussel Sprouts Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Avocado Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Fresh herbs (cilantro, basil)
Breads and Cereals
Check out gluten free options if needed. Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains, and choose low/no sugar and the fewer the preservatives, the better.
Whole grain bread
Whole grain wraps
Dairy and Eggs
For those who can’t tolerate dairy, there are many comparable substitutes. Read the labels to match nutritional content. For eggs, try to find a local farmer with a roadside sign – supporting local businesses is a great community service.
Cheese Cream cheese
Meat and Fish
Again, if you have local farmers who raise meat, try them out; find them at local Farmer’s Markets. For those who don’t like meat or seafood, or avoid it, bulk up on other sources of protein and iron – there are lots to choose from.
Chicken Livers Salmon
Ground beef Shrimp
Pork roast Octopus (cause why not?)
It is always a good idea to get most of your foods from the perimeter of the grocery store, to try to avoid a lot of processed food. You’ll still find some great nutrition in the center aisles so do the whole tour. I try to avoid canned goods but sometimes they really make the recipe! I always buy my beans and lentils dried to avoid the salt and cut the cost.
Canned tomatoes Lentils
Canned sardines Black eyed peas
Canned tuna Chickpeas
Almonds Brown rice
Peanut butter Oatmeal
Flax seeds Dried apricots
Arm yourself with flyers, check out local produce stands, and check in soon for some great recipes with a meal plan. Happy shopping!
Becca Raper is a Registered Midwife with Generations Midwifery Care. Learn more about Becca here.