5 easy breakfast ideas in pregnancy
Research suggests that skipping breakfast can cause us to snack on high-calorie foods during the day and can also make us less active. People who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to be overweight and have a lower risk of developing certain health conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Breakfast gives you a much-needed energy boost after a long stretch of ‘fasting’ during the night. If you find it difficult to eat in the morning, start with small portions and gradually, your appetite will increase.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, having a light breakfast as soon as you get up, will boost your blood sugar levels. This will hopefully help ease symptoms.
What makes a healthy breakfast?
Breakfast is a great time to take in important nutrients for you and your baby. These include B vitamins, folate, calcium and vitamin C.
A healthy breakfast could contain a combination of the following food groups:
Carbohydrates provides us with energy and fuel for the day ahead. They are also a valuable source of fibre to protect gut health. Breakfast carbohydrates could include:
- wholegrain bread
- low sugar/ high fibre breakfast cereal (try to have cereals that contain 5g of sugar per 100g or less)
- porridge oats.
At the start of my pregnancy when I felt funny in the mornings, a glass of fruit juice with ice and some cereal was a good way to start the day, even if I didn't feel like eating.
Protein is important for growth and repair in the body. Including a protein source with your breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer. Protein sources for breakfast could include:
- baked beans
- milk (or plant-based milk)
- nuts and seeds.
Fruit or vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Choices for breakfast could include:
You can add these to your normal breakfast or blitz them up into a smoothie.
As well as having a healthy, balanced diet, remember there are some important supplements to take during pregnancy too. Find out more about pregnancy supplements.
5 easy pregnancy breakfast ideas
Here are 5 easy breakfast ideas that combine sources of fibre, protein and fruits or vegetables to help you start your day right!
Porridge and fruit
Sprinkle sliced banana or berries onto your porridge.
If you don’t have much time in the morning, try making overnight oats the night before:
- Put the oats in a container and add milk, yoghurt and some sliced, frozen or dried fruit.
- Put in the fridge ready for the next morning.
Use plant-based milk and yoghurt for a vegan-friendly option.
Be aware that a standard serving size of oats is 30g which is about 2 to 3 tablespoons (dried). This doesn’t look like much, but when you add milk or water they expand more than you expect!
Keep it simple with some toast and a glass of milk
If you are experiencing morning sickness, keeping it simple with toast is a winner. Bread contains carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up and is easy to nibble if you aren’t feeling hungry. Spread with peanut butter or marmite and add a glass of milk for a portion of dairy.
Smoothies are perfect for a busy morning. You can keep your favourite chopped up fruits and vegetables in your freezer ready to add to your blender. Then just add some milk and plain yoghurt and blitz!
Scrambled eggs with a wholemeal bagel
You can have lightly cooked eggs as long as they are Red Lion standard. Try scrambled eggs with grilled tomatoes and wholemeal bagel for a breakfast. This option includes nutrients, slow-release carbohydrates and plenty of protein!
Yoghurt and toppings
Top plain yoghurt with any fresh or tinned-in-juice fruit you have and add a handful of granola. Check food labels because some types of granola include a lot of added sugar!
Find out about more good foods to eat when pregnant.
Crawley, H. (Second ed. 2017) Eating well for a healthy pregnancy. Published by First Steps Nutrition.
NHS Choices (accessed 8/10/20) Healthy breakfasts (for people who hate breakfast): https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/healthy-breakfasts-recipes/
Ofori-Asenso R, Owen AJ, Liew D. (2019) Skipping Breakfast and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Death: A Systematic Review of Prospective Cohort Studies in Primary Prevention Settings. J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2019;6(3):30.