Best Pregnancy Breakfast Recipes


With the best pregnancy breakfast recipes you’ll be sure that you and your baby-to-be aren’t missing out on any important nutrients in the morning. As a mom, you’ve got to eat right if you want to feel energized and keep those morning sickness symptoms at bay. What’s the best breakfast to eat while pregnant? Some women crave sugary carbs or hearty protein-rich foods, while it may be hard for others to stomach anything. Although eating what you want is an important part of pregnancy, close attention should be paid to the nutritional value of foods consumed.

The importance of nutrition during pregnancy

It’s important to be mindful of your nutrition during pregnancy for both your own health and the health of your baby. Experts recommend that you follow a healthy pregnancy diet to help your baby grow and develop, while also boosting your own health, too. So let’s take a closer look at what exactly a healthy pregnancy diet comprises.

Why Eat Differently When Pregnant?

Research continues to show that what you eat while pregnant affects the health of your baby. Your baby depends on the foods you eat to receive his calories, protein, vitamins, minerals and fluids.

So why eating differently when pregnant? Because your diet affects many aspects of your baby’s health, including the following:

  • Organ development: It’s amazing to think that what you eat allows for the growth of your baby’s heart, brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines and nervous system. All of these organs and more depend on nutrients like vitamin D and calcium to develop properly.
  • Brain development: Throughout your pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, your baby’s brain will continue to develop. This requires adequate intake of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other vital nutrients.
  • Birth weight: Calorie and nutrient restriction can lead to low birth weight, affecting your baby’s health after delivery. And, on the other hand, eating too many empty calories can cause your baby to become too big, causing issues with delivery and a higher chance of Cesarean section. Research shows that excessive weight gain in mothers during pregnancy (which is defined as gaining more than 35 pounds) results in higher infant birth weights.
  • Mental health: Research shows that maternal diet and postnatal nutrition can impact the child’s mental health. In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, higher intakes of unhealthy foods during pregnancy predicted emotional and behavioral problems among children.
  • Eating habits: According to research published in The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, food choices during pregnancy may set the stage for an infant’s acceptance of solid foods after birth. A baby’s first experiences with flavor occur before birth, when he tastes and smells flavors in the amniotic fluid. Studies show that baby’s favor the foods that they were exposed to before in the womb when they begin eating foods.
  • Long-term health: Research published in The Journal of Perinatal Education indicates that inadequate levels of maternal nutrients during a mother’s first trimester of pregnancy, when the embryo and placenta undergo a process of rapid cell differentiation and division, may predispose the infant to chronic illnesses in adulthood, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and coronary heart disease.

Plus, the way you eat during pregnancy affects your health and well-being as well. A poor diet during pregnancy can lead to health concerns digestive issues, fatigue, heartburn, swelling and leg cramps. And many studies show that nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to some major health issues like anemia, an iron deficiency that causes low levels of red blood cells, and preeclampsia, high blood pressure that can lead to pregnancy complications.

What nutrients are essential during pregnancy?

You’ve probably already heard about the benefits of including folate and folic acid in your pregnancy diet. “In addition to a diet rich in folate, it is generally recommended to take a daily prenatal vitamin supplement that contains a minimum of 0.4 mg (400 mcg) of folic acid,” explains Cordella. This allows you to meet the increased amount of folic acid you need during pregnancy, a total of around 600 mcg. As a B vitamin, folate can help to protect your baby from developing serious problems in their brain or spinal cord. Lots of foods contain folate, from leafy, dark green vegetables to citrus fruits and dried beans, so these are all ideal foods to add to your shopping cart when planning your pregnancy diet menu. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that comes in the form of a supplement, and evidence suggests that it can lower the risks of both premature birth and your baby being born with a low birth weight. 

You can start thinking about folate and folic acid if you’re trying to conceive, too. “It is suggested that you start taking a supplement containing folic acid at least one to two months prior to conception or as soon as you find out you are pregnant,” adds Cordella. Just remember to always speak to your doctor before starting any new supplements. 

Of course, folate and folic acid aren’t the only nutrients to consider. Medical experts also recommend that you include calcium, vitamin D, choline, iron, and essential omega-3 fatty acids in your pregnancy diet plan.And again, because it bears repeating, remember to always speak to your doctor before starting any new supplements, including folic acid.

Healthy Pregnancy Breakfast Recipes

Here are some delicious pregnancy breakfast ideas that are perfect for pregnant ladies to start their day with:

1. Moong Dal Dosa

If you are looking for a healthy Indian breakfast item during pregnancy, moong dal dosa is a great choice! It contains proteins and carbohydrates that will give you the energy and nutrition you need to get through the day.


What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup split green gram dal
  • 1 cup parboiled rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Some oil

How to Prepare:

  • Soak the dal and parboiled rice for 3 hours. Drain.
  • Grind the soaked rice and dal in a blender with a little bit of water to make a moderately thick but smooth batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a bowl and allow it to ferment overnight.
  • The next day, add salt and mix well.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and sprinkle some water on it. Wipe the water off with a cloth.
  • Using a circular motion, spread the batter in the pan to make a dosa of 6-inches diameter.
  • Put a few drops of oil all around the edges of the dosa and cook on a medium flame until the dosa is golden brown and crisp.
  • Then, flip it over to cook the other side for a few seconds.
  • Fold it in half and transfer onto a plate.

Eat it with some coconut chutney or a warm bowl of sambar.

2. Zucchini and Carrot Dosa

This is a very healthy breakfast dish for pregnant women as it contains vegetables and lentils, that provide a decent amount of carbohydrates and healthy fats to the mother-to-be and the baby.


What You Will Need:

  • ¾ cup grated zucchini
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • ¼ cup Bengal gram flour (besan)
  • ½ cup of rice flour
  • A few sprigs of finely chopped coriander
  • 1 or 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • Salt and Oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

 How to Prepare:

  • Combine the gram flour and the rice flour.
  • Add water and make a smooth, runny paste.
  • Add the vegetables and spices and mix.
  • Heat and grease a non-stick pan with oil.
  • Pour a ladle of batter into the pan and spread the dosa mix to form a circle of 3-inches diameter.
  • Put some oil around the edges of the dosa and cook on a medium flame until it is golden brown.
  • Flip it over to cook the other side for a few seconds.
  • Serve it with mint chutney.

3. Dates and Banana Shake

This is a great idea for breakfast during the first trimester when you suffer from morning sickness. If you are unable to stomach a solid breakfast, you can try this healthy milkshake.

What You Will Need:

  • ¼ cup dates
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes (optional)

 How to Prepare 

  • Soak the dates in warm milk for five minutes.
  • Blend the dates, milk, banana, and ice cubes together in a blender to make a smooth milkshake.
  • Drink.

4. Multigrain Idlis

This recipe contains whole grains and thus is a great one to provide enough fibre, carbohydrates, and protein to start the day with.


What You Will Need

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • ½ cup finger millet flour (ragi)
  • ½ cup pearl millet flour (bajra)
  • ½ cup split black lentils (urad dal)
  • ½ cup sorghum flour (jowar)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • Salt and oil

How to Prepare 

  • Soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for 2 hours.
  • Drain and blend until you get a smooth batter.
  • Combine this with the remaining whole grain flour and salt. You can add water if needed to make the batter to your preferred consistency.
  • Cover and allow it to ferment overnight.
  • In the morning, grease an idli mould and pour a spoonful of batter into each mould.
  • Steam it in an idli steamer or cooker for 10 minutes.
  • Eat the idlis with sambar.

5. Lentils Dosa

Lentils are a great source of protein, which is necessary for proper growth of the unborn baby. Lentil dosas are healthy, and they also taste delicious.


What You Will Need:

  • 2 cups idli rice
  • ¼ cup green gram (moong dal)
  • ¼ cup pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • ¼ cup black gram (urad dal)
  • ¼ cup Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 3 tbsp chickpea (channa)
  • 3 tbsp kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 3 red chillies
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt and oil

 How to Prepare:

  • Wash and soak all the ingredients except asafoetida for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Drain and blend everything together.
  • Add the asafoetida and salt to make a smooth, thick batter.
  • You can allow it to ferment overnight or prepare it without fermentation.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and grease it.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on to the pan and spread it in a circular motion to make a 6 to 8-inch dosa.
  • Add a few drops of oil along its edges and cook on medium flame until the dosa is crisp and golden brown.
  • Turn it over and let it cook on the other side for a few seconds.
  • Eat it with coconut chutney or sambar.

6. Ragi Idlis

Ragi idlis are another protein-rich dish you must include in your breakfast. Like most idli preparations, you will need to make the batter in advance.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup semolina (rava), dry roasted and cooled
  • 1 cup finger millet (ragi)
  • 1 cup sour curd
  • Water
  • Salt and oil

How to Prepare:

  • Mix the ragisemolina, salt and curd in a bowl.
  • Add water to get a smooth, idli-batter-like consistency.
  • Set aside for ½ an hour.
  • If the batter has thickened, add more water.
  • Grease an idli mould and pour a spoonful of batter into each mould.
  • Steam the idlis in a cooker or idli steamer for 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the idlis from the mould after they cool down a bit.
  • Have them with chutney and sambar. 

What breakfast foods should you eat while pregnant?

Breakfast is probably the most important meal for pregnant moms. After going all night without eating, your body needs fuel to get going for the day.  Eating sugary cereals, muffins, pastries, pancakes or other high carb foods can cause blood sugar to spike and will crash your energy.

Also if you are suffering from morning sickness, skipping breakfast can actually make it worse. You stomach needs to have food in it, even though this may seem counter intuitive. 

What to eat for breakfast when pregnant?

It’s best to start your day with protein during pregnancy.

Here is a quick list of high protein foods that are beneficial during pregnancy:

  • Eggs
  • Meat (ideally from pasture raised animals)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Bone broth
  • Nuts and nut butter – Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, pecans, peanuts
  • Oats 
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

Building your breakfast around these foods will help to have more energy throughout the morning. 

Want to learn about the how to get the best nutrition for you and baby? Check out this online pregnancy course that will help take the confusion out of what to eat to optimize pregnancy diet!

Tips for finding Clean Eating Pregnancy Breakfast Ideas

There are so many delicious clean eating breakfast ideas for pregnancy. When deciding what to eat for breakfast consider the following tips:

  • Look for breakfast recipes that contain 2 or more nutrient dense pregnancy superfoods – this is a great way to pack in extra vitamins and nutrients with real food.
  • Look for recipes that are “clean” – meaning have little to no processed food. Avoiding additives in your food is an easy way to have a healthier pregnancy.
  • Find recipes that are low sugar – avoiding refined sugar and high sugar fruits during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Focus on breakfast ideas that are low carb – carbs can be deceiving. While you initially feel full, you become hungry faster after eating a high carb meal. Instead choose carbs like rice or quinoa.
  • Choose recipes that follow the basic principles of nourishing your pregnant body.

Tips for a healthy pregnancy diet

  • During pregnancy you need lots of protein and healthy fats, and more of certain vitamins and minerals (such as folic acid, iron, and calcium). See our list of nutrients you need to help your baby grow.
  • Eating well during pregnancy doesn’t mean eating a lot more. If you start off at a healthy weight, you don’t need additional calories during the first trimester. You’ll need about 340 extra calories a day in the second trimester and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester. Learn more about pregnancy weight gain.
  • Some foods can be dangerous when you’re pregnant. See what to avoid. (You’ll also need to give up alcohol and limit caffeine during pregnancy.)
  • Healthy pregnancy snacks are where it’s at! Choose snacks that help meet your nutritional needs, and cut back on processed foods, packaged foods, and sugary desserts.
  • If nausea, food aversions, heartburn, or indigestion make eating full-size meals uncomfortable, try eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. As your pregnancy progresses and your baby increasingly crowds your stomach and other digestive organs, you’ll have less space in your body for big meals anyway.
  • Looking for more specifics? Create a pregnancy meal plan that will help you get exactly what you need from your pregnancy diet.

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