We all know the importance of a good breakfast. We’ve all heard the old saying that it’s the most important meal of the day. It’s particularly important for pregnant women to eat in the morning. You and your baby need to start the day with nourishment.
There are many reasons why eating breakfast can be challenging for pregnant women. Maybe you have to be at work really early in the morning and can never seem to find a few extra minutes to eat. Maybe you are suffering with morning sickness and the thought of food makes you sick. Maybe you just aren’t used to eating breakfast.
That last reason describes me. I never really ate in the morning. When I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding, lunch is usually my first meal of the day. When I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, I must make myself eat in the morning. If I don’t, I will feel sick later in the day.
This is actually very common among pregnant women. Keeping food in your stomach is important to avoid the dips in blood sugar that result in feelings of queasiness or dizziness. Even if you have morning sickness, you need to eat regularly. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar plummets. This will actually make you feel worse.
Breakfast does not mean a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. Cereal is a staple morning food, especially when you are in a hurry. Choose a cereal with iron, plenty of fiber and fortified with folic acid. This nutrient is important for lowering the risk of certain neural tube defects. Hot cereals are a nutritious alternative and are nearly as fast to make.
You should aim for a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables at each meal. Eggs are a good source of protein in the morning. If you have an aversion to eggs, you can have some yogurt and a glass of milk to get protein. Include foods from as many food groups as possible to get the variety you need.
If you have morning sickness, eat whatever you can keep down. This may be a certain breakfast food or something else. Start off with crackers or dry toast and tea. Take small bites and little sips until you begin to feel better. Eat whatever you can stomach and don’t worry as much about nutrition. I had a friend once who could only stomach tortilla chips and soda in the morning. You can always snack on nutritious snacks later in the day to make up for the lost nutrients at breakfast.