Many of the articles I write on this site are about what not to eat when you’re pregnant, so it’s always a pleasure to sit down and put together something that is all about what you CAN eat, cook, and enjoy!
I often get asked for pregnancy cookbook recommendations for a healthy diet during pregnancy. You’ve probably noticed that there are loads of them out there, and I know it’s hard to choose between them.
Here’s my top list. Importantly, I’ve only included ones written by qualified doctors, nurses, nutritionists, or dietitians.
There are plenty of well-meaning pregnancy recipes floating around the internet, but I think nutritional science in pregnancy is so important, it’s better to heed advice from qualified professionals.
In no particular order, here are some of the best cookbooks for pregnancy that are available at the moment:
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The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook is by author, Dr. Sonali Ruder (also known as The Foodie Physician), who takes an extra step in this cookbook to detail how and why you should eat certain ingredients, and why they’re ‘good’ for you and baby.
Many people who’ve bought this book commented that this book is straight to the point, no nonsense, tasty food.
There are also several pictures of the recipes in the book – something that is often left out of pregnancy cookbooks.
The Healthy, Happy Pregnancy book is a little different to a normal cookbook because it’s organized by pregnancy symptoms, rather than as a standard meal guide.
Some find this hugely helpful, since food is dictated very much by how you feel in pregnancy.
The book is written by Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, both Registered Dietitians. It contains over 125 recipes, so there’s plenty to choose from.
The recipes seem to be a little more creative than others, incorporating some lesser-known ingredients. If you’re a meat and two veg kinda person, this might not appeal, but if you’re a foodie – go for it.
It has over 125 recipes, so there’s plenty of options for all tastes.
Since the focus is on real, wholesome food, it’s another of those books that will continue to be useful to feed the family after your pregnancy, too.
What I like about Eating for Pregnancy is that it frequently gets revised (they’re on the 3rd edition now), and the science and recipes are constantly updated.
This recipe book is written by a trio of highly qualified women including Rose Ann Hudson, an RDN, and Teresa Knight, who’s an Ob/Gyn.
Unlike many other cookbooks, its 150 recipes are on a month-by-month basis, so you’ll be getting the best recipe advice according to your exact stage of pregnancy and nutritional needs.
‘Drinking For Two’ covers one of the most common issues in pregnancy: what to drink when you can’t have alcohol or much caffeine that is both interesting and good for you.
For this reason, the book makes a perfect gift for pregnant women, too.
There are loads of inspiring drinks in here that you’ll probably continue to enjoy, even after baby is born, and particularly when you’re breastfeeding.
They’re not all just non-alcoholic versions of cocktails either (though I like the Mock Jito a lot!).
The Drinking for Two book is written by Kerry Jane Criss, who holds a MS in Nutritional Epidimiology, and Diana Licalzi Maldonado, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
As you might expect, it’s also packed with some more general pregnancy nutrition recommendations, all fully cited and referenced.
This Feel Good Pregnancy Cookbook is written by Ryann Kipping, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Educator. She’s very well known on Instagram, but also wrote this stand-alone cookbook for pregnant women.
It’s one of the most well-reviewed books out there, with over 100 recipes.
Unlike many other pregnancy cookbooks, the ‘preview’ option on Amazon also includes a full list of the recipes, so you can decide in advance if they’re the kind of thing you (and your family or partner) will love.
My favorites are the soups, which I’m happy to eat for more than nine months as they’re satisfying and healthy for anyone – not just if you’re pregnant!
The Whole Nine Months cookbook has over 100 recipes, written by Dr Jennifer Lang, an OB/GYN, and Dr Dana Angelo, who is also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
There’s a lot of information, guidance and research in this one, rather than just recipes.
If you want more on scientific background, then you might appreciate it – though others say they would rather the book was filled wall to wall with recipes instead!
What many moms-to-be find useful is the trimester-by-trimester information, and this cookbook is particularly strong on breakfasts, which can be challenging if you’re suffering from morning sickness.
Real Food for Pregnancy is by Lily Nichols, who is both a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator.
She has another book on gestational diabetes, which you should definitely read if you’ve been diagnosed during your pregnancy.
Real Food for Pregnancy is something that I strongly recommend every pregnant woman (and their partner) reads.
It’s a go-to book on the science behind real food and pregnancy nutrition. It’s not a cookbook, I ought to point out, but I’m including it here as a reference book on the “whys” behind certain food recommendations.
If you’re doing a lot of cooking at home when you’re pregnant, you might also be interested in these articles:
- How to wash fruit and vegetables so they’re safe when pregnant
- Tips on hand hygiene, kitchen hygiene and food prep
- Recommended culinary thermometers for cooking food accurately
- Some pregnancy-safe treats to help in the kitchen, and with nausea
This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.