Last Updated on May 1, 2023
Are you pregnant and wondering what to bring to work or to eat for your daily healthy meals? Look no further than this super comprehensive list! We will include hot and cold lunches, lunches that can be meal prepped, and lunches that have an extra nutrient boost.
Additionally, we have made notes for adjusting to plant-based or vegan diets.
Covered in this Article:
“Super Healthy” Lunches for Pregnancy
The term “super healthy” is pretty subjective. However, for the purpose of this article, super healthy means at least 5 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein, and low in added sodium and sugar. Add your choice of seasonings to boost flavor.
Turkey, Quinoa, and Black Bean bowl
4 ounces roasted turkey breast, without skin
2 sliced hard boiled eggs (white only)
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup cooked black beans
¼ cup salsa (homemade or try one from the deli rather than a canned version)
1 cup spinach leaves, rinsed
In a container, layer the spinach first, then black beans, quinoa, salsa, and top with roasted turkey and hard-boiled egg whites.
If you are vegan you could replace the turkey with tofu or seitan, and omit the eggs. However, flax seed would be a nice addition as an egg replacement.
Nutrition Information: 415 calories, 44 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 42 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber (31 net carbs)
Mushroom, Tofu, and Goat Cheese “Scramble”
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup sliced raw mushrooms
½ cup firm tofu, drained
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ cup cooked lentils
3 ounces pomegranate arils
In a small saucepan, crumble the tofu and cook with the mushrooms and the olive oil until softened. Toss with the lentils and season with salt, pepper, and herbs to taste.
Top with the crumbled goat cheese and pomegranate arils.
If you are vegan you could replace the goat cheese with cashew cheese!
Nutrition Information: 493 calories, 29 grams protein, 23 grams fat, 45 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fiber (30 net carbs)
Arugula + Mixed Green Citrus Power Salad
1 cup arugula
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup cooked beets
½ cup mandarin orange slices
½ sliced green apple
4 ounces sliced roasted pork loin
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons citrus vinaigrette
Add the arugula, mixed greens, orange slices, apple, beets, and pork loin to a bowl. When you are ready to eat, add the sesame seeds and the vinaigrette.
Non-meat eaters can omit the pork and use a plant-based meat product or tofu.
Nutrition Information: 391 calories, 28 grams protein, 16 grams fat, 41 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber (36 net carbs)
Pack your Pregnancy-Friendly Lunches
Lunches for pregnancy can also include snacks or could be leftovers from the night before (more on that when we get to meal-prepped lunches). However, the big thing is that bringing light lunch to work needs to be portable and easy to carry.
Pre-packaged vegetable and fruit snack packs are great, but you can also make your own and save a lot of time and money.
Here are some great ideas for portable, delicious, and filling lunches.
Grown-up Snack Tray
2 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup roasted walnuts
1 kosher dill pickle
½ cup mini pretzels (about 20)
You can get a cute container that has a bunch of little compartments, or use plastic baggies to keep everything separate. The great thing about this lunch is that it can be eaten throughout the day if you are the type of person that likes to graze.
Nutrition Information: 824 calories, 44 grams protein, 47 grams fat, 62 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber (57 net carbs)
Deconstructed Vietnamese Summer Roll Salad
This is an awesome, fresh, delicious lunch. The salad is quite mild so if you are dealing with nausea it is a good one to have on hand. You can skip the shrimp if you are vegan, or substitute tofu. Shrimp are an awesome source of protein, so they can be a great addition to your healthy pregnancy meal plan diet during pregnancy.
1 cup shredded lettuce (Romaine, Butter, Radicchio, or anything else you have on hand)
3 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup cooked rice noodles or vermicelli noodles
¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
¼ cup sliced cucumber
¼ cup ginger salad dressing
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Toss all ingredients together except for the last two. Drizzle with the dressing and sesame seeds.
Nutrition Information: 737 calories, 36 grams protein, 44 grams fat, 55 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber (49 net carbs)
Hummus + Tzatziki Lunch
The great thing about this lunch is you can adjust based on what you have in the fridge or what you can easily find at the deli. It’s filling without leaving you feeling too full, and the bright flavors from the olives and roasted peppers can help to spice things up while keeping things simple.
¼ cup hummus
¼ cup tzatziki sauce
1 pita, sliced into quarters
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup sliced cucumber
1 cup sliced tomato
5 olives (any kind)
Arrange all of the vegetables in a container, top with the pita, and put the hummus and tzatziki in their own containers if you do not like your food touching.
Other than the tzatziki, this is perfect for someone on a plant-based diet. You could substitute almond yogurt with a little garlic, dill, and chopped cucumber, which would taste great!
Nutrition Information: 418 calories, 15 grams protein, 24 grams fat, 55 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber (46 net carbs)
Lunches That Can Be Eaten Cold when Pregnant
During pregnancy, it’s important to heat cold cuts or other deli meats to avoid listeria. But, sometimes, we just want to eat something that doesn’t have to be heated. Here are a couple of easy, delicious, and nutritious lunches that don’t have to be heated before you eat them.
Chickpea, Mozzarella, and Tomato Lunch Salad
¼ cup fresh mozzarella cubes or mini mozzarella balls, drained
¼ cup cooked chickpeas (canned or drained)
Combine all ingredients and add your choice of seasonings. If you are vegan you could replace the mozzarella cheese with a vegan cheese.
Nutrition Information: 559 calories, 34 grams protein, 26 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber (40 net carbs)
Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato Club Sandwich
4 slices cooked bacon
½ avocado, sliced
4 slices tomato
1 slice red onion, divided
2 pieces butter lettuce
3 slices multigrain bread
1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grapes
Toast each slice of bread.
Start with one piece for the bottom. Spread with half of the mayonnaise. Top with two slices of bacon, half of the avocado, 2 slices of tomato (seasoned with salt and pepper), half of the onion, and one piece of lettuce.
Top with a slice of toast, and then repeat with the remaining mayonnaise, bacon, avocado, seasoned tomato, onion, and lettuce. Top with the third slice of grain bread and cut it in half.
Grapes are an easy sweet treat that goes great with this sandwich.
Replace the pork bacon with seitan or plant-based bacon for an easy transition to a vegan-friendly healthy lunch!
Nutrition Information: 713 calories, 27 grams protein, 35 grams fat, 75 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fiber (58 net carbs)
Fruit, Yogurt, Nuts and Granola Bowl
1 banana, sliced
½ cup strawberry halves
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
¼ cup raw almonds (unsalted)
½ cup nut + honey granola
Place the yogurt in a container. Top with a piece of fruit.
When you are ready to eat, add the granola and nuts (or eat the nuts separately). Change the fresh fruit and nuts depending on what you like or what is in season.
This meal idea is super filling, which is great to fuel you all day long.
If you are vegan you can replace the traditional yogurt with almond or coconut yogurt.
Nutrition Information: 885 calories, 40 grams protein, 36 grams fat, 116 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fiber (99 net carbs)
Super Easy and Quick Lunches
Peanut Butter + Banana Oatmeal
This is ready in five minutes and is perfect for a day when you want something warm and comforting. Quick-cooking oats work best here, as they can be ready in a minute.
½ cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 peeled, sliced banana
1 tsp maple syrup
Combine the oats, peanut butter, milk, and cinnamon in a bowl. Microwave until cooked. Top with sliced banana. Drizzle with maple syrup.
Nutrition Information: 600 calories, 21 grams protein, 24 grams fat, 78 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber (68 net carbs)
Fruity Protein Smoothie
1 cup milk
2 scoops protein powder (depending on the brand)
1 handful ice
1 cup mixed berries
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth! This is great if you are not in the mood for a full lunch, and can be consumed throughout the day.
Depending on your brand of protein, the nutrition facts will change slightly. You can also try different flavors to see what you like best (we like vanilla with berries and chocolate protein with a banana). Plant-based milk and plant protein make this vegan friendly.
Nutrition Information: 430 calories, 51 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 36 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber (33 net carbs)
Healthier Monte-Cristo Sandwich
2 slices multigrain bread (or 100% whole wheat)
2 slices cheese (any kind)
2 slices deli ham
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup sliced peaches
Heat a pan or griddle on medium heat. Melt the butter. Place the bread slices in, top each with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted. Put the slices together.
Serve the sandwich with raspberry jam. Peaches and cottage cheese are a super easy side that also works for a mid-morning healthy snack idea.
Nutrition Information: 788 calories, 43 grams protein, 28 grams of fat, 95 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber (86 net carbs)
Meal-Prep Friendly Lunches
Meal-prepped lunches can be made from dinner leftover from the night before or can be made in large batches that can be eaten over several days. A major benefit to meal prep is you can spend one day in the kitchen and have nutritious meals ready for multiple days, which is great if you are busy!
These pregnancy recipes are general ideas (except for the Italian Wedding Soup), so a quick internet search can help find more specific recipes that you can adjust. We like to season with salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, and always use good quality olive oil.
Roasted Chicken + Vegetable Chopped Salad
4 ounces roasted chicken (white or dark meat, your choice if skin stays), chopped
½ cup roasted sweet potatoes
1 cup Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinaigrette or your choice of dressing.
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Roughly chop chicken, vegetables, and potatoes, into about 1-inch chunks. Toss with the vinaigrette dressing.
When you are ready to eat, top the lettuce with the chicken and vegetables. Stir to combine and top with sunflower seeds.
Sub the chicken for a plant protein if you follow a plant-based healthy pregnancy diet.
Nutrition Information: 527 calories, 28 grams protein, 35 grams fat, 28 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber (22 net carbs)
Sausage, Potato, and Kale Hash
1 cup leftover roasted potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary
½ cup cooked crumbled Italian sausage (hot or mild)
1 cup sauteed Kale leaves and cabbage with onions, garlic, and your choice of seasonings
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
Place the potatoes and kale in a container. Top with the crumbled sausage.
The applesauce can be eaten as a sweet snack!
Sub a seitan or other plant-based sausage to convert this to a vegan-friendly meal.
Nutrition Information: 522 calories, 13 grams protein, 21 grams fat, 73 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fiber (60 net carbs)
Italian Wedding Soup (makes about 6-2 cup servings)
¼ cup olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
10 cups chicken stock (homemade or canned)
1 lb frozen meatballs (or homemade)
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (or other tiny pasta)
3 cups spinach leaves, washed
Saute the carrots, onions, and garlic in the olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and meatballs, and season with salt, pepper, thyme, red pepper, and parsley to taste. Gently boil for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the uncooked pasta. Cook for 10 more minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Turn the heat off, add the spinach leaves, taste, and adjust the seasonings.
Vegetable stock and plant-based meatballs can make this a vegan soup.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 493 calories, 29 grams protein, 37 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber (21 net carbs)
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