If you haven’t read last week’s blog on Part 1 of my “Pregnancy Pantry Guide: A good kitchen guide to pregnancy part 1” blog then make sure you have a read of this first! This is part 2, which finalises my top tips of the best foods to fill your cupboards with once you find out that you’re pregnant. I started writing my pregnancy pantry guide when I first became pregnant and realised that I needed to really start planning my meals and ensuring that I didn’t go hungry or skip any meals.
So here are the rest of my top tips :
Pregnancy Pantry Guide: A good kitchen guide to pregnancy part 2
6.) Buy a big bag of oats
Oats are such a versatile ingredient as well as being one that is naturally wholegrain and full of energy, fibre and proteins. Therefore one of my tips for topping up your pregnancy pantry is to buy yourself a giant bag of plain or rolled oats early on during your pregnancy! I often use oats for breakfast in the morning, as porridge, sprinkled over other breakfast cereals or even in my very popular overnight oats recipe.
You can also use oats to make oat bars, flap jacks (low sugar!) and energy balls too which are great snack ideas for a dose of energy and nutrients on the go.
I also love including oats in puddings, such as frozen forest fruits with natural yogurt and some flapjack squares or sprinkling of oats.
See more about the health benefits of oats.
7.) Get your spice rack up to scratch
Herbs and spices can be such a savior for flavouring foods when you’re pregnant. From around the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby will actually start swallowing and tasting flavours and compounds from your diet. It’s therefore a good idea to focus on healthy foods and perhaps think about limiting the amount of salt and sugar you consume.
This is where spices and herbs come into play as a perfect replacement to salt and sugar in foods and meals. I always feel that herbs and spices don’t get enough credit and aren’t used nearly enough to flavour foods. So often a recipe will include “a pinch of salt”, when it really isn’t always needed, especially if you’re happy to experiment with more exciting herbs and spices.
Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been loving experimenting with herbs and spices in the kitchen. They have always been a regular feature in meals for me but, now that I’m pregnant, I’ve also been trying out more spicy foods and testing my limits a little, as I’ve never been very good with hot food. For some reason, I’m enjoying them more than ever now.
8.) Tinned beans, lentils and pulses
On the top of many nutritionist’s lists of healthy foods is likely to be foods such as beans, lentils and pulses. These are fantastic foods which, again, don’t get enough credit. However, these foods are low in calories, contain nutrients like protein, iron and calcium and also come alongside plenty of fibre. Most of us could do with eating more in our diet and, for vegetarians and vegans, along with nuts these foods are a must.
During pregnancy it’s a great idea to stock up on these, including tinned lentils – which you can add into tomato sauces, curries or pies – and tinned beans of all varieties. I’m also a massive fan of using chickpeas to make my own hummus and/or falafels too, as it’s so easy to do. Beans, lentils and pulses are incredibly healthy, easy to use foods that are inexpensive and last a long time in your cupboards. Beans on toast is also a great staple and an ideal pregnancy meal/snack too, especially when you need a good energy boost during your first trimester.
9.) Fresh fruit and vegetables
If you’re lucky enough and can afford to get the fresh fruit and vegetable delivery boxes brought straight to your home each week then I’d definitely say this option is a winner, even more so when you’re pregnant.
If not, it’s still important to stock up on fresh fruit and veg as now, more than ever you’ll need the nutrients, fibre and hydration that comes along with eating plenty of these foods. The 5 or more a day message is out there for a reason: fruits and vegetables are VERY good for our health. Additionally, the fibre they contain may also help to alleviate some digestive symptoms you may be getting during your pregnancy too.
If you have a partner or family living with you, it’s a good idea to ask them once a week or so, to bring in a mound of fresh fruits and vegetables which you can then use in the upcoming week. I like to stock up on a Sunday so that I know what I have to work with for the rest of the week, but it’s best to go with that works for your personal lifestyle at home.
If all else fails try using the trusty online shopping to get your fresh foods delivered each week and in the meantime you can rely on some good old frozen and tinned ones to keep you going.
10.) Buy some storage boxes and jars!
I love using storage jars and boxes to showcase my foods, like the ones with the in this picture below. However, it’s not just for show, I also find that these make it much easier to see what you have left AND what’s available in your cupboards to help give you inspiration when it comes to your food and mealtimes. Having smaller storage boxes that you can carry about with you also makes it much easier to prepare and eat healthier on the go. Check out my healthy snacks during pregnancy blog for more inspiration.
So there are my top tips for stocking your cupboards when you first find out you’re pregnant. Don’t forget to check out my other pregnancy articles for more information on what to eat during pregnancy, caffeine recommendations for pregnant women, advice on alcohol during pregnancy and many more.