Subscribe to our newsletter

Healthy & Delicious First Trimester Recipes

Asian woman at home making a healthy meal

by Adam Shaw

Professional Chef

shares

A few years ago when my wife became pregnant for the first time I couldn’t wait to start making her delicious and nutritious food that was good not just for her, but for our baby. Disappointed by the negative food advice out there that tended to focus on what you can’t eat, rather than what you can, I started creating my own trimester-specific meals to make her feel confident and good about what she was eating. Since then I’ve helped thousands of people around the world eat better during pregnancy! Here are a few of my wife’s favorite meals from when she was in her first trimester of pregnancy. I hope you… Read More

A few years ago when my wife became pregnant for the first time I couldn’t wait to start making her delicious and nutritious food that was good not just for her, but for our baby. Disappointed by the negative food advice out there that tended to focus on what you can’t eat, rather than what you can, I started creating my own trimester-specific meals to make her feel confident and good about what she was eating. Since then I’ve helped thousands of people around the world eat better during pregnancy!

Here are a few of my wife’s favorite meals from when she was in her first trimester of pregnancy. I hope you enjoy them!

Nutritious & Delicious First Trimester Recipes

Hearty Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Butternut Squash and a Parmesan and Brioche Crumb

Hearty Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Butternut Squash and a Parmesan and Brioche Crumb

A satisfying dish for when you just want carbs carbs carbs but with the addition of a fantastically healthy vegetable to make you feel less guilty about just eating carbs carbs carbs. My wife ate this A LOT in her first trimester.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 5 cups macaroni
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 slice of toasted brioche bread
  • Chives

Method

  1. Slice the butternut squash into 1-inch squares, place in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until it’s soft. Meanwhile, boil the macaroni in salted water for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions.
  2. On the stove melt the butter in a pan and then add in the flour. Allow to cook for 30 seconds or so before whisking well. Remove from the heat and add the milk slowly, whisking continuously until you have a thick sauce. Cook on the stove for a further 2 minutes without stirring. Add the cheddar to the pan and mix well.
  3. Drain the macaroni and add it to an oven dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix well. In a hand blender, mix the parmesan and one slice of toasted brioche bread. Sprinkle the crumb over the top of the macaroni. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 mins.
  4. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl with a few pieces of squash on top and with chives sprinkled over.

Why is this good for mom and baby?

Cheese Protein, calcium, vitamin B, D, potassium
Pasta Folate, magnesium, vitamin B, fiber
Milk, butter Protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, B, E, D, K
Butternut Squash Vitamin A, B, C, folate, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, and potassium

Pesto, Feta, and Olive-Stuffed Chicken with Leeks, Zucchini, Mushroom and Pesto

Pesto, Feta, and Olive-Stuffed Chicken with Leeks, Zucchini, Mushroom and Pesto

Lots and lots of healthy nutrients and vitamins hidden in the pesto which is quite literally, hidden in the chicken. The zucchini and spinach are both rich in folate, which is important for the baby’s development in the first trimester.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 handful chopped spinach
  • 1 inch or so of feta, crumbled
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • handful of mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 spoonfuls of pesto

Method

  1. In a bowl mix together two spoonfuls of the pesto, the feta, and spinach. Cut a little pouch in the underside of each chicken and fill with the mixture. Pan cook on a high heat skin down for 10-15 minutes.
  2. While that’s cooking, slice the shallots, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms. Turn the chicken over, add the stock to the pan, and cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked completely. Remove the chicken from the pan to rest.
  3. Add the shallots, followed by the garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms to the same pan. Stir in the remaining spoonful of pesto and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Arrange the vegetables on a plate, slice the chicken into 3 and place on top

Why is this good for mom and baby?

Chicken Protein, Vitamin B, zinc
Feta Protein, calcium, Vitamin B, D
Spinach Calcium, iron, Vitamin A, B, C, K, folate, magnesium
Zucchini Folate, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C
Onion Fiber, Vitamin B, C, D, K, zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium
Garlic Vitamin B, C, calcium, potassium, iron
Mushroom Iron, fiber, Vitamin B, D

Sirloin Steak and Mashed Sweet Potato, Feta, and Coriander Topped with Homemade Chimichurri

Sirloin Steak and Mashed Sweet Potato, Feta, and Coriander Topped with Homemade Chimichurri

In the first trimester, you are creating rather than growing a life, so you need food that gives you ENERGY. To get some energy-rich food in you swap your mash for sweet potato mash (also extra vitamins, iron, fiber, and so on). Swirl in some feta for extra calcium and finish it off with a spicy yet refreshing chimichurri packed with vitamins. Goes perfectly with a steak for that extra energy boost.

Ingredients

  • (2) 8-ounce steaks
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes
  • Half a pack of feta
  • Splash of milk, a pat of butter
  • For the chimichurri: olive oil, parsley, coriander, salt, one shallot, one green chili

Method

  1. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes and boil in a pan of water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the chimichurri: Add half a bunch of coriander and parsley to an onion, a de-seeded chili, splash of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and blend well.
  3. Get a hot pan, season the steak and cook as to your preference. 2-3 minutes on one side then a further 2 minutes for rare, 3-4 for medium, and 4+ for well done. Remove and allow to rest.
  4. Drain the sweet potato and mash along with the milk and butter. Add half of the feta to the mash.
  5. Top the mash with the rest of the feta and pour chimichurri over everything!

Why is this good for mom and baby?

Beef Protein, iron, Vitamin B, zinc
Sweet Potato Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium
Feta Protein, calcium, Vitamin B, D
Coriander Vitamin C, K, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium
Onion Fiber, Vitamin B, C, D, K, zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium
Green chili Vitamins A, B, C, K, potassium
Milk, butter Protein, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, B, E, D, K

Chorizo, Red Pepper, and Sweet Potatoes Topped with a Fried Egg

Chorizo, Red Pepper, and Sweet Potatoes Topped with a Fried Egg

The brighter the vegetable, the more vitamins it contains, so a red pepper is right up there as one of the best things you can eat. If you’re not feeling it in the first trimester, surround it with some carbs, spicy chorizo, and a protein and iron-rich egg. Hiding vegetables amongst eggs and potatoes was something that seemed to go down well in our house!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Sweet potatoes
  • A pack of chorizo
  • 2 red peppers
  • Parsley
  • Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cumin, paprika

Method 

  1. Peel and cube the potatoes and boil in salty water for 5 minutes. Remove and drain.
  2. Dice the onion and cook on low heat, add the chopped garlic, and a spoonful each of cumin and paprika. Mix well.
  3. Add the potatoes to the pan and mix well so everything is coated in the spices. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Slice the chorizo and add to the pan.
  4. Slice the peppers and add to the pan and separately, fry an egg. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, top with the egg and chopped parsley.

Why is this good for mom and baby?

Sweet Potato Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium
Egg Protein, iron, folate, vitamin A, B, D, E, K, zinc
Chorizo Protein, iron, Vitamin B, zinc
Red pepper Vitamin A, C, E, K, folate, fiber, potassium
Onion Fiber, Vitamin B, C, D, K, zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium
Garlic Vitamin B, C, calcium, potassium, iron
Cumin Fiber, Vitamin A, B, C, E, iron, zinc, potassium