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--Kristi L. King, MPH, RDN, LD, Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Pediatric Dietician

Packed Lunch Ideas For Pregnancy?

I’m pregnant, and I prefer to brown bag my lunch. But lunchmeat is out. What else can I pack?

We’ve been there. Lunch gets more complicated during pregnancy because of the foods you’re supposed to avoid (and let’s not even get started on the food _ aversions_!). Remember: Whatever you eat, you’ll want it to be balanced by including starch, protein, vegetable, and fruit. Balancing your meal isn’t just important to get maximum nutrition to baby, but it will also help you feel fuller longer.

A salad is always a good choice. Chop up some baked or grilled chicken and toss it over dark, leafy greens. Hummus is also a great, portable pick for a lunchbox. Smear it on whole-wheat crackers or pita, and add crunch with a side of veggie sticks. Throw in a stick of string cheese and some fruit and you’ve got a well-balanced midday meal.

If you have access to a microwave, you can warm a baked potato topped with vegetables, chopped meat, salsa, and cheese. Heat up some veggie-heavy soup or chili, or zap a veggie burger with cheese and add a side of vegetables. Of course, last night’s dinner always makes a great meal. Just be sure leftovers are reheated thoroughly to avoid food borne illnesses.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Eating Right During Pregnancy

7 Healthy Meal Ideas for Your Pregnancy

Healthy Foods for Busy Moms-to-Be

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