It’s the final leg of your preggo journey, and you have the hand in making it the most amazing stage!
Crazy cravings and morning sickness may long be over, but looking out for yourself is just as important. The baby is not done growing yet.
At this point, you need to be in-the-know about which foods and nutrients are the most important during these last few months of your pregnancy. It is during this time that you need the peak of energy to keep up with your routines and get on the proper diet to get ready for the big day—your child’s birth.
Therefore, you need to understand the nutritional requirements in this final trimester.
The pregnancy homestretch can be both physically and emotionally challenging. The baby inside you is heavier, your energy may be gradually depleted, yet you are excited and eager, a bit anxious, too, to welcome this precious little one.
So how do you cope? You will have to read and research the right information to understand what to expect for the next 12 weeks.
The food choices you make and the exercise you engage in are very important for the health of your baby now.
Here are meal and snacks suggestions for you, pregnant moms, specifically for the third trimester of pregnancy, to help keep you informed on how to nourish your body appropriately and prep you for the big delivery day.
This meal planner features a variety of delicious dishes that will give you a real energy boost, just when you need it most.
Your baby is still growing
Well, yes—your baby continues to grow and develop in these last 12 weeks. Your little nugget is gaining weight quickly, as a matter of fact, and parts of the baby’s body continue to form.
It is also a crucial time for the baby’s lung and bone development. Most women need about 450-500 extra calories a day at this pregnancy stage. This, you will have to check with your OB GYN, as it is specific and unique for every woman.
What Nutrients do you need and where to get them
A pregnancy diet does not mean you have to cut back on the amount of food you eat. Eating well during this time means making meals and snacks easy and tasty, and having a meal plan that includes better food choices and best sources of nutrients you need for you and your baby’s health .
You need additional protein in the third trimester to boost fetal growth and maintain maternal tissue, according to WebMD. Throughout your pregnancy, and especially on the last trimester, folic acid, iron, and calcium are essentials.
Folic acid ensures proper fetal growth, iron and Vitamin B6 are important nutrients for brain development and help curb neural defects in the baby.
Vitamin A and calcium are best for strong bones and teeth for both mom and child. Milk and other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are the best sources of calcium.
Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient for the development of red blood cells and your baby’s brain. It’s in: Vitamin D is needed for the bones to absorb calcium, Vitamin B12 keeps the nervous system strong, Vitamin A aids bone growth and healthy skin and vision, and Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and fortifies your immune system, as it helps make teeth, gums, and bones healthy.
To prepare you for labour, delivery, and postnatal healing, you will be needing energy and ‘recovery’ food, and Vitamin K is the key essential especially for blood clotting. It helps heal wounds faster and is likewise needed for healthy bone development and protein formation in the liver(1).
Additionally, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), a type of omega-3 fat that you should consume from food, supplements or both, as your body doesn’t produce much of it. DHA is essential for a healthy pregnancy as it promotes proper fetal brain and retina development, especially during the third trimester.
Your meals and snacks should have the necessary staples: fruits, vegetables (especially green leafy ones such as kale, broccoli, asparagus, and spinach), protein from fish and poultry, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, and low-fat or fat-free pasteurized dairy, as these are rich sources of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need daily.
Sample Meal Planner for the Third Trimester
To pack in the extra calories needed, and all the vitamins and nutrients your body and your baby require, you have to make sure you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus some light morning and afternoon snacks.
And because you need plenty of energy in the third trimester, this meal suggestions include a variety of energy-boosting snacks and meals that are just right for you at this final stage of your pregnancy.
This plan is designed so that you can pick a different meal and snack for each day of the week at your own convenience, without overlooking the nutrients you need.Mix and match these deliciously nutritious meals, and have a healthy last trimester.
Breakfast of Mom-Champs
|1 glass of Enfamama A+ milk every day
||1 cup sliced carrots and cucumbers
||1 cup dried apricots and crushed pistachios
|A bowl of vitamin K- fortified breakfast cereal
||French toast fingers with maple syrup and cantaloupe melon
||1 slice wholemeal toast
|Avocado on wholegrain toast with goat’s cheese
||Oats porridge with milk, berries, almonds and a dash of cinnamon
||1 cup cucumber slices
|Banana raspberry chia pudding
||1 cup strawberries
||½ cup mixed berries or ½ cup grapes
|1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons chia seeds
||2 boiled eggs
Morning and Afternoon Snacks
Avocado and banana smoothie with Enfamama A+
||Oven-baked kale crisps
||¼ cup unsalted nuts
|Mango and peach smoothie
||1 small baked sweet potato
|A cup of herbal tea
||Dates (3-4 pieces)
||¼ cup pumpkin seeds
||1 cup pineapple slices
|1 apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter
||Edamame with sea salt and pepper
|Apple slices, cheddar, rye crackers
||Melon with blueberries and yoghurt
||Roasted carrot and hummus with veggie sticks
|3 squares dark chocolate
||Yoghurt and strawberry slices with muesli or granolas
Steamed broccoli with your favorite salad dressing and ½ cup quinoa
2 grilled chicken breasts with 1 cup spinach and 1 beetroot, with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 fillet grilled salmon with 1 cup cooked brown rice and 1 bowl mixed salad with lemon dressing
Mediterranean quinoa chickpea salad* and 1 baked potato
2 grilled chicken breasts, 1 cup sweet potato wedges and ¼ mashed avocado
1 cup wholewheat pasta tomato sauce, spinach, and eggplants, with 1 bowl mixed salad with lemon dressing on the side
Stir-Fry Teriyaki Chicken with broccoli and mushroom*
Roast asparagus with a poached egg
Sesame-crusted tuna steaks with quinoa and baby spinach*
50g smoked salmon with 2 eggs, scrambled or boiled, and 1 cup arugula
Zucchini soup* with ½ mashed avocado on the side
½ cup hummus dip, 3 wholemeal crackers, and 1 cup sliced cucumbers
1 cup cooked spinach in tomato sauce and ½ cup chickpeas
1 cup cottage cheese with 1 sliced tomato and 1 slice wholemeal toast
2 eggs, any way you like, on 1 slice wholemeal toast, 5 olives, and baked asparagus
Lentil and veggie soup and sautéed Brussel sprouts, with wholegrain roll, followed by chopped pineapple
Wholegrain pizza with sausage and ricotta
Maple soy salmon, roasted sweet potato wedges, and green beans
Lasagna with beef Bolognese served with mixed greens salad
Pork tenderloin tacos with pineapple salsa
Roast lamb, roasted asparagus, green beans followed by a dessert of rice pudding
Simply combine spinach, frozen banana frozen berries, and 1/2 cup Enfamama A+ milk, in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with toppings of your choice (granola, cinnamon, berries, coconut flakes, almonds, nut butter).
Blend a handful of washed spinach, with 1 cup chilled water or ice first, then add in fresh/ frozen strawberries/ blueberries or raspberries.
Then pour in squeezed lemon juice, a tsp of any superfoods (chlorella, wheatgrass, or spirulina powder, or 1 teabag of green tea) and 1 glass of Enfamama A+ and a tbsp of yoghurt (optional).
Drink immediately, and preferably on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. That will ensure all of the vital vitamins and nutrients are absorbed in your system without any interference.
When making the breakfast smoothie, think green, fresh, cold, and nutritional. Always keep in my mind: 1/3 greens, 1/3 fruit, 1/3 extras (dairy, super foods, nuts, water, ice, etc…).
Combine 2 cups vegetable stock, 1 small onion, quartered, 2 cloves garlic, and 3 medium zucchini cut into large chunks, in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover, and simmer until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from heat, let cool, and puree in a blender. Add coconut cream or 2 tbsp greek yoghurt or 1 cup Enfamama A+ milk, and blend again until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
Mediterranean quinoa chickpea salad
Top lettuce with 1/4 cup quinoa, red bell peppers, 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 red onions, and 1/2 avocado.
In a salad dressing container or small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (vinegar, lemon, minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp cumin, 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Pour dressing over the salad and mix to coat the salad.
Stir-Fry Teriyaki Chicken with broccoli and mushroom
FOR THE SAUCE
1/4 cup soy sauce ( regular or light, not dark)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil, optional
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp corn flour (corn starch)
FOR THE CHICKEN
3 tbsp olive or coconut oil, divided
500 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
200 g mushrooms, sliced
400 g broccoli florets
3/4 cup cashews, toasted
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients thoroughly until well mixed, set aside. Place a large pan or wok on high heat and add half the oil when the pan gets hot.
Add the chicken and cook for just a couple of minutes on each side just till the edges begin to turn golden, without overcrowding the pan. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil, then add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, till starting to brown.
Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, for just 2 minutes, until the broccoli is starting to turn bright green.
Return the chicken to the pan. Give your prepared sauce a good stir, then add that to the pan as well. Give it all a stir and simmer for two to three minutes, just until the sauce thickens and everything is heated through.
Add the cashews and sesame seeds and serve immediately with brown rice or barley.
Sesame-crusted tuna steaks with quinoa
Cook the quinoa in water, garlic, minced carrots, and onions. Prepare the salad dressing (3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic, 2 tsp reduced salt, soy sauce, 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped and freshly ground black pepper and a dash of salt) and place in a container with lid, then shake vigorously.
Scatter the sesame seeds on a large plate, sprinkle pepper, and dip the tuna steaks in, ensuring they’re evenly coated.
Cook the tuna in oil for around 2-3 minutes each side, depending on their thickness, for a medium-rare finish. You can always cook your tuna steaks for longer. Once cooked, remove and set the tuna aside.
Rinse the cooked quinoa (and drain excess stock) under cold running water and leave it to cool down completely. Once cooled, toss it in a large serving bowl with mango cubes and spinach.
Divide the salad among four serving plates (or four lunch boxes). Place a piece of fish over each salad, then drizzle the dressing over.
*You shouldn’t eat more than two tuna steaks, or four medium-sized cans of tuna, a week when pregnant.
Your reliable pregnancy partner
Key studies on milk consumption during pregnancy underline its crucial role during pregnancy and when the baby is born.(2)
Obstetricians and general practitioners recommend drinking milk during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, as moms need the valuable proteins and calcium for bone growth, packed in milk. (2)
Choosing the right high quality milk supplement is therefore a crucial decision. Enhanced Enfamama A+ is a nutritional milk drink specially formulated for pregnant and lactating mothers.
It has a unique blend of nutrients to help support moms in the pre-natal and post-natal stages: brain-boosting nutrients such as DHA, choline, iodine and folic acid, and immunity-boosters such as vitamins A, C, E and Zinc, which have been scientifically proven to support healthy pregnancy and lactation as well as fetal brain development.
These essential nutrients are also the most important and critical nutrients for postpartum health, according Melissa Mitri, registered dietician(3).
Unlock the world of Mama-privileges and benefits
In full support of all moms-to-be and new moms alike, the Enfamama A+ Club Mama is here to cheer you on and be your partner in this wonderful journey through motherhood.
Join the Enfamama A+ Club Mama and unlock a world of privileges and exclusive member benefits, and help build a strong foundation for your child, right from the very start—and on to the very end of pregnancy and in nurturing her newborn.
You will get to be the first to know about promotions, access to limited and special member-only deals, get free samples and exclusive vouchers, and have access to more health information about pregnancy, childbirth, growth and development and parenting issues. The benefits are countless!
The time to take care of yourself is now, and nothing and no one can stop you from enjoying your pregnancy and motherhood, and in reaping the benefits of good nutrition before and after giving birth.
Remember that everything you eat has an impact on your baby’s growth and development, not only your own health.
If you eat poorly, your baby will have a greater risk for developing obesity and serious diseases like diabetes, and may even develop a taste for low-nutrition foods.
On the other hand, if you are dedicated to a nutritious diet during pregnancy, you will be encouraging your baby’s healthy eating habits, not to mention strengthening your own.
Recipes and meal suggestions from Baby Center The Daily Crisp.
- NHS UK. Vitamin K [Online]. 2012. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-K.aspx[Accessed June 2014].
- Melnik, B.C., John S.M., & Schmitz, G. (2015). Milk consumption during pregnancy increases birth weight, a risk factor for the development of diseases of civilization. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4302093/.
- Mitri, M. (2019). Top 5 Nutrients for Postpartum Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/top-5-nutrients-for-postpartum-recovery/.
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