Cook Fast, Live Young: Healthy Eating While Pregnant


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Pregnancy can be an exciting but also nerve-wracking time. Your body is changing in ways you can’t even begin to understand. When you feel bad, you worry that something’s gone wrong. On those rare occasions when you feel good, you worry that you don’t feel bad. And one of the biggest worries has got to be your diet. Not only how hard it will be to follow your doctor’s advice and change everything for the apparently very picky rugrat, but how much eating in this healthy, fetus-safe way is going to cost you. Especially when you’re already frantic about how expensive the kid’s going to be!

But worry not, moms-to-be, there are ways that you can eat healthy and still keep a few dollars of your hard-earned money. Water. You give life. So does water. Enjoy that compatibility and start drinking a lot more of it instead of the caffeinated drinks you shouldn’t be having anyway or expensive juices. Just buy a good filter to make sure you’re getting rid of the nastiest things in your tap water and enjoy!

Popeye on ice. No, it’s not a new Disney costume spectacular. Spinach is one of the healthiest foods out there, rich in vitamins K, A, C, calcium, iron, potassium, fiber, manganese, folate… I could probably keep going, but you get the idea. Lots of good there. You can buy it frozen (hence the ice) at a very cheap price, so it won’t put much of a dent in your food budget. Spinach is also one of those foods that can be added to just about anything, so even if you’re not the biggest fan, you can hide it in foods you love and still reap the benefits!

Rice and beans. Three words: cheap, cheap, cheap. These inexpensive items are versatile, filling, and an excellent source of iron, which the little one growing inside you desperately needs.

Be generic. Healthy food is more important than pretty food, so get over buying the brand names and go for the generic versions. Not only are they significantly less expensive, they almost always have nutrition info that’s comparable to their name brand counterparts, and sometimes it’s ever better!

Stay in and cook… or better yet, have someone do it for you. Restaurants and easy-bake boxed foods can be tempting to even the most energetic of us, and pregnant women are certainly not that. Unfortunately, this is a time when it’s vital to not only eat healthy, but to know exactly what you’re eating–that’s never going to happen when you go out. It may be harder, but brown bagging it and actually cooking meals from ingredients will be healthier and will definitely save you money over going out to eat.

Splurge… once in a while. This may seem counter-intuitive, but eating healthy and cheaply while you’re pregnant isn’t easy, and breaking your own rules can sometimes make you feel better about them. Just make sure you’re splurging on a healthy item or two that you love, like avocados or raspberries. And of course, be aware of the foods you should avoid while pregnant. Avoiding them–many of which are pricey–can also help you to save money.

Juliana Weiss-Roessler has ten years of professional writing and editing experience. For four years, she managed the web content for the star of an Emmy-nominated reality series. Currently, she is an editor for the geek girl e-zine, a contributor to the career blog at, and owner of the food blog Follow her @cookfast on Twitter and learn more about her work at

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  1. ChuckG

    3 years ago

    Spinach is an acquired taste (I think so). If you are not able to eat it cooked (not me) I suggest you try it raw mixed in with a green salad. You’ll hardly know it’s there and get the benefits just the same.

  2. champ76

    3 years ago

    no spinach for me at all-yuck !

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