Recipes that pack a nutritional punch for you and your growing baby
You’re building a baby and now, more than ever, each and every mouthful counts. Iron, protein, folate, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids are among the many nutrients your body needs for healthy fetal development. Sounds like a mouthful? Don’t worry! Proper nutrient intake can be not only easy, but extremely yummy, too. See how:
Lamb Loin Chops and Bean Ragout
When your body cries out for protein, iron and fibre, this entrée delivers. Use any type of canned bean you desire — kidney, chickpea, black, navy or Romano — or try a can of mixed beans! Serve with a crusty, whole wheat baguette and side salad.
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cooking onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) kale, centre ribs removed, thinly sliced
19 oz. (540 mL) can beans, rinsed and drained
4 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
2 tsp (10 mL) homemade or store-bought basil pesto
Salt and pepper
8 lamb loin chops (about 2 lb/1 kg)
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan at medium-low. Add garlic and onions and cook 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add kale, beans, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. Add pesto, combine well and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Turn broiler on high. Baste lamb chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
To serve, spoon bean ragout into the middle of plate, and arrange two lamb chops on top.
Makes 4 servings.
Lamb + Beans = Protein
Your protein needs shift into high gear in the second and third trimester to help support cell growth and division, the building blocks of baby! Plan to add 25g of extra protein every day, bringing your daily intake to about 75g. That means an extra 3oz serving of lean meat, fish or poultry added to your daily diet. If you’re a vegetarian, add another cup of soy milk or serving of cooked lentils to your daily diet. Since you need an extra 300 calories each day, plan to spend those calories on protein, rather than desserts or high-fat snacks. In the protein department, this recipe hits two birds with one stone.
Lamb + beans + kale = Iron
Many sources of protein are also sources of iron, a nutrient easily depleted by a growing fetus and placenta, which require higher blood volume during pregnancy. There are two types of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme, found in beef, fish, poultry, pork and lamb, is easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Non-heme is not as easily absorbed and should be eaten in larger quantities, whether it’s beans and legumes, dried fruit, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, nuts or seeds.
Vitamin C (kale and tomatoes) increases iron absorption
Kale and tomatoes are both excellent sources of vitamin C which assist the body in absorbing non-heme iron. Help your body utilize the iron in vegetable sources by drinking orange juice with a bowl of iron-enriched cereal, choosing beans baked in tomato sauce or adding strawberries to a spinach salad.