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When my husband and I decided to get pregnant it was important to me to start preparing my body for pregnancy. This mostly involved ensuring I was getting all the key nutrients. While I began taking daily whole-food prenatal vitamins, I also wanted to make sure I was getting good nutrients from actual food. For me, the easiest way to do this was to pack a smoothie with as many of the key nutrients as possible. So I found smoothie-friendly foods high in vitamins and minerals important for fertility and pregnancy.
The result is what I like to call… the Super Baby Smoothie.
Note to pregnant mommies with other children: I want to mention that my toddler LOVES this smoothie as well. It is packed with so many healthy nutrients and vitamins from foods she currently refuses to eat on their own (namely spinach and beets). When I have made it during my second pregnancy, I will make enough for both of us and she downs it like it’s candy.
The Key Nutrients
There are many vitamins and nutrients that are important during pregnancy, but I was focused first on folate (not folic acid, which is not naturally occurring in food. Read about the difference and importance of one over the other, here). Pregnant woman are urged to get at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day.
The ingredients in this smoothie (which I’ll discuss in just a moment) are superfoods that are jam-packed with other important vitamins and minerals as well.
This one smoothie contains:
|Nutrient||% RDV during pregnancy||Important for:|
|Protein||15%||Producing amino acids and repairing cells|
|Folate||65%||Supporting placenta and preventing neural tube defects|
|Calcium||25%||Bones, teeth and preventing blood clots|
|Iron||12%||Preventing anemia, low birthweight and preterm delivery|
|Potassium||80%||Preventing leg cramps, maintaining fluids and electrolytes in your cells|
|Vitamin A||20%||Bones and teeth|
|Vitamin C||156%||Immune system and absorbing iron|
|Vitamin E||60%||Forming red blood cells and muscles|
|Thiamine (B-1)||25%||Energy and nervous system|
|Riboflavin (B-2)||40%||Energy, eyesight and skin|
|Vitamin B-6||30%||Forming red blood cells|
… and that’s why I call it the Super Baby Smoothie.
The Ingredients I Chose
- Berries. They are rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, folate and antioxidants which are great for your baby’s skin cells and immune system.
- Avocado. Avocados are super high in folate (over 25% of your RDV of folate per cup)! They also contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which aid in your baby’s brain development and can help prevent neural tube defects. Plus they are a great source of fiber (to aid pregnancy-induced constipation) and potassium (to prevent common pregnancy leg cramps).
- Spinach. Dark leafy greens are rich in folate (about 10% of your RDV per cup), vitamins A, C, K, and B as well as iron, which are good for baby’s nervous system, brain development and blood.
- Almonds. Nuts are an a great way to add protein to a smoothie as they contain about 10 grams per half cup. Almonds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and folate.
- Beets. I know this is a strange one but the berries and citrus mask the earthy flavor well (though it still may take a little getting used to). Beets are a pregnancy powerhouse food. They contain over 35% of your RDV of folate per cup and are also rich in potassium and antioxidants.
- Oranges & Orange Juice. These citrus fruits are not only one of the best natural sources of folate, but they are also high in vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron.
- Coconut water. I use coconut water instead of extra orange juice to lower the overall amount of sugar (even though it’s all naturally occurring sugars in this recipe) and in place of regular water to give the smoothie a little extra boost in electrolytes and potassium.
A Good Blender
First, I want to mention what a good idea investing in a good smoothie blender is if you’re pregnant. For two reasons… 1. Smoothies are an excellent and easy way to get lots of good stuff baby needs for development into your body. 2. Once you have your baby, you can make your own baby food with it and/or use it later on to give your toddler a vitamin-packed, superfood meal or snack they’ll love.
If this is not your first child and you’ve got other little ones running around, they will also love this smoothie! This Squeasy Snacker is perfect for kids not yet coordinated enough to drink from a cup and straw. I love it so much I wrote a whole post on why it’s awesome, which you can check out here. But the main thing you need to know is that it’s a super easy-to-clean, reusable silicone pouch that works perfectly for feeding babies and toddlers smoothies.
360 Cup Straw Lids
Did you know you can convert your child’s Munchkin 360 cups into cups with a little mouth opening or straw as they get older? I didn’t know this for the longest time, and I feel like it needs to be advertised more! Now that my daughter has outgrown the Squeasy Snacker, but isn’t quite ready for a lidless cup with a smoothie straw (especially with a super-staining berry smoothie), I use these lids on her old 360 cups and it works great. While it may not look like it, the straw is plenty wide for her to easily suck up the smoothie as long as it’s smoothie consistency and not Dairy Queen Blizzard consistency.
And now, without further ado…
Super Baby Smoothie
Yields about a 20-ounce smoothie
- 3/4 cup Frozen Mixed Berries
- 1 Clementine ((can substitute mandarin or half of a small orange))
- 1 cup Spinach, packed
- 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
- 1/2 cup Golden Beets, sliced ((see notes))
- 1/2 Avocado
- 3/5 cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Coconut Water ((can substitute with regular water))
Pack it all into a blender, blend it up and enjoy!
A note on beets. I typically use golden beets because they have a milder flavor; however, sometimes they aren’t in stock at my grocer and you can easily substitute red beets. You can also roast the beets or keep them raw. Roasted will have a milder flavor.
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