9 Best Pregnancy Cookbook Reviews

It’s always a delight to sit down and put something together that is all about what you CAN eat, make, and enjoy when you’re pregnant because so many of the pieces I publish on this blog are about what not to eat when you’re pregnant.

I’m frequently asked for ideas for pregnancy cookbooks that promote a balanced diet. You’ve definitely seen that there are a ton of them available, and I understand that it can be difficult to decide which one to pick.

Here is my top ten list. Notably, I’ve only included those authored by licensed medical professionals like doctors, nurses, nutritionists, or dietitians.
Although there are many well-intentioned pregnancy recipes floating around the internet, I believe that because nutritional science in pregnancy is so crucial, it is preferable to listen guidance from experienced experts.

Without regard to order

The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook

The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook is by author, Dr. Sonali Ruder (also known as The Foodie Physician), who takes an extra step in this cookbook to detail how and why you should eat certain ingredients, and why they’re ‘good’ for you and baby.

Many people who’ve bought this book commented that this book is straight to the point, no nonsense, tasty food.

There are also several pictures of the recipes in the book – something that is often left out of pregnancy cookbooks.

The Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook

The Healthy, Happy Pregnancy book is a little different to a normal cookbook because it’s organized by pregnancy symptoms, rather than as a standard meal guide.

Some find this hugely helpful, since food is dictated very much by how you feel in pregnancy.

The book is written by Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, both Registered Dietitians. It contains over 125 recipes, so there’s plenty to choose from.

The recipes seem to be a little more creative than others, incorporating some lesser-known ingredients. If you’re a meat and two veg kinda person, this might not appeal, but if you’re a foodie – go for it.

It has over 125 recipes, so there’s plenty of options for all tastes.

Since the focus is on real, wholesome food, it’s another of those books that will continue to be useful to feed the family after your pregnancy, too.

Eating For Pregnancy: Month by Month Nutrition Guide

What I like about Eating for Pregnancy is that it frequently gets revised (they’re on the 3rd edition now), and the science and recipes are constantly updated.

This recipe book is written by a trio of highly qualified women including Rose Ann Hudson, an RDN, and Teresa Knight, who’s an Ob/Gyn.

Unlike many other cookbooks, its 150 recipes are on a month-by-month basis, so you’ll be getting the best recipe advice according to your exact stage of pregnancy and nutritional needs.

Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-To-Be

‘Drinking For Two’ covers one of the most common issues in pregnancy: what to drink when you can’t have alcohol or much caffeine that is both interesting and good for you.

For this reason, the book makes a perfect gift for pregnant women, too.

There are loads of inspiring drinks in here that you’ll probably continue to enjoy, even after baby is born, and particularly when you’re breastfeeding.

They’re not all just non-alcoholic versions of cocktails either (though I like the Mock Jito a lot!).

The Drinking for Two book is written by Kerry Jane Criss, who holds a MS in Nutritional Epidimiology, and Diana Licalzi Maldonado, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

As you might expect, it’s also packed with some more general pregnancy nutrition recommendations, all fully cited and referenced.

The Feel-Good Pregnancy Cookbook

This Feel Good Pregnancy Cookbook is written by Ryann Kipping, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Educator. She’s very well known on Instagram, but also wrote this stand-alone cookbook for pregnant women.

It’s one of the most well-reviewed books out there, with over 100 recipes.

Unlike many other pregnancy cookbooks, the ‘preview’ option on Amazon also includes a full list of the recipes, so you can decide in advance if they’re the kind of thing you (and your family or partner) will love.

My favorites are the soups, which I’m happy to eat for more than nine months as they’re satisfying and healthy for anyone – not just if you’re pregnant!

The Whole 9 Months Cookbook

The Whole Nine Months cookbook has over 100 recipes, written by Dr Jennifer Lang, an OB/GYN, and Dr Dana Angelo, who is also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

There’s a lot of information, guidance and research in this one, rather than just recipes.

If you want more on scientific background, then you might appreciate it – though others say they would rather the book was filled wall to wall with recipes instead!

What many moms-to-be find useful is the trimester-by-trimester information, and this cookbook is particularly strong on breakfasts, which can be challenging if you’re suffering from morning sickness.

Real Food for Pregnancy

Real Food for Pregnancy is by Lily Nichols, who is both a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

She has another book on gestational diabetes, which you should definitely read if you’ve been diagnosed during your pregnancy.

Real Food for Pregnancy is something that I strongly recommend every pregnant woman (and their partner) reads.

It’s a go-to book on the science behind real food and pregnancy nutrition. It’s not a cookbook, I ought to point out, but I’m including it here as a reference book on the “whys” behind certain food recommendations.

Pregnancy Recipes First Trimester

Are you looking for first-trimester recipes?

Whether or whether you are experiencing morning sickness, the first trimester can be a bit of a nutritional struggle. All my wife Anni wanted to eat was little, regular servings of dull, beige-colored foods that were high in carbohydrates. Anni discovered that the sight of anything green and healthy made her feel ill. As I am the only cook in our household, I simply used wholegrain pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes in place of their fatty counterparts if carbs were all she desired. I prepared a lot with chicken, prawns, and tofu this trimester because protein is extremely necessary. In those first few weeks, dishes made with fish and beef weren’t well received.

Psst.. looking for second trimester recipes? Click here.

Chicken, broccoli and carrot soup with a parmesan toast

This is a delicious warming bowl of goodness for cold winter evenings. This particular dish is packed with broccoli which due to its high folate, fibre and vitamin content, is a fantastic pregnancy superfood. The parmesan toast also satisfied my wife’s salt cravings in her first trimester.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 carrots
  • One onion
  • One head of broccoli
  • Handfuls of thyme, sage and rosemary
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • Two slices of brioche bread
  • 60g grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Boil the stock in a pan and then reduce to a simmer. Peel and finely slice the carrots and place in the pan.
  2. Roughly tear up the rosemary, sage and thyme and add.
  3. Finely slice the chicken and add to the pan before roughly chopping the broccoli and also adding in.
  4. Bring the liquid back to the boil and cook for at least five minutes (you want to ensure that the chicken is completely cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile place 2 slices of brioche bread under the grill, toast slightly then remove.
  6. Using a stick blender, mix the soup thoroughly. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  7. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the brioche and place back under the grill for 1-2 minutes until the parmesan has melted.
  8. Pour the soup into bowls and place the toast on top of the mixture.

Why is this good for mum and baby?

ChickenProtein, vitamin B, zinc
BriocheFibre, protein
ParmesanProtein, calcium, vitamin A
CarrotsVitamin A, C, potassium, fibre, calcium
BroccoliVitamins A, B, C, E, K, folate, potassium, fibre
RosemaryVitamin A, B, C, folate
ThymeFibre, Vitamin B, C, calcium
Onion/shallotsFibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, potassium

Spanish-style risotto with king prawns, pea and asparagus

My wife couldn’t stomach large meals in her first trimester, so I wanted to create a dish that gave her the protein she needed, but in small portions, hence the prawns. It’s also a good looking dish and one I served at a dinner party we had early on in Anni’s pregnancy. At that point we were still keeping it secret so I threw a glass of white wine into the risotto to not only add to the taste but also throw our friends off of the scent, (all alcohol gets burnt off in the cooking process so it’s completely safe).

Ingredients

  • 200g king prawns, de-headed and de-shelled
  • 8-10 asparagus stems
  • 100g peas (frozen is fine)
  • 200g risotto rice (arborio or whatever you usually use)
  • Parmesan
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 25g butter

Method

  1. Thinly slice the onions and gently fry in the butter, before adding in the garlic.
  2. Add the risotto rice and paprika to the pan, ensuring that the rice is well covered with the butter and spice.
  3. Pour a cup or so of the stock to the risotto and stir.
  4. Carry on adding the stock bit by bit for around 10 minutes. The stock will slowly absorb into the rice.
  5. Remove the bottom quarter of the asparagus and slice the rest, taking care to keep the heads to one side.
  6. Add the sliced asparagus and peas to the rice and carry on adding in the stock.
  7. In a separate pan, fry the asparagus heads and prawns in a little butter.
  8. When the risotto is almost done, add in the juice of half a lemon and a generous grating of parmesan.
  9. Serve the risotto in bowls and arrange the prawns and asparagus on top. Arrange any way you like but a nice pattern is to place the prawn and asparagus one after each other.

Why is this good for mum and baby?

PrawnsProtein, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, Vitamins A, E
ParmesanProtein, calcium, vitamin A
ButterCalcium, vitamin A, E K
Arborio riceFibre, iron
Onion/shallotsFibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, potassium
GarlicVitamin B, C, Calcium, potassium, iron
PeasVitamins B, C, K, folate, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron
AsparagusFolate, potassium, magnesium, iron, protein, vitamin K,
LemonsVitamin B, C, calcium, magnesium, folate

Walnut, spinach and parmesan pesto with roasted chicken, spinach and broccoli

Homemade pesto is another great way of hiding folate-heavy greens and healthy nuts in food. What’s more, pesto is so quick and easy to make and keeps for weeks in the fridge and months in the freezer.

Anni would inhale big bowls of pasta during her first trimester, and so by making my own pesto we knew for sure that both her and our baby were getting enough vegetables at a time when eating fresh fruit and veg was a struggle.

When making pesto, always serve alongside pasta with a few twists in such as fusilli so the pesto has something to cling onto. Spaghetti for example wouldn’t work well with this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 300g wholemeal fusilli pasta
  • Half a head of broccoli
  • One handful of spinach
  • One shallot and two cloves of garlic

For the pesto

  • Two handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts
  • One tablespoon grated parmesan
  • One garlic clove
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray.
  2. Boil the pasta as per instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside. Keep the pasta water.
  3. Butterfly the chicken and cut in half. Place on the baking tray, season and roast for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway.
  4. Meanwhile, make your pesto in a small blender. Add all the ingredients and blend well. If the mixture is too dry, add more olive oil to bring all the ingredients together. Season to taste.
  5. Dice the onion and garlic, season and cook on a medium heat.
  6. Cut the broccoli into chunks and cook for 3 minutes in the pasta water. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  7. Add the pasta and broccoli to the pan and stir in some of the pesto. Add the spinach and cook for a further minute until it wilts.
  8. Divide into two bowls, place the chicken on top and serve with grated parmesan.

Why is this good for mum and baby?

ChickenProtein, vitamin B, zinc
ParmesanProtein, calcium, vitamin A
Wholegrain pastaFolate, magnesium, vitamin B, fibre
WalnutsOmega-3 fats, vitamin B, E fibre, protein
Onion/shallotsFibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, potassium
GarlicVitamin B, C, Calcium, potassium, iron
SpinachCalcium, Iron, Vitamin A, B, C, K, folate, magnesium,
BroccoliVitamins A, B, C, E, K, folate, potassium, fibre

Article by Adam Shaw from At Dad’s Table

Adam is a passionate chef, new dad and recent graduate from Leiths School of Food and Wine. He is on a mission to overhaul the way we think about food during pregnancy and early parenthood. When his wife became pregnant he started researching the best dishes he could make to keep her and the baby healthy. He was disappointed to see that most advice centred on what you can’t have, rather than on what you can and so decided to create his own recipes that celebrate all of the wonderful food that can make you feel good throughout pregnancy.

What class of food is best for a pregnant woman?

To support a healthy pregnancy and your baby’s development, include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products in your pregnancy diet. Limit foods and beverages with lots of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium

What is a healthy dinner for a pregnant woman?

Image result for best pregnancy cookbook

Lean proteins. Tofu, fish that’s low in mercury and lean meats like pork, chicken and turkey are all healthy options, even if they’re just layered on some seven-grain toast at the end of a long day.+

Is a vegetarian diet healthy during pregnancy?

Althought plant-based diets are at risk of nutritional deficiencies such as proteins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, omega-3, and vitamin B12, the available evidence shows that well planned vegetarian and vegan diets may be considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, but they require a strong awareness for a


If you’re doing a lot of cooking at home when you’re pregnant, you might also be interested in these articles:

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