One of the more surprising things during pregnancy is that pregnant women need so. much. protein every day. In fact, experts recommend 75 to 100 grams of protein per day.


Protein positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy, and it plays a role in your increasing blood supply.
American Pregnancy Association

This salad is really simple to make from ingredients you probably already have in the house, and is packed with protein for mama and baby.


The total protein in this salad, which is a great mix of crunchy, soft, and crisp textures, is between 30-40 grams, depending on how many eggs you include.

The salad is also filled with fiber for good digestion and good Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids from the hemp seeds. Bonus: it’s also colorful and really delicious!

Tip: Change the type of cheese, swap in chicken, turkey, or salmon for the eggs, or try another grain instead of quinoa depending on your mood and what you have on hand.

Protein Packed Prenatal Salad Recipe

Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped spinach, green leaf lettuce, or romaine
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small beet, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw shelled hemp seeds (10 g protein)
  • 1 ounce feta (pasteurized) or cheddar cheese (7 g protein)
  • 2-3 scrambled or hard-cooked eggs (12-18 g protein)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (4 grams protein)

Directions:

Toss all ingredients well with White Balsamic Vinaigrette except the eggs—you’ll want to serve those on top of the veggies. Serve immediately.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Makes 3-4 Servings

Tip: This dressing is very acidic, which I tend to love, so if you prefer something slightly less so, simply switch use more olive oil and less vinegar. You can also use white wine vinegar if that’s easier to find than white balsamic (which I usually buy at Trader Joe’s.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated with a fine microplane
  • pinch salt and pepper

Directions:

Shake all ingredients together in a small mason jar. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

What are your favorite protein-packed meal and snack ideas? Comment below and share your go-to ideas!