6 Smoothie Recipes to Enjoy When Pregnant

mom and daughter making smoothie

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There are lots of reasons smoothies might be especially appealing during pregnancy. When you're pregnant, especially during the first trimester, you might experience nausea and vomiting (often referred to as morning sickness) that can make your typical go-to meals tougher to get or keep down.

As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience heartburn and a feeling of fullness making it common to need some adjustments to go-to meals and snacks. Smoothies can often be helpful.

While discomforts like nausea can certainly create a need for something cold and easy to digest, like a smoothie, many pregnant people are also busy with all of their usual life stuff on top of prepping for your baby's arrival. Smoothies can be a great way to nutrient-rich foods into snacks and meals when cooked versions of those foods or bigger meals aren't working.

In addition, they are easy to sip on the go, fast to make, and a nice option to have around for snacks or meals. They are especially useful when time is tight or energy is lagging.

Why Choose Smoothies When You're Pregnant?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who are pregnant require a variety of food from each food group daily (grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, and dairy (or calcium-rich dairy alternatives such as fortified soy milk).

A smoothie can be a quick and simple way to get several food groups (and important nutrients found in these food groups) into a fast, easy-to-sip snack or meal. There are several reasons those who are pregnant might want to give smoothies a try.

Smoothies Are Easy to Digest

For times when it’s hard to get a meal down due to nausea, heartburn, or digestion issues, a smoothie is a viable alternative. Liquids tend to empty from the stomach faster than solids, so a smoothie likely won't feel like it's sitting around in your stomach (because it's not).

This can be helpful during periods of nausea or when you need to reduce symptoms of heartburn. You can also sip it with a straw and drink it slowly—which is really helpful if nausea is in the picture. Cold foods are generally easier to tolerate when you’re feeling nauseated since they do not typically have strong odors like warm foods do.

Lindsay Taylor, MA, CNE, and author of "The Food Doula Cookbook," is a pre and postnatal nutrition expert who understands the struggle with food during the first trimester. She relates to the struggle some pregnant people face of not finding the same foods appealing that they normally do or only being able to eat one or two things.

Taylor has created smoothies that are easy to drink and packed with components that include several food groups. Best of all, smoothies are not only packed with nutritious ingredients, smoothies are delicious and provide lots of flavor profiles to choose from.

No matter what you're craving (or not craving) you will likely find something that sounds appealing. According to Yaffi Lova, RDN, of the Toddler Test Kitchen, “The fiber [these smoothies] provide is great for supporting healthy bowel patterns.”

Smoothies Can Be Nutrient-Rich

Pregnancy smoothies are a fast and easy way to get vegetables, fruit, high fiber carbohydrates, fat, and protein into your diet when you might not be feeling like including these in most meals/snacks. Lvova often reminds her pregnant clients that getting all their nutrients is important. "If you don't have enough nutrition in a day, your body will sacrifice its own stores to ensure baby's nutrition," she explains.

It's also important to remember that a prenatal multivitamin and an additional calcium supplement can help prevent nutrient gaps. Smoothies also allow you to incorporate specific ingredients that help alleviate certain ails of pregnancy. 

“Good pregnancy smoothies are helpful in all stages of pregnancy when experiencing nausea, heartburn, constipation, leg cramps, fatigue, and other symptoms,” says nutritionist Aundrea Leven at Family First Wellness.

Smoothies are an especially convenient option when you are feeling nauseated and unable to eat a solid meal (that's often aromatic) but are able to sip something cold. You can enjoy your highly portable and mostly odorless smoothie on the couch, outside, or even on the go.

Smoothies Satiate

Smoothies, loaded with satisfying ingredients, can be a small meal or snack on their own or part of a meal or snack. You can pair smoothies with whole grain toast topped with nut or seed butter or avocado, an apple with nut or seed butter, hard-boiled eggs, or oatmeal and fruit to make it into a meal.

“When you're looking for a quick and [nutrient-rich] option, consider drinking [your] smoothie with a piece of fruit or nuts," says Leven.

When you’re hungry but finding it hard to eat anything solid, sipping a smoothie can satisfy hunger without exacerbating nausea. A smoothie that combines high fiber carbohydrates with protein and some fat is usually the most likely to keep you feeling satisfied longer.

Ingredients like fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains like rolled oats, are a great source of fiber. Using yogurt as a base can provide additional protein while adding grains will create a heartier smoothie.

Smoothies Provide Variety

You can different fruits and ingredients in a smoothie for a variety of drinks that will taste as sweet or tangy as you like. Use what’s fresh and in season at the market, or pick the favorites you know you can stomach.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and often more accessible/easier to use if you're not feeling 100%. Follow some well-thought-out recipes for pregnancy but try putting in more or less of an ingredient to adjust the taste or consistency.

"Each person is different, and so is each pregnancy—experiment to see what works for you," says Lvova.

Different kinds of frozen fruit, whether you freeze them yourself or buy them in the frozen food section of the grocery store, are a great choice to add to smoothies. Drop frozen berries, bananas, peaches, and more in the blender and you'll get an ice-cold smoothie right away without having to chill it first.

For those with an aversion to vegetables, blending them into a smoothie is a clever way to get your greens without tasting them. Use only the leafy parts of kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens. Although the stems contain plenty of fiber and minerals, they sometimes taste bitter.

Soothing Mango Green Smoothie

Taylor developed this sweet mango-based smoothie with anti-nausea aids to not only please the palate but also pack in some nausea relief.

Soothing Mango Green Smoothie Recipe
Amount Ingredient Notes
1 ½ cups Water 
1 cup Spinach Lightly packed
1 tablespoon Hemp hearts
1 Apple Cored and roughly chopped
1 small piece Fresh ginger Peeled and sliced, approximately 1 teaspoon
½ teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
8 Raw cashews
1 cup Frozen mango

How to Prepare

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender, and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed, adding water to thin, ice to cool, more cashews to thicken, or more mango to sweeten. 

Nutrition Benefits

If you are struggling with an upset stomach, nausea, or digestive issues, this smoothie is a good one to try. "The lemon and ginger are helpful to ward off any nausea, and the cashews and hemp hearts [contribute some] protein which is an essential component of blood sugar control, a major player in the nausea game," says Taylor.

Nausea in pregnancy can be caused by hormone changes, which for some pregnant people can be helped by eating regularly to stabilize blood sugar. To help regulate your blood sugar and to potentially reduce the severity of nausea, try to eat a balanced diet that includes foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates.

Labor Prep Smoothie

The Labor Prep Smoothie is perfect for the end of pregnancy. Taylor developed it to be packed with the three most important components of a labor snack—carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.

Labor Prep Smoothie Recipe
 Amount Ingredient Notes
2 cups Iced raspberry leaf tea See below for recipe
1 cup Frozen raspberries
¼ cup Rolled oats  
¼ cup Frozen avocado chunks
3 Medjool dates  
2 tablespoons Collagen powder Optional
1 tablespoon Ground flaxseed or hemp hearts  
1 tablespoon Lemon juice  

Recipe for Iced Raspberry Leaf Tea

  1. Steep 4 raspberry leaf tea bags in 4 cups (1 liter) of water for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of 1 lemon.
  3. Let cool in the fridge until ready to use.

How to Prepare

  1. Add all ingredients to your high-powered blender.
  2. Blend at high speed for a minute, or until smooth.

Nutrition Benefits

This pregnancy smoothie includes two of the most popular end-of-pregnancy foods—raspberry leaf tea and dates—which have been studied to potentially encourage shorter labor. A small study from 1998 found that the women who drank raspberry leaf tea spent less time in labor.

According to a small 2011 study, the women who ate dates had a shorter first stage of labor and a higher chance of having spontaneous labor. Both of these studies were very small and would need to be repeated. But if you enjoy the taste of raspberry leaf tea and/or dates, incorporating them into your meals or snacks can be delicious and might have health benefits.

"This [smoothie is] a popular choice not only for the big day but the weeks leading up to delivery," says Taylor. "I love this as an early labor snack because even a few sips here and there—and let’s face it, that might be all you’ll be able to eat—will support your body with an energy boost as it works hard to bring you closer to meeting your baby."

Banana Berry Pregnancy Smoothie

Lvova came up with her pregnancy smoothies with nutrients in mind, choosing each ingredient for its ability to provide nutrition to the person whose body is working hard to nurture the life inside them.

Banana Berry Pregnancy Smoothie Recipe
Amount Ingredient Notes
1 Banana Frozen in chunks
1 ¾ cups Berries Fresh or frozen
1 cup Fresh spinach  
1 cup Milk Whole cow's milk or fortified vegan alternative
1 teaspoon Hemp hearts  
¼ block Soft tofu

How to Prepare

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend at high speed for a minute, or until smooth.

Nutrition Benefits

This smoothie is particularly useful during the first trimester thanks to bananas, which provide potassium, an important electrolyte that will need to be replaced if there has been any vomiting. The addition of berries not only gives the smoothie a sweet and tangy taste, but they are one of the highest fiber fruits and can help minimize constipation.

Protein comes in both plant and animal forms in this smoothie recipe. "Hemp hearts are a nice source of plant protein. The fat contained in hemp hearts can help support cardiovascular health," says Lvova.

Cow's milk provides choline, which is an important nutrient during pregnancy. Choline plays an important role in brain development and other things. Although milk provides choline, eggs, fish, and soybeans are some of the most potent sources.

Maple Peach Smoothie

Lvova used yogurt and milk as the base for this pregnancy smoothie to ensure that both mom and baby get the calcium they need.

Maple Peach Smoothie Recipe
 Amount Ingredient Notes
1 ½ cups Whole milk Greek yogurt Or vegan alternative
½ cup Whole milk Or vegan alternative
1 ⅓ cups Peach slices Fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons Ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
2 tablespoons Maple syrup

How to Prepare

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend at high speed for a minute or two until smooth.

Nutrition Benefits

Flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been studied for mood regulation; and DHA, one of the omega-3s found in flax in smaller amounts (and larger amounts in fatty fish like salmon) can support brain development.

"The fiber flax seeds provides is also great for supporting healthy bowel patterns," says Lvova.

Calcium is also a star in the Maple Peach Smoothie, and for good reason. Yogurt is a great way to get both calcium and protein into a smoothie. Calcium is especially important to get enough of each day because this is one of the nutrients that a pregnant person's body will give to a growing baby from their own stores—meaning if you don't get enough during pregnancy, you might wind up with lower bone stores.

Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake Recipe
Amount Ingredient Notes
8 ounces Liquid of your choice Cow's milk or calcium-fortified dairy alternative
½ Avocado
½ cup Organic baby spinach  
1 scoop Protein powder Look for a powder that is just protein. Some powders contain herbs or supplements not safe for pregnancy.

How to Prepare

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend at high speed until smooth.

Nutrition Benefits

Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids which creates a creamy and rich taste in the smoothie. They are high in fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Avocados contain fat, which assists the body in absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins. They also contain fiber which can help minimize constipation.

Leven also loves to include nutrient-packed ingredients like spinach and yogurt in her smoothie recipes. "Grass-fed whey and organic yogurt are healthy choices because they contain calcium and protein," says Leven. The addition of spinach packs another healthful punch since it is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. Research has shown that these nutrients help with constipation and fetus development.

Super Smoothie

Leven wants her smoothies to be helpful not only during pregnancy but also during the postpartum period. When new parents are healing, sleep-deprived, and in need of something quick and nutrient-dense, this would be a great option. 

Super Smoothie Recipe
 Amount Ingredient Notes
4 ounces Liquid of your choice Cow's milk or calcium-fortified non-dairy alternative
¼ cup Organic plain Greek-style yogurt  
1 cup Spinach  
3 Organic baby carrots  
¼ cup Blueberries Fresh or frozen
½ Frozen banana  
¼ cup Other fresh/frozen fruit Strawberries, papaya, mango, pineapple, etc.
2 tablespoons Wheat germ Substitute with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseeds for a gluten-free option
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to your high-powered blender.
  2. Blend at high speed until smooth.

Nutritional Benefit

It's not always easy to stay hydrated when pregnant and breastfeeding. When you're pregnant, you need more water than you did before. Your body is using it to form amniotic fluid, support higher blood volume, carry nutrients, and flush out waste. Water intake is also important during breastfeeding to support lactation.

This Super Smoothie can help increase nutrient and liquid intake with water, carbs, vitamin C, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, plant compounds, and wheat germ. "Wheat germ is rich with folic acid, which is important before conception and during pregnancy," says Leven.

Getting enough folic acid during the first several weeks after conception is crucial because it helps decrease the risk of brain and spinal cord birth defects. Folic acid can be found naturally in some green leafy vegetables, most berries, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits. Even though it can be found in foods, it is very important to take a supplement that contains folic acid to ensure the you consistently get the required amount.

A Word from Verywell

It's not always easy to eat a nutritious meal during pregnancy when you don't feel like you can get anything down. We wanted to provide options that helped you get the nutrients you need in a way that might sound more appealing on days when nausea is it at its worst.

These pregnancy smoothie recipes are a great place to start. You can tweak them for flavor and consistency. You can also experiment with your own concoctions. Consider talking to a registered dietitian for more ideas and healthy add-ons to your smoothies.

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7 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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