Seafood During Pregnancy & A Healthy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Recipe
Seafood restrictions can cause a lot of confusion during pregnancy. It’s good for you, yet there are certain types to stay away from. And like most things, it’s best not to overdo it.
What seafood should I avoid during pregnancy?
You want to stay away from “high mercury fish” like shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. But shrimp (along with salmon and a few others) are completely safe as long as they are cooked thoroughly!
How much seafood should I eat during pregnancy?
While you still want to limit yourself to two-three servings a week (or less than 12 ounces) getting a little of these foods are beneficial for many reasons including:
- high in protein, which you have an increased need for during pregnancy.
- rich in iron to account for your higher blood volume and to prevent anemia
- a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, to aid in brain development (we want smart babies, right?!)
So as long as you’re not getting more than 2-3 seafood meals/week, you can (and should) enjoy shrimp and other low-mercury seafood during your pregnancy.
Healthy Shrimp Pasta Alfredo
We think you’ll enjoy this shrimp recipe in particular!
This shrimp pasta dish has the yummiest, creamiest sauce! It has a milk base, which provides a lot of important nutrients that you need during pregnancy, like B vitamins for energy, protein for baby’s muscle development, vitamin A for vision and brain development, and calcium and vitamin D to ensure dense, strong bones (for you AND the baby!)
We used whole milk, but you can also use 2% or skim milk here without compromising taste if you’re still trying to watch your calorie intake during your pregnancy.
Along with being creamy, and high in plenty of vitamins and minerals, it’s also super easy to throw together for a last minute week-night dinner for the whole family- we promise hubby will love this one, too!
All you have to do is sauté some shrimp, chop a few veggies, boil some pasta and toss it all together! That’s it. It’s an easy, quick, and healthy dinner we think you’ll be making more than once! ;)
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 pound fresh shrimp, uncooked, shelled and deveined
- 4 roma tomatoes, fresh, chopped into large cubes
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 oz pasta
- 1 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until melted. Add the shrimp and 2 tbsp minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute on one side. Sprinkle a little salt on the shrimp then flip them and cook for another 1-2 minutes until pink on the other side.
- Add the tomatoes, spinach, and remaining garlic to the shrimp, then mix everything well, and remove from heat while you cook pasta.
- Add chicken broth, milk, flour, onion powder, basil, parsley and uncooked pasta to a pan and stir well to combine.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the shrimp mixture to the noodles and cover the pan.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring once or twice during this time.
- Remove from heat and stir in freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed.