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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Lighter Fried Fish Fillet

Tips for Pregnant Mothers

I set up a nutrition resource booth last evening at a local Community Wide Baby Shower event held at the Woodford County Health Department in Eureka, Illinois. This is a great annual event for pregnant women and new mothers to receive vital information from a variety of organizations. Just how does nutrient needs change when you are expecting?

Making healthy choices while pregnant will help your baby's growth. However, even though you are the nutrient provider for your baby, you are not exactly "eating for two." In fact, you don't need to eat any additional calories in the first trimester! During the second trimester, an additional 340 calories are recommended. That's about the amount of calories in 5 Nabisco Double Stuffed Oreo cookies.  Although, I wouldn't recommend that! Try adding 3 healthy snacks to your day, such as 6 ounces of low-fat yogurt in the morning, 1 ounce of almonds in the afternoon, and a frozen banana dipped half-way in chocolate in the evening.

In the third trimester, you should aim for 450 more calories a day than when you are not pregnant. That's equivalent to a peanut butter sandwich and a large apple. It certainly does not mean to double your portions at every meal! To find out how much of each food group you need go to the Pregnant and Breastfeeding section at


You may be wary of eating seafood while pregnant because of possible mercury content. However, most of the commonly eaten fish, such as shrimp, salmon, catfish, canned light tuna, and Pollock are not high in mercury. A well-balanced diet that includes 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and your baby's proper growth and development. Fish high in mercury that should be avoided are shark, swordfish, King Mackerel and tilefish. Albacore "white" tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So if you eat tuna steaks or canned Albacore tuna eat only 6 ounces per week or go with another low mercury option.

Try this easy recipe for a taste of fried fish, without ever having to fry it! Use any white fish, such as Pollock, catfish or tilapia.


Lighter Fried Fish Fillets (Printable PDF)

Non-stick cooking spray

1 pound fish fillets

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

1½ Tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1½ Tablespoons whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika (optional)

1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil

Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rinse fillets under cold water, pat dry. Combine parmesan cheese, cornmeal, flour, pepper and paprika in plastic bag. Shake fillets one at a time in bag to coat with cheese mixture. Place fillets in baking dish. Drizzle oil over fillets. Bake about 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish or until fish is opaque when flaked. Fillets may need to be turned half way through baking.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 190 Calories, 8 grams fat, 220 milligrams sodium, 3 grams carbohydrate, 22 grams protein

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