We're in the final stretch! Just a month and a half until our third baby is born, and I'm trying to make healthier choices like quinoa for breakfast instead of a craving-induced binge of Cocoa Puffs and peanut butter. Not that I've ever tried that combo after waking up inexplicably famished at 3am.

Final stretch of pregnancy

My last OBGYN appointment didn't go so well, as the doctor sternly informed me that I've gained weight too rapidly – 16 pounds in 10 weeks – and my blood glucose tests are in the high range. She also went on to critique my new baby's name, lectured me for not being immunized and told me I should see a tubal ligation specialist before I go on having too many kids. This HMO thing is a real joy. But I'm versed enough in the tests at this point to read the results myself and know that I AM overdoing it with the sweets.

Toddler eating quinoa for breakfast

I've been trying SO hard to keep the family eating healthy, but it's clearly been a bit of a challenge for me these last couple of months.

Staying active with family while pregnant

The kids and I have stayed pretty active, but the hormones are throwing me off. All I want are carbohydrates! Ongoing bouts of nausea have had me avoiding vegetables and other stomach-unfriendly foods, and I have a weird aversion to almost all meat this time around. The combo doesn't add up well in terms of my body's protein needs, and no amount of vitamins can replace the iron and other essential nutrients that I've been missing out on. Talk about getting derailed from the health train. Geez.

Benefits of Quinoa for Breakfast

The friendly nurse who weighs me in at the beginning of each appointment suggested I try eating quinoa for breakfast to stave off cravings the rest of the day and pack in a few more nutrients in a palate-friendly package. I was surprised when I investigated and found out how many benefits this “ancient grain” (which is technically more closely related to a vegetable) has packed into its little package.

5 Benefits of Quinoa for Breakfast

  1. Protein. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams of protein (even more than the 6 grams that are found in a large egg) and contains all 8 essential amino acids.
  2. Low glycemic index. Eating quinoa for breakfast doesn't throw blood sugar out of whack like toast or other grain options.
  3. Calcium. For people like myself who have to minimize dairy consumption, quinoa for breakfast is an excellent option with 30 milligrams of calcium per cup.
  4. Iron. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 15 percent of the recommended daily iron intake. This helps maintain energy levels and stabilize mood.
  5. High in fiber. Helps detox your system and keep you, ahem, “regular.”

No wonder it's been all the rage in everything from dinner side dishes to breakfast bowls lately!

Wild Veggie Breakfast Bowls

Wild Veggie reached out to work with us and I was stoked to find that they make a bowl featuring – you guessed it – quinoa for breakfast! They combine quinoa with pearl barley, steel-cut oats and organic sugar or fruit. Mega bonus points: it's non-GMO certified and cooks up in the microwave in less than two minutes. So I don't have to expend my currently-limited energy trying to cook anything up from scratch.

Nate eating a healthy meal of quinoa for breakfast

I've known about Wild Veggie for awhile as the brand has some seriously devoted fans in the natural health community, and I was SO excited to find that they're selling their breakfast bowls at select Costco locations in Southern California. So those of us in the sunshine state can enjoy quinoa for breakfast while we simultaneously stock up on our bulk paper towels. Major win. Follow Wild Veggie on Facebook and Twitter for delicious recipes and product updates.

Does your family eat quinoa for breakfast?