With everything on hand, you won't have to dash to the market every other day to pick up items you need or crave.
Quick: Name three staples you should have in your kitchen now that you're pregnant. Did you say iron-filled greens, such as spinach? Folate- and fiber-packed canned beans? Calcium-rich, low-fat yogurt or cheese? If none of these is actually in your kitchen right now, your shopping list may need revamping. We're here to help.
Fit Pregnancy will guide you through stocking your pantry, freezer and fridge with essential foods for you and your growing baby. We'll fill you in on which goodies to stock up on, such as nut butters, baby carrots, instant oatmeal and frozen, calcium-fortified orange juice, as part of meeting your daily needs according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid (3 servings of low-fat dairy, 6 ounces of lean protein, 4 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of fruits and 9 servings of whole grains).
We'll suggest items to keep on hand to ease nausea (frozen lemonade and whole-grain crackers); satisfy cravings for sweets (fudge syrup over frozen yogurt); and tackle that I-can't-cope-with-cooking-tonight feeling (frozen cheese tortellini with tomato sauce from a jar).
Along with the list of staples, check out our five-day meal plan, which incorporates the foods you need (and now have handy). It also includes healthy snacks (see "Fast Snacks" on page 75). We'll also give you three nourishing recipes that serve four to eight, so you'll have plenty of leftovers.
Here's some additional helpful advice: Drink at least 64 ounces of fluid and aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day. Be sure to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement as recommended by your doctor or midwife. Use fats, oils and sweets sparingly. Avoid unpasteurized cheeses (see the "Refrigerator" list on page 72); raw or undercooked animal products, including sushi and rare meats; alcoholic beverages; tobacco products; and medications that have not been approved by your doctor or midwife. Exercise moderately at least three days a week. Most important, enjoy your extraordinary nine-month journey.
The Pregnant Woman's Perfect Kitchen
Follow our shopping list and you'll have most everything you need for our five-day meal plan. Note: This assumes you have certain staples on hand, such as flour, sugar, spices, vanilla extract, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
Freezer> Frozen baked goods: heat-and-bake pretzels; calcium-fortified, whole-grain frozen waffles Frozen entrees: veggie burgers, create–a-meal kits, cheese tortellini, low-fat burritos Frozen fruits: whole berries (not in syrup) and other favorites Frozen juices: lemonade and calcium-fortified orange juice Frozen vegetables: chopped spinach, edamame (soybeans in the pod), squash, corn and other favorites Treats: low-fat frozen yogurt, ice cream
Pantry> Canned beans Canned broths: chicken, vegetable Canned/jarred tomato products: red pasta sauce, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, chili sauce, salsa Canned water-packed tuna and salmon Dried fruits: dates, raisins (gold and brown), apricots, prunes Garlic Jarred olives Low-sodium soy sauce Nuts/seeds: whole nuts and seeds, including soy nuts; nut butters, such as soy and peanut; flaxseed (ground) Powdered nonfat dry milk Sweeteners: maple syrup, honey, chocolate syrup, all-fruit preserves Whole grains: quick-cooking brown and Arborio rice; wheat germ; couscous; whole-wheat pasta and bread; instant oatmeal; low-fat tortilla chips; whole-grain crackers and cereals, such as bran; low-fat granola
Refrigerator> Eggs Fresh fruit: apples, oranges, pears, lemons, limes and others Fresh vegetables: baby carrots, leafy greens, tomatoes, onions and other favorites Grain products and perishable seeds: tubes of pre-cooked polenta, whole-wheat tortillas, wheat germ, flaxseed Lean meats and seafood: pork tenderloin, ground turkey, chicken, salmon, white fish, scallops, shrimp. Avoid: fish that may contain mercury, including swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tilefish. Low-fat dairy: 2 percent milk, yogurt, reduced-fat cheeses, such as mozzarella, cream cheese and cheddar. Avoid: uncooked, unpasteurized cheeses such as feta, brie, Camembert, and blue-veined or Mexican-style cheeses, which can contain the bacteria listeria Soy products: plain, vanilla or chocolate soy milk; tofu
Five-Day Meal Plan This meal plan provides all of the nutrients you and your growing baby need each day. During your second and third trimesters, include two snacks daily from the "Fast Snacks" list at right. Each day's meals total approximately 2,200 calories without snacks, and 2,500 calories with two snacks. Recipes follow for foods marked with an asterisk (*).
>Day 1 Breakfast 2 whole-grain waffles with 2 teaspoons butter and 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk 1 cup orange juice
Lunch Tuna salad in a whole-wheat pita pocket (2 halves): Mix 4 ounces water-packed tuna with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1/4 cup diced celery and 1 tablespoon relish. 1/2 cup each red, yellow and green bell pepper slices 1 plum 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
Dinner 1 serving Turkey-Spinach Meatloaf* 1 large baked sweet potato topped with 2 teaspoons butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon 1 cup fresh steamed asparagus spears 2 whole-grain dinner rolls with 2 teaspoons butter 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
>Day 2 Breakfast 1 1/2 cups frosted whole-wheat-squares cereal 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk 1 banana 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1 teaspoon butter 1 cup grapefruit juice
Lunch Turkey-Spinach Meatloaf* sandwich: 1 slice meatloaf on 2 slices hearty- grain oatmeal bread 10 baby carrots 1/4 cup light ranch dressing 1 kiwi fruit 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
Dinner 4 ounces grilled sirloin steak 1 cup whole-wheat penne pasta with a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil 1 1/2 cups steamed fresh broccoli spears 2 teaspoons butter 1 serving Lemon Rice Pudding* 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
>Day 3 Breakfast English muffin sandwich: 1 toasted English muffin, 1 slice Canadian bacon, 1 egg cooked in 1 teaspoon butter and 1 slice cheddar cheese. 1 cup fresh raspberries and blueberries 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
Lunch 2 black bean burritos (1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese and 2 slices avocado divided between 2 whole-wheat flour tortillas); or 2 small frozen burritos. 1 cup orange-tangerine juice 1 serving Lemon Rice Pudding*
Dinner 4 ounces salmon grilled with 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce 1 cup cooked angel hair pasta with a sprinkle of cilantro 1 cup Brussels sprouts 2 teaspoons butter 1 cup mango chunks 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
>Day 4 Breakfast 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 1 tablespoon wheat germ 1/2 cinnamon-raisin bagel 1 tablespoon peanut butter 1 cup orange juice
Lunch Soy veggie burger sandwich: 1 soy veggie burger on 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1 slice provolone soy veggie cheese, 2 romaine lettuce leaves and 2 tomato slices. Mediterranean salad: 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1/2 cup romaine lettuce leaves, 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, 6 tomato wedges, 4 cucumber slices, 4 thin slices red onion and 2 tablespoons Italian dressing. 1 cup red and green grapes 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
Dinner 1 serving Southwestern Vegetarian Chili* 1 cup cooked brown rice 1 slice cornbread 1 teaspoon butter 1 pear 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
>Day 5 Breakfast 1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons raisins and 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk 1/2 grapefruit
Lunch 1 serving Southwestern Vegetarian Chili* 1 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous Mediterranean salad (See Day 4 lunch for recipe) 1 slice French bread 1 teaspoon butter 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
Dinner 4 ounces grilled lean pork loin 8 steamed baby red potatoes 1 cup cooked collard greens with 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic 2 teaspoons butter 1 cup cantaloupe and honeydew melon chunks 1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
>The recipes Note: g=grams, mg=milligrams, mcg=micrograms
Turkey-Spinach Meatloaf This juicy, protein-rich meatloaf contains iron and folate, as well as calcium from the milk and cheese. Oats contribute moisture and fiber. Serves 8 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour
2 large egg whites 3/4 cup 2 percent low-fat milk 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 11/2 pounds lean ground turkey 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, divided 6 ounces reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup chili sauce (ketchup can be substituted)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Stir in oats and let stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze the spinach gently in your hands to eliminate excess water. Combine spinach, turkey, onion, garlic and 1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning; mix well. Add oat mixture, cheese, a generous pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper; mix well. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, mounding meat slightly in the center (smooth the meatloaf into a rounded shape that slopes down on the sides, like a loaf of bread). Spread chili sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bake, uncovered, for 60 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into 8 slices. Nutritional information per serving (1 slice): 276 calories, 38% fat (12 g), 22% carbohydrate, 40% protein, 1 g fiber, 2 mg iron, 330 mg calcium, 76 mcg folate.
Southwestern Vegetarian Chili This simple dish contains pinto beans, which are an excellent source of fiber, while the tomatoes contribute vitamins A, B and C, as well as potassium and iron. Serves 4 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
1 cup vegetable stock 2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin 4 corn tortillas Hot sauce 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
Combine vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, beans and cumin in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, working in batches, place tortillas in a large, dry skillet over high heat. Using tongs, turn tortillas frequently until both sides blister and brown slightly. Cut tortillas into 1¼4-inch-wide strips and stir into chili. Season with hot sauce to taste. Ladle chili into shallow soup bowls and top with 2 tablespoons sour cream. Scatter with cilantro and scallions. Nutritional information per serving (1 1/4 cups): 263 calories, 14% fat (4 g), 67% carbohydrate, 19% protein, 15 g fiber, 4 mg iron, 197 mg calcium, 226 mcg folate.
Lemon Rice Pudding The Arborio rice in this recipe makes it a creamy, comforting treat. Golden raisins add fiber and a burst of flavor. Serves 8 prep time: 3 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
1 medium lemon 1 cup Arborio rice 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt 4 1/2 cups 2 percent low-fat milk 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grate zest from lemon. Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice into a small bowl; set zest and juice aside. Discard remaining lemon. In a heavy saucepan, combine lemon zest, rice, raisins, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Bring mixture just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often, or until rice is tender and pudding is creamy.
Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Serve warm or cold.
Nutritional information per serving (1/2 cup): 225 calories, 8% fat (2 g), 82% carbohydrate, 10% protein, .3 g fiber, 1 mg iron, 190 mg calcium, 62 mcg folate.