The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Some days, summer seems like it’s a season straight from heaven. On others, soaring temperatures produce scorching heat — the kind that’s a master at quelling appetites. Add to that the tidal waves of nausea and dreaded morning sickness that many expecting moms face, and it can be hard to think about eating anything. For some, warm foods seem even more unpalatable.
Hot stoves and ovens can be fatiguing, says Miriam Erick, M.S., R.D., senior perinatal nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an expert in morning sickness. The answer: Try eating cold foods. Besides keeping mothers-to-be free of the discomfort of a too-warm kitchen, chilled foods are easier to stomach for many women because they have less flavor and smell.
“Pregnant women who are feeling nauseous share what I call ‘radar nose,’” Erick says. “They have a heightened ability to pick up smells due to their increased hormone levels.” When they cook something, it’s those stronger-smelling odors that can send some women over the edge.
We suggest trying cool, nutrient-rich foods like those in the recipes that follow. Some dishes need a smidgen of cooking but are then chilled and eaten cold. If you don’t feel up to the cooking part, delegate to a spouse, family member or friend. After all, when it comes to preparing for baby, you’re already doing most of the work.
Summer Berry Smoothie
You can either freeze fresh raspberries and blueberries (scatter them on a baking sheet in the freezer and then store in a lidded container) or buy them frozen at the supermarket.
1 medium banana, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen unsweetened whole raspberries
1 cup frozen unsweetened whole blueberries
1 1/2 cups calcium-fortified orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth. Then pour into 2 tall glasses. Or, pour into 1 glass and place the remaining half in a lidded container. Refrigerate and shake before serving.
Nutritional information per serving (1 1/2 cups): 206 calories, 2 percent fat (.5 gram), 94 percent carbohydrate, 4 percent protein, 269 milligrams calcium, 1 milligram iron, 32 micrograms folic acid.
Cool Sweet Potato-
This smooth apricot-colored soup has a delicate, sweet flavor and wonderful creaminess due to the calcium-rich milk and sour cream. If you prefer the soup more liquidy, thin with additional chicken broth.
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced
1 pound (about 1 large) sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup diced leek, white part only
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons nonfat sour cream