All About Ease

Nourish yourself and your growing baby with simple dishes and our 5-day eating plan.


Now that you’re pregnant and your life includes added curves, new emotions and a host of baby-related errands and appointments, you may wonder how to do it all while managing to eat well (especially since the day still has only 24 hours). One solution is to minimize your time in the kitchen with our pared-down recipes and easy meal plan. We’ve done much of the work when it comes to nourishing yourself and your baby in the most pleasurable and healthy way.

End-of-summer fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and plenty of bone-building, calcium-rich foods form the meal plan on pg. 84. The recipes require just a few cooking steps, and most take advantage of convenience foods such as rotisserie chicken, canned tomatoes and packaged greens, all of which are full of nutrition. (To learn about the pregnancy nutrients you need, visit and click on “Nutrients You Need” under “Just the Facts, Mom.”)

Five easy recipes

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

with Plums


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

6 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 6-ounce pork tenderloins

2 1/2 teaspoons butter

6 plums, pitted and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400° F, or heat a grill to medium. Combine 2 tablespoons maple syrup, mustard with the rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes.

Trim fat from pork tenderloins and coat each with a portion of the syrup mixture. Roast in oven on a foil-lined baking sheet or on a grill for 10 minutes per side, or until inside is rosy and cooked through.

While pork is cooking, heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add plums and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining maple syrup; sauté over low heat for 5 more minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Cut pork tenderloins into thin slices. Arrange plum slices over pork and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (3 ounces pork and 3/4 cups plums): 250 calories, 28% fat (8 g), 52% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 2 g fiber, 1 mg iron, 38 mg calcium, 5 mcg folate.

Penne with Prosciutto

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 large yellow peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 cup chicken broth

Coarse (kosher) salt, to taste

Red pepper flakes, to taste

3/4 pound whole-wheat penne

10 ounces frozen baby peas

1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced and chopped

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese, divided

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil and garlic; cook until garlic turns golden, about 1 minute. Add peppers, broth, salt and pepper flakes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook penne according to package directions (approximately 12 minutes). When penne is cooked, add frozen peas and stir. Drain penne and peas. Add penne, peas, prosciutto and basil to pepper mixture in skillet. Gently toss to mix; season with salt and red pepper to taste.

Top each portion with grated Romano cheese and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (1 2/3 cups): 381 calories, 24% fat (10 g), 56% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 9 g fiber, 3 mg iron, 210 mg calcium, 85 mcg folate.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: None

2 bags packaged mixed baby greens

1 cup fat-free herb croutons

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

7 teaspoons olive oil, divided

7 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided

2 cups skinless, rotisserie-cooked chicken, shredded

1/2 cup crumbled, pasteurized goat cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Place greens, croutons and tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Add 3 teaspoons each oil and vinegar; toss to mix.

Place equal amounts of salad on 4 plates. Arrange chicken and goat cheese over greens; drizzle each salad with 1 teaspoon each oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups): 312 calories, 49% fat (17 g), 17% carbohydrate, 34% protein, 4 g fiber, 4 mg iron, 100 mg calcium, 241 mcg folate.

Cod Ranchero

Serves 4

Prep time: 6 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 6-ounce cod filets

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper.

Place filets in tomato mixture; spoon a small amount of sauce over fish. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drizzle fish with remaining sauce.

Nutritional information per serving (1 filet and 1 cup sauce): 231 calories, 32% fat (8 g), 13% carbohydrate, 55% protein, 2 g fiber, 1 mg iron, 42 mg calcium, 17 mcg folate.

Thai Shrimp Salad

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: None

4 cups shredded cabbage and carrot mix

1 pound shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce (or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)

1/2 teaspoon chili paste

1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Combine cabbage and carrot mix, shrimp, pineapple and cilantro in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together vinegar, sugar, fish sauce and chili paste until sugar dissolves. Pour over salad, add peanuts and toss.

Nutritional information per serving (2 cups): 263 calories, 27% fat (8 g), 32% carbohydrate, 41% protein, 4 g fiber, 5 mg iron, 86 mg calcium, 44 mcg folate.

five-day meal plan

This meal plan provides all of the nutrients you and your growing baby need.

Each day provides about 2,200 calories, the amount recommended for your first trimester; to get the additional 300 calories you need per day during your second and third trimesters, add any two snacks from “Smart Snacks” on pg. 82. Recipes begin on pg. 81 for foods marked with an asterisk (*).

Day 1


1 cup whole-grain cereal

1 cup reduced-fat milk

1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries

1 medium bran muffin with 2 teaspoons butter and 1 teaspoon jam


Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato,

1 slice cheddar cheese and 2 teaspoons mayonnaise on a whole-grain bun

1 medium peach or 2 small plums

1 ounce peanuts

1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice


1 serving Rosemary Pork Tenderloin*

Grilled vegetables: Slice 2 potatoes, 1 zucchini, 1 red bell pepper and 1 cup mushrooms. Place in an aluminum-foil packet, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and grill until tender; save half for lunch the next day.

2 medium chocolate-chip cookies

1 cup reduced-fat milk

Day 2


1 whole-wheat English muffin, toasted

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 banana, sliced

1 cup reduced-fat milk


1 serving leftover Rosemary Pork Tenderloin* and grilled vegetables

1 medium nectarine

1 cup reduced-fat milk


1 serving Cod Ranchero*

1 cup cooked broccoli with 2 teaspoons butter

1 cup whole-wheat couscous with 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt with 2 tablespoons wheat germ

Day 3


1 small cinnamon raisin bagel with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup sliced strawberries with 2 tablespoons Grape Nuts cereal

1 cup cranberry-apricot juice


Salad: 2 cups dark leafy greens, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1/4 cup each green beans and shredded carrots, 1 tomato, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 8 olives, 1/4 cup pasteurized feta cheese, 2 tablespoons dressing.

1 small whole-grain roll with 1 teaspoon butter

1 cup watermelon chunks

1 cup reduced-fat milk


1 serving Penne with Prosciutto*

1 cup cooked carrots with 2 teaspoons butter

1 cup reduced-fat milk

1 small slice angel food cake with 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce

Day 4


1 cup reduced-fat milk, 1 banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons wheat germ and 2 ice cubes, blended

1 medium bran muffin with 2 teaspoons butter and 1 teaspoon jam


1 frozen bean-and-cheese burrito

10 whole-wheat pretzels

1/4 cantaloupe

1 cup reduced-fat milk


1 serving Rotisserie Chicken Salad*

1 slice French bread with 2 teaspoons butter

1/3 cup each slivered almonds, chocolate chips and golden raisins

Day 5


1 egg scrambled in 2 teaspoons butter served in a small whole-wheat pita with 1 1/2 slices cheddar cheese

1 cup reduced-fat milk

1 medium banana


3 ounces turkey, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1/2 roasted red pepper rolled into a flour tortilla

1 cup raspberries mixed with 1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup reduced-fat milk


1 serving Thai Shrimp Salad*

10 whole-wheat crackers

1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice

1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed, with 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream