good morning

>Now, more than ever, every bite you take is important - starting with the first of the day.


Before you became pregnant, you may have been able to sneak by with a few quick bites of a bagel or a few sips of a nonfat latte before you jetted off for the day. After all, if you skimped, only you went hungry. Now, there's someone else to feed at sunrise: a growing baby who needs a high-energy morning meal to power its tiny engine through the day.

"It's important to supply nutrients to the fetus for a healthy pregnancy, and breakfast is a good place to start because a woman hasn't eaten in several hours," says Wahida Karmally, M.S., R.D., an associate research scientist at Columbia University in New York who frequently counsels pregnant women. And it's a good time to stock up on some extra fuel. "Depending on a woman's body weight, she needs about 300 extra calories and about 10 extra grams of protein in the second and third trimesters." Additional fluids and nutrients such as calcium and folic acid are also important, along with fiber-rich foods, which help with regularity. (For more on your prenatal nutrition, see "Eat Right Now".)

With that in mind, we have developed six power breakfasts for you and your baby-to-be. They focus on whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins, including tofu and ham. Some recipes, such as the Super Fruity Energizer, are perfect for hectic weekdays. Others, such as the buckwheat pancakes with berries and yogurt, require a few more steps and so are best savored on weekends. These high-energy meals offer a smart way to start your day. Not only are they energizing, but they're also satisfying and healthful.


Super Fruity Energizer

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups calcium-fortified orange juice

1 medium ripe banana, peeled

1/2 cup whole frozen, unsweetened blueberries

1/2 cup low-fat lemon yogurt

6 whole pitted soft apricots

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth.

Nutritional information per serving (11/2 cups): 351 calories, 8 percent fat (3 grams), 81 percent carbohydrate, 11 percent protein, 401 milligrams calcium, 2.2 milligrams iron, 34 micrograms folate, 7 grams fiber.

Warm Ham-and-Cheddar Breakfast Wrap

Serves 2

2 large egg whites

1 large whole egg

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Nonstick cooking spray

2 burrito-size spinach tortillas

4 slices (about 1/4 pound) lean ham

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Whisk together egg whites, whole egg and mustard in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Next, coat a small nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg mixture and cook, stirring often, over low heat until scrambled and creamy.

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Heat a tortilla for 20 seconds on one side. Turn over. Lay two slices of ham over tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Spoon half of the eggs down center of tortilla. Transfer to a plate, roll up and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Nutritional information per serving (1 tortilla, 2 slices ham, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 of egg mixture): 388 calories, 30 percent fat (13 grams), 37 percent carbohydrate, 33 percent protein, 287 milligrams calcium, 3.2 milligrams iron, 258 micrograms folate, 3.5 grams fiber.

Buckwheat Pancakes
With Mixed Berries

Serves 4

1 cup buckwheat pancake and waffle mix (available at health food stores)

1/4 cup powdered skim milk

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 1/4 cups low-fat milk

1 1/2 cups frozen, unsweetened mixed berries

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

Whisk together buckwheat mix, powdered milk and salt in a large bowl. Add milk and stir until completely smooth. Combine berries and syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. When hot, cover and turn off heat.

Place a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add a portion of batter and cook until bubbles appear and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon syrup over pancakes and top with yogurt.

Nutritional information per serving (3 pancakes, 6 tablespoons berry syrup, 2 tablespoons yogurt): 343 calories, 8 percent fat (3 grams), 80 percent carbohydrate, 12 percent protein, 385 milligrams calcium, 1.4 milligrams iron, 122 micrograms folate, 4.5 grams fiber.

Puffy Smoked-Salmon

Cheese Toast

Serves 2

2 slices multigrain bread

2 tablespoons nonfat cream cheese

2 ounces smoked salmon

1 plum tomato, thinly sliced

1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 large egg

1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. Toast bread and spread with cream cheese. Lay smoked salmon over cream cheese and top with tomato. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Using a fork, thoroughly blend cottage cheese, egg and dill in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Gently spoon cottage cheese mixture over tomatoes, so as to cover top of bread. Broil until puffy and browned, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving (1 toast): 202 calories, 27 percent fat (6 grams), 34 percent carbohydrate, 39 percent protein, 120 milligrams calcium, 1.9 milligrams iron, 56 micrograms folate, 2.4 grams fiber.

Overnight Banana-Wheat French Toast
With Lemon Syrup

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups 1-percent milk

1 1/2 cups egg substitute

1 1/3 cups pure maple syrup, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Nonstick cooking spray

6 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 medium bananas, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Whisk together milk, egg substitute, 1/3 cup maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Arrange half of the bread cubes so they lie flat in a 7-by-9-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Pour half of the milk mixture over the bread.

Scatter banana slices evenly over soaked bread cubes. Cover bananas with remaining bread cubes and pour remaining milk mixture over bread. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350° F. Remove plastic wrap and bake French toast for 45 minutes, or until top is puffed and golden. Let cool 5 minutes; cut into 8 squares.

Place remaining 1 cup maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When bubbling, stir in lemon rind and juice. Serve over French toast.

Nutritional information per serving (1 square French toast and 2 tablespoons syrup): 251 calories, 5 percent fat (1.5 grams), 82 percent carbohydrate, 13 percent protein, 92 milligrams calcium, 1.7 milligrams iron, 66 micrograms folate, 3 grams fiber.

Fruity Tofu Parfait
With Granola

Serves 2

12 ounces silken tofu, rinsed

and drained

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 ripe pear, cored and diced

1/2 cup low-fat granola

4 tablespoons golden raisins

Place tofu, honey and vanilla in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whip until creamy and completely smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer to a second bowl and stir in raspberries, crushing a few as you mix until tofu turns pink.

Spoon a portion of fruity tofu into each of two parfait glasses or goblets. Top each with a portion of pear, granola and raisins.

Nutritional information per serving (2/3 cup): 435 calories, 13 percent fat (6.5 grams), 74 percent carbohydrate, 13 percent protein, 92 milligrams calcium, 3.5 milligrams iron, 60 micrograms folate, 6.8 grams fiber.

Victoria Abbott Riccardi, a Boston food writer, studied French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and Japanese cooking in Kyoto, Japan. Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., is a Boston nutritionist and author of the book Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1998).