Gotta have it: When pregnancy cravings take control, you can indulge them in a healthy way. Here’s how

Gotta have it: When pregnancy cravings take control, you can indulge them in a healthy way. Here’s how

Ethel W. Brennan

Pregnancy does some exciting and strange things to a woman’s body. Changes you may experience include naseau as welt as cravings for specific foods or combinations of tastes and textures. // Although most cravings occur during the first trimester, some women have them throughout pregnancy. You may even find yourself yearning for foods you’ve never liked before. // Cravings seem to be an intense need to satisfy hunger, and in some cases, indulging the craving simply reduces nausea, says Miriam Erick, MS., R.D., author of No More Morning Sickness. A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women (Plume 1993). How do you get the nutrients both you and your baby need when you only crave, say, sweet stuff? The an is a pregnant woman’s dream: Fit Pregnancy’s cravings meal plan. Each day features a flavor or texture theme, such et or crunchy. Vie also provide snack ideas and a rundown of the basics of pregnancy nutrition. With all this, you won’t have to think twice about what you shout eat.


At, we asked women to tell us their must-have pregnancy foods. Here are a few of their responses:

“A large pastrami sandwich with a bowl of vanilla ice cream.”


“Tomato sauce from a Local Italian restaurant several times a week for the first two months. No pasta, just the sauce. Hand me a spoon!”


“Lemons and salt, 24/7.”


“Crackers with black-pepper seasoning.”


“Crunchy, breaded liver and Lima beans.”


“White cheese with tea.”


The cravings meal plan

Do you crave salty, crunchy foods one minute and something sweet and creamy the next? Here’s a mix-and-match meat plan to help you indulge all your cravings and get the nutrients you and your baby need. Each day has been calculated to contain about 2200 calories without snacks and 2,500 with snacks. During your second and third trimesters, also include two snacks per day from Smarter Snacks on pg. 79. Recipes follow for foods marked with an asterisk [*].



1 serving Banana Pancakes (*)

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 cup apricot nectar


Peanut butter and apple butter sandwich: 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 tablespoon apple butter spread on 2 slices cinnamon swirl bread.

1/4 cup dried fruit mix

1 cup tow-fat chocolate milk


Ham with cherry sauce: Small ham steak topped with 2 tablespoons canned cherry pie filling.

1 large baked sweet potato

2 teaspoons butter

Spinach salad with mandarin oranges: 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves with 1/2 cup mandarin orange wedges and 2 tablespoons sweet poppy seed dressing.

2 whole-grain dinner rolls with 1 tablespoon preserves Baked apple: 1 apple [peeled] topped with 1 teaspoon butter, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon chopped pecans; bake at 350[degrees] F for 35-45 minutes.

1 cup low-fat milk



Omelet: 3 eggs, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons each chopped mushrooms, chopped onions and chopped green peppers, and Tabasco sauce to taste.

1 slice whole-wheat toast

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup vegetable or tomato juice


Turkey and cheddar sandwich: 3 ounces turkey, 1 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, 4 spinach leaves, 3 slices red onion and 1 teaspoon mustard on an onion Kaiser roll.

1 serving Creamy Carrot Soup (*)

1 cup sliced watermelon sprinkled with 4 teaspoon salt

1 gingerbread cookie

1 cup low-fat milk


Pasta with pesto sauce: 1 1/2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta topped with 1/4 cup pesto sauce.

Tossed salad: 3/4 cup fresh spinach, 3/4 cup romaine lettuce, 1 1/2 cups roasted sweet red peppers, 1/2 cup fresh tomato wedges and 2 tablespoons Italian dressing.

1 garlic breadstick topped with 1 teaspoon melted butter

Spiced peaches: 1 cup sliced peaches topped with 1/4 teaspoon each powdered ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

1 cup low-fat milk



1 cup low-fat granola with 1 cup low-fat milk

1 cup green or red grapes

1 cup orange juice with pulp


Turkey bacon sandwich: 3 slices cooked turkey bacon, 4 spinach leaves, 2 slices tomato and 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise on 2 slices whole-wheat bread.

1 cup red, yellow and green bell pepper slices

4 whole-wheat crackers

1 tablespoon crunchy cashew nut butter

1 cup low-fat milk


Beef and peanut stir-fry: 3 ounces lean beef sirloin strips, 2 tablespoons salted peanuts, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup carrot strips, 1/2 cup snow peas and 1/2 cup chopped onion stir-fried with 2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce.

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

1 serving Celery and Asian Pear Salad (*)

2 fortune cookies

1 cup low-fat milk



1 cup whole-wheat hot cereal

1 teaspoon butter

8 ounces low-fat strawberry yogurt

1 medium banana


Bean burrito: Fill a wheat tortilla with 1/2 cup refried beans, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon guacamole and 14 cup salsa.

1 cup Spanish rice

1 medium mango

1 cup low-fat milk


1 store-bought roasted chicken breast

1 serving Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (*)

1 piece cornbread

1/2 Acorn squash topped with 1 teaspoon butter and cinnamon; cook, covered, in microwave for 6-10 minutes, or until tender; or bake in a 350[degrees] oven for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

1 cup low-fat milk



1 whole-grain bagel

2 tablespoons light cream cheese

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

1/2 red grapefruit

1 cup cranberry juice


Reuben sandwich: 3 ounces corned beef, 1 1/2 ounces Swiss cheese, 1/2 cup sauerkraut and 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing on rye bread; pan fry with cooking spray until bread is browned and cheese is melted.

1 cup sweet and sour coleslaw: 1 cup fresh coleslaw mix combined with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette salad dressing.

Mixed berries: 1/4 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup blueberries.

1 cup low-fat milk


Blue-cheese salmon: small piece grilled or broiled salmon topped with 1 tablespoon blue-cheese dressing.

1 cup whole-wheat couscous

1 cup cooked spinach with 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 slice sourdough bread

1 serving Blackberry-Lemon Cobbler (*)

1 cup low-fat milk


NOTE:g=grams, mg=milligrams, mcg=micrograms

Banana Pancakes


PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cups whole milk

1 1/2 bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Nonstick cooking spray

In a medium bowl, stir together first 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, butter and milk. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until just blended; mixture will be slightly lumpy. Fold the banana slices into the batter.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Ladle 1/3 cup batter into the pan for each pancake. When air bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and then burst (after about 2 minutes), flip the pancakes and cook until outside is golden. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving (2 pancakes): 337 calories, 24% fat (9 g), 64% carbohydrate, 12% protein, 2 g fiber, 2.5 mg iron, 159 mg calcium, 58 mcg folate.

Creamy Carrot Soup


PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 yellow onion, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated (or 2 tablespoons powdered)

4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped

4 thick slices Italian-style bread or crusty baguette

2 teaspoons butter

Place carrots, onion, ginger and stock in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until carrots are very tender, approximately 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Puree mixture with a hand-held blender (or 1 cup at a time in a countertop blender). Stir in milk and blend until smooth. For extra-smooth soup, pour it through a mesh strainer.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh dill. Butter each slice of bread with 1/2 teaspoon butter and serve with the soup.

Nutritional information per serving [1 1/2 cups soup plus 1 slice bread with butter]: 148 calories, 24% fat (4 g), 52% carbohydrate, 24% protein, 4 g fiber, 1.4 mg iron, 125 mg calcium, 31 mcg folate.

Celery and Asian Pear Salad


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup Asian pear, diced

1/2 cup halved red, seedless grapes

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

5 mint leaves, julienned

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

In a large bowl, stir together celery, pear, grapes, walnuts and mint. Add mayonnaise and stir to coat. Serve chilled.

Nutritional information per serving (3/4 cup): 115 calories, 57% fat (7.5 g), 9% carbohydrate, 34% protein, 3.5 g fiber, 0.6 mg iron, 25 mg calcium, 22 mcg folate.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

PREP TIME: 15 minutes


COOK TIME: 30 minutes

Mashed pot atoes:

4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 tablespoon pan juices from store-bought roasted chicken (or 1 tablespoon butter)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For mashed potatoes, bring a large pot of water to boil and add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl; use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash. Stir in butter, milk, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until smooth.

For gravy, heat pan juices or butter over medium heat. Stir in olive oil (if using butter, add olive oil when butter begins to foam). Add flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock and stir until thickened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional information per serving (1/2 cup potatoes with 1/4 cup gravy): 359 calories, 43% fat (17 g), 50% carbohydrate, 7% protein, 4 g fiber, 2 mg iron, 42 mg calcium, 33 mcg folate.

Blackberry-Lemon Cobbler

PREP TIME: 30 minutes


COOK TIME: 25 minutes


1/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice

4 pints fresh blackberries (or 2 16-ounce bags frozen)

1/4 cup sugar


1 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter

3/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 350[degrees] F. Put hot water in a small bowl, add cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Pour mixture into saucepan; stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, blackberries and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place 8 4-ounce ramekins (custard cups) on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Fill each ramekin 3/4 full with the berry mixture and set aside,

Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter tablespoon at a time; blend with your fingers until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. Using a fork, stir in milk until a sticky dough forms. Spoon dough onto berry mixture, using all of the dough. Brush each cobbler with butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake until crusts are golden and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Note: This dish is very tart; serve with 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (3/4 cup): 318 calories, 31% fat *11 g), 63% carbohydrate, 6% protein, 6.5 g fiber, 2 mg iron, 91 mg calcium, 65 mcg folate.

Ethel Brennan is a recipe developer in San Francisco. Kim Galeaz is a nutritionist and food writer in Indianapolis.

Smarter snacks

Check out these healthful options to some common taste and texture

cravings. Choose two snacks per day during your second and third



SALTY 1 cup split-pea soup 1/4 cup roasted garlic hummus

165 calories with 5 whole-wheat crackers

165 calories

SOUR 1 cup plain yogurt with Green apple with 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup raspberries crunchy nut butter

145 calories (peanut, cashew or almond)

160 calories

SPICY 2/3 cup refried beans with 1 serving (about 16 chips)

several drops hot pepper baked salsa-and-cream-

sauce and 1 tablespoon sour cheese-flavored tortilla chips

cream with 1/2 cup salsa

185 calories 160 calories

SWEET 1/2 cup frozen yogurt with 1/4 cup honey-roasted nuts

1 teaspoon chocolate syrup (peanuts, almonds or

140 calories cashews)

165 calories


SALTY 1/2 cup pasta topped with

2 tablespoons cheese sauce

160 calories

SOUR 2/3 cup black-cherry gelatin


160 calories

SPICY l 1/2 ounces pepper jack


165 calories

SWEET Smoothie: 1/2 cup fresh fruit, 1/2

cup yogurt and 1/2 cup low-fat


155 calories

Top 5 pregnancy nutrients

Here’s a list of the top five pregnancy nutrients you need daily and

where to get them. For a complete list, go to


PROTEIN 60 grams Meat, poultry, seafood,

dairy foods, beans and

legumes, nuts

CALCIUM 1,000 milligrams Dairy foods, dark leafy

greens, calcium-fortified

soy milk, calcium-fortified

juices and cereals

IRON 27 milligrams Liver, meat, seafood, prune

juice, dry beans, wheat

germ, oatmeal, tofu, soy

nuts, grains

VITAMIN C 85 milligrams Citrus fruits and juices,

strawberries, bell peppers,

tomatoes, dark leafy

greens, broccoli, BrusseLs


FOLATE 600 micrograms Dried beans, peas, lentils,

[folic acid is the orange juice, oranges,

synthetic form, dark leafy greens, soy nuts,

available in avocados, broccoli,

supplements] asparagus.

RELATED ARTICLE: basics for a healthy pregnancy These guidelines set the stage for your next nine months.

weight gain[right arrow] Women of normal weight should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy (28-40 pounds if you’re underweight and 15-25 pounds if you’re overweight). Check with your doctor or midwife to see which range is right for you.

Calorie counts[right arrow] Add about 300 calories a day to your diet during your second and third trimesters.

Vitamins[right arrow] Take a daily supplement, as recommended by your doctor or midwife, that supplies 100-150 percent of the Dietary Reference Intake for all vitamins and minerals. Consider calcium supplements if you can’t make the quota of at least 1,000 milligrams a day (about three glasses of milk).

what to avoid[right arrow] To reduce the risk of food-borne illness from the listeria bacterium, steer clear of uncooked, unpasteurized cheeses such as feta, brie and Camembert, and blue-veined or Mexican-style cheeses. (Hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese and yogurt are safe.) Do not eat raw or undercooked animal foods such as meat, sushi, seafood or eggs; avoid fish that may contain excessive mercury (this includes swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish); and limit shellfish and canned fish to 12 ounces a week. Also avoid alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and medications that have not been approved by your physician.

Mindy Hermann, R.D.

Exercise Guidelines

The following is a summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Guidelines for exercising while pregnant (from ACOG Technical Bulletin, No. 189, February 1994].

1. During pregnancy, you can continue your mild to moderate exercise routines. It’s best to exercise at least three days a week.

2. Don’t exercise in the supine position (flat on your back) after the first trimester; it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. Also, don’t stand motionless for long periods.

3. You’ll have less oxygen available for aerobic exercise during pregnancy, so modify the intensity of your routine accordingly. Stop exercising when fatigued, and don’t exercise to exhaustion. You might be able to continue doing weight-bearing exercise at close to your usual intensity throughout pregnancy, but non-weight-bearing exercises, such as cycling and swimming, are easier to continue and carry less risk of injury.

4. Especially in the third trimester, don’t do exercises in which you could lose your balance. Avoid any exercise that risks even mild abdominal trauma.

5. You need an additional 300 calories a day after the first trimester, so if you’re exercising, be particularly careful to ensure an adequate diet.

6. Especially during the first trimester, be sure to stay cool when exercising — drink enough water, wear cool clothing, and don’t work out in too hot an environment.

7. After you give birth, resume your pre-pregnancy exercise routine gradually, based on physical capacity.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Weider Publications

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