Bébé Gourmet

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Baby cookbooks are just so….sweet! I have found baby food to be both incredibly simple (puree some peas, yo!) to a bit intimidating (am I incorporating enough flavor?) I was sent this book, Bébé Gourmet, to review and fell in love with its beautiful photography, creative recipes and ability to grow with your child.

The book was written by Jenny Carenco, mother of two and founder of the French baby food brand Les Menus Bébé. The recipes are organized by age and go well beyond the simple puree stage. And the recipes are also adaptable to turn into meals for adults – a two-in-one cookbook : )

I’m not sure I’d make a chicken or lamb tagine for Mazen alone, but if our whole family could enjoy it then it’s worth the effort. In some ways this is a regular cookbook with baby friendly techniques.

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As I said above, the photography is just stunning.

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Here’s a peek into the table of contents – recipe categories go from compotes to lunch and dinner categories for older babies. I read through the cookbook in a few nights and am inspired to have Mazen try some new flavors in the coming weeks.

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This book would make a beautiful gift for a new mom.

To win a copy of Bébé Gourmet, enter here!

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Here is a link to Amazon for more info on the book. And you can talk to Bébé Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.

Good, Better, Best

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Who would have thought you could have whole conversations about the design of baby spoons? But when you’re feeding a hungry, moving mouth multiple times a day, shape and size matter. All three of these are good, and we use them all, but I definitely have a favorite.

Good

We bought this set of Boon spoons first – I love the cute design. They are good, but the bowl is shallow and wide so liquidy foods drip off easily and it’s hard to get the whole spoon head in his mouth. But the spoon head is great for scraping dribbles of food from the mouth! The short, fat handle isn’t the best for parent comfort either.

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Better

I have six of these OXO Tot spoons in green. The spoon head is narrow and curves up, so it’s great for putting a single bite on the end. Most of it goes right in his mouth. I like the grippy feel to it too – it’s soft for mouth scraping. These are very sturdy and well made. The spoon head is shallow though, so again, drippy foods spill over from time to time before it gets to him.

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Best

We go through a lot of baby spoons and I needed more so I picked this set of Munchkin spoons up because they were cheap. These are my new favorites. I love how long they are – the “iced tea spoons” of babies – and the bowl is perfect. It’s narrow to fit in a little mouth and deep to contain the food best.

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Do you have a favorite baby spoon?

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BERF Part 3: The Fun + Convenient Foods

I’m enjoying making baby food. It’s incredibly inexpensive, pretty easy and I’m glad to know exactly what Mazen is eating. But I have no intention of feeding him only foods that I have made myself. Being that strict would drive me crazy. Here are a few foods he likes that come from a package – note that some of them came as samples from the companies below.

I love the squeeze packs!

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Pros: so easy, fun flavors, great for being out of the house and branding that sucks in a modern mom. Cons: wasteful packaging compared to homemade and expensive.

That said, I keep a few on hand at all time (including one in the diaper bag). When we’re at home we always eat homemade food, but when we’re out he will often have one of these (or I’ll bring some homemade food in my Little Green Pouch reusable ones). M is on the verge of learning how to suck directly from the packet, which I see from my older baby friends is quite convenient.

Mazen has liked all of the flavors I’ve tried. I tend to gravitate toward the ones with vegetables in them, although most of the veggie ones still have a fruit too. Friends have told me that Sprout makes a few that don’t have any fruit, which I think is good to mix in for ultimate vegetable palate training.

Happy Family sent me some coupons to try their pouches and puffs.

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I picked up a few of the Happy Tot pouches – green bean, pear + pea; spinach, mango + pear; and sweet potato, apple, cinnamon + carrot – fun flavors! Mazen gobbled them down – what else is new!? They have a touch of chia seed in them which made them a bit more gel-like and nutritious.

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The Happy Puffs have been fun too. My general thought on puffs (along with all of the carb-tastic finger snacks and cookies) is that they should be used for learning to grasp and as a fun appetizer rather than a meal itself. I did pick up the “green” ones fortified with choline for ultimate nutrition : ) They taste quite good and aren’t too sweet, and I like how they stick to little fingers thanks to their nooks and crannies to make picking them up easier. They also melt in the mouth very quickly, so concerns over choking are minimal. Mazen likes them a lot. He can pick them up himself and tucks them into his palms and just holds them there. He doesn’t quite get to put them in his mouth!

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On the pincer front, we also play around with good ole Cheerios. They sent me a box to have on hand when Mazen was ready. [Spoiler: more on Cheerios coming up on KERF soon!] I am normally a store-brand girl when it comes to things like “O’s” however, I am being completely honest when I say that after nibbling on real Cheerios for a few weeks I went to my parents’ house and had some of their store brand “O’s” and they were not nearly as good. They crumbled apart when I broke them in half for M and were just missing a layer of flavor (I guess I am now a Cheerio connoisseur Winking smile) That said, any ole O’s are great for baby munching.

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I was excited when it was time to try yogurt for the first time as it’s one of my favorite foods. Stonyfield sent me a coupon for their YoBaby line. Mazen loves yogurt and generally eats half of one of these at breakfast a few days a week mixed with some fruit and the other half at lunch on another day. They do have several flavored ones, but I prefer to get plain and mix things in myself. Long term I think we’ll just use a big tub of organic plain yogurt, but these are great for on-the-go.

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I also keep a big jar of store-bought organic applesauce in the fridge to use whenever I want to add extra flavor to our homemade foods and don’t have any homemade apples on hand.

Lastly, I wanted to make some berry cubes for M so he could get some anthocyanins in his diet : ) I usually use cow’s milk in my smoothies, but since that is not yet recommended I used a YoBaby yogurt and enough water to thin it out plus about 3 cups of frozen mixed berries.

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Smoothies frozen for mom and cubes frozen for baby! I thaw these out and stir them into his yogurt or oatmeal (they are a little liquidy for plain eating until he can learn how to drink through a straw). [The mom versions weren’t nearly as tasty as my usual smoothies, but they weren’t bad either.]

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That’s all for now folks!

BERF: The Prep Part 2

My first batch of baby food lasted us beyond a week, but by the time batch 2 was ready for cooking I felt a lot more prepared. I put M down for his morning nap and got to work on peas, oatmeal, green beans and butternut squash.

I’m storing his bottles in the small bin on the right and all of his food props on the left on a shelf in our upper cabinets. Wish our kitchen had more drawers!

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I ended up buying this OXO tray with a lid. The cubes are easier to get out, but not by much. But it’s nice to have two trays now. One wasn’t enough for bulk prep + freezing.

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First the oats. I made some of Mimi’s Baby Grains and added some organic plain applesauce to them for a bit more flavor and nutrition. 1/3 cup of oatmeal with 1/3 cup applesauce yielded 6 servings. I kept two out for the next 2 days and froze the other 4.  The applesauce has been nice to keep on hand for when I need a quick meal and don’t have anything thawed. Sure a freshly steamed apple might be better, but I’m ok with organic applesauce with an ingredient list that reads organic apples only.

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Next up: peas! Frozen peas were steamed and then blended and 2 cups filled this tray perfectly. After they were solid, I popped them out and put them into a zip lock with the sweet potatoes.

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Next we tried two new foods: green beans and butternut squash. Yet another great purpose for frozen squash! I’m happy to let someone else peel it for me.

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1 cup of beans were steamed and pureed with a little bit of water. They turned out quite watery and the texture didn’t look great to me, but M didn’t seem to mind. I wonder if they’d be better blended with something creamy like the peas or sweet potatoes. I kept one out for short term and froze the rest in the OXO cups.

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Everything I labeled with the food and date with simple masking tape. Works for now!

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Lastly the squash. I steamed 2 cups of it in a pot over hot water for about 10 minutes and then pureed that. Added a little bit of cinnamon too!

Then once it had cooled, I filled it into 4 of these Little Green Pouches. I was sent these to review and LOOOOVE them! They are $15 for 4 on Amazon. I’m definitely going to order a second set.

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Have you seen these commercial pouches? When I first visited the baby food aisle of the grocery store I thought they were for older babies to suck from, but I didn’t realize this is just how most baby food comes these days instead of in glass jars. You can just squeeze the food onto a spoon and feed a younger baby – duh! Or squeeze into a bowl. There are so many fun flavors that appeal to my granola mom side – ingredients like quinoa and cute labels! But these pouches are expensive, so the Little Green Pouch was fabulous to create my own squeeze packs. We used the pre-made ones when we traveled to Arizona because they were shelf-stable, but around town you could use your own.

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I scooped in the squash and froze 3/4 of them. They are dishwasher safe and freezer safe – two awesome must haves. When I feel Mazen I just squeeze from the pouch into the spoon. Eventually I’m sure he’ll like to slurp out the food himself.

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Love that you can see the ounces on the side too.

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Last favorite food tool: I’m loyal to OXO and the color green so these are our favorite spoons!

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So for round 2 I made:

  • 14 cubes of peas (I usually do 2-3 cubes per meal)
  • 6 servings of oatmeal
  • 4 servings of green beans
  • 4 pouches of squash

That lasted us 2 weeks (with 2 meals per day and fresh foods like mashed avocado mixed in)

Not bad for an hour of prep! I think for round 3 I’m going to start mixing more foods together. Even though breast milk is still his primary nutrition, I can’t help but think about things like pairing a starch + protein or fat + fruit.

BERF: The Prep Part I

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Like I’ve said before, I’m just kind of going with the flow when it comes to baby food. We did start with oatmeal, but after that, it was easier just to make purees myself than navigate the scary baby food aisle, so that’s what we did. (I have since explored that aisle and found some cool, expensive options though!)

Just like the cloth diaper laundry, I am surprised that I find baby food making a joy! Maybe I won’t feel this way in a few more months of it, but so far it’s much more fun than making dinner for hungry adults at 6pm every night. Baby food is so pure + simple.

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The star of the event is my new Cuisinart Smart Stick. We used to have a stick blender that was battery operated. Matt hated it, and it always lost charge. We never used it and I gave it away. Then I started to miss having one and knew that it would be perfect for baby food. I was happy to find the Smart Stick in a rainbow of pretty colors for less than $30. A bonus: it’s dish washer safe (the bottom part) and plugs in so the power never fades!

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This book got me going. I got it as a shower gift and it was really helpful to provide some guidance on cooking and water levels as well as foods that are good for six month olds (although I think the latest research is more generous with a greater variety of foods than the guidelines in this book).

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Our first batch of baby foods included sweet potatoes, apples, oatmeal and peas.

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We microwaved the potato and then scooped out the insides to puree with a little water.

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The first round I just used an old ice cube tray and it worked just fine.

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Apples, minus the skin, also got a blend with some water.

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Lastly, peas. Yummy! We just used frozen peas – so easy.

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I bought some OXO Tot Baby Block containers to use for storage and freezing. They come with a little tray so they don’t get lost in the freezer.

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M loved all of his foods, and it was great to have them all ready in advance. I kept a few in the fridge and froze the rest. I get his frozen meals out the night before and then heat them up in the microwave (not to hot – just to luke warm – be careful of heating too much!) when it’s meal time.

We also love this Boon Spoon that was a gift from a friend too! Just fill with food and squeeze out onto the spoon.

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That recaps our first attempt at making baby food. Round II was even better! Coming soon.

BERF

Baby Eats Real Food : )

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We started Mazen on solid foods just a few days shy of his 6 month birthday. Waiting that long was hard! Recent research says there is no reason to start solids before 6 months, but I really think M was ready at the 5 month mark. He was showing all the typical signs. However, I waited to give his system just thaaaat much more time to develop, to avoid the solid poops and additional stress of solids just a wee bit longer. My gut told me at 5.75 months it was time.

Feeding a baby was scary and confusing at first! Despite being an R.D. I have little training in pediatrics since it’s such a specialized niche of the industry. A few good sites on feeding a baby are Kelly Mom and Wholesome Baby Food. Our pediatrician recommended starting with super smooth pureed oatmeal. In terms of what to add next, we’ve done all the popular first baby foods (avocado, sweet potato) and have been waiting 2-3 days between new ones. We’ve focused on whole grains, fruits and veggies. The latest from the AAP says that delaying highly allergic foods like eggs doesn’t really have any benefit. Our ped said trying yogurt, eggs and more in the near future would be fine. (We don’t have any family history of allergies). Heather actually just wrote an article for Babble on this and cited this lengthy paper that says: “There are no current data available data to suggest that cow’s milk protein (except for whole cow’s milk), egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish introduction into the diet need to be delayed beyond 4-6 months of age.”  As always, check with YOUR pediatrician for recommendations!

Mazen’s first food was oatmeal, of course! We used a locally ground oatmeal from Mimi’s Baby Grains in Richmond.

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Mimi sent me a few of her baby cereals for Mazen. The oatmeal is whole oat groats ground into a really fine texture to create a baby puree. I loved that the oats were freshly ground for maximum nutrition. Alternatively you could do this yourself!

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(Sidebar: The latest on Kelly Mom says that iron replenishment isn’t as much of a huge deal as once thought and that supplementation with iron-fortified cereals might actually interfere with the iron absorption efficiency so we didn’t worry about starting with an iron-fortified oatmeal. Instead we’re focusing on iron from real food moving forward – Kelly Mom has a great list here.)

Mazen enjoyed the oatmeal and likes the barley as well. (We haven’t tried the brown rice or mixed grains yet.) It only took him a few bites to understand “how” to eat and swallow, and he gobbled down the whole serving we made for him, much to our surprise.

We are trying to be very mindful of our feeding behaviors. He is great at opening up like a little bird to let us know when he’s ready for a bite. We both hate to waste food, so it’s tempting to encourage “one more bite!” just for the sake of finishing whatever arbitrary serving size we have prepared. But he lets us know when he’s done by no longer showing interest or opening his mouth, and we’re doing our best to pay attention to these cues.

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Since his first bite, Mazen has enthusiastically tasted:

  • Oatmeal
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potato
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Barley
  • Peas
  • Prunes
  • Pears
  • Butternut squash
  • Green beans
  • Chicken (pureed into sweet potatoes!)

Favorites: sweet potatoes, avocado, oatmeal with apple.

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Trouble with: Bananas, which didn’t sit well with digestion so we haven’t done them since.

Dislikes: None so far… although we haven’t given him onions Winking smile

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Most magical: Prunes. Wow – they work!

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A few people have commented that they are surprised we are not doing a baby–led weaning technique. I don’t think there is a right or wrong approach to feeding a baby. What is most important is that you pick a technique that works for both you and the baby. I have offered Mazen a few BLW-style foods, and each time he gagged and had me panicked he was choking. I gave him a very, very ripe banana, and he used his toothless gums to bite off a piece and proceeded to make gagging noises that had me fishing the piece right back out. On the other hand, he does very well with a spoon. I have read on some of the BLW websites that using purees is “force feeding a baby in an unnatural way,” but I hardly agree with that. I eat plenty of purees with a spoon myself! Early human parents could have easily mashed up food with a rock and fed their babies with a utensil carved out of wood. We have had no trouble with him understanding to open his mouth when he wants some and let us know when he is finished. Purees just require a bit more cue observation to keep the baby in charge of the eating. BLW is just not for us – at least right now.

We been making most of his food so far, and have also tried a few jars/packets too. I’m not an all-or-nothing girl for much of anything, so I’m not putting pressure on myself to make ALL of his food, but I’d like to do the majority of it to save money and keep it as fresh as possible.

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Coming soon: our first stab at making baby food!

21 Weeks: On Eating Real Food

Eating while pregnant can be a challenge, from morning all-day nausea to food aversions to heartburn and the different food safety considerations for you and your baby.

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I made a few changes to my diet right off the bat, but for the most part I’m focusing on eating when I’m hungry and listening to my body for direction. Here are a few of the food changes I have made:

1) Prenatal vitamin. I’ve been taking one since I signed up for maternity insurance, about 6 months before we started trying to conceive. It’s important to get your iron and folic acid stores to optimal levels before conception. Of course real food is the best source of nutrition, but most doctors and dietitians recommend a prenatal to ensure you’re getting everything you need. I take Whole Foods brand prenatals. They are plant based, have some DHA (from algae), a few bonus nutrients like probiotics and haven’t bothered my stomach at all.

One point to note: I almost always start my day with a boost of calcium from yogurt, milk or the like. Yogurt for lunch or a snack is also a frequent occurrence. Since the body can only absorb so much calcium at once, I take my prenatals with dinner when I’m less likely to eat dairy. This helps distribute the calcium more evening throughout the day.

2) Juice [as well as lots of water!] Juice isn’t something I’d normally keep in the house because I prefer to eat whole fruit that comes with fiber and chewing power. But during the first trimester, I craving OJ out the wazoo. Perhaps because it’s a good source of folate! I discovered early in pregnancy that I wake up so thirsty and a glass of water combined with an energy boost from juice made me feel much better much faster than if I had taken the time to peel an orange and chew it (which at times sounded awful). I also use juice right after a workout (a swig here or there) for a quick replenishment or as a cure for blood sugar-induced insomnia in the middle of the night. Look for juices that are 100% juice with no added sugars if you can and keep the portion relatively small. You just need a boost, not a sugar high!

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3) Protein. The average female requires about 0.8 g/kg of protein a day, whereas the requirement during pregnancy jumps to 1.1 g/kg of body weight. I tend to get my protein from dairy, beans, whole grains, cheese, eggs and a small amount of meats at dinnertime. These got me to ~50 grams no problem. But to get to closer to the 70 grams or so that I need during pregnancy, I’ve been focusing on getting more protein with every meal. 

Sources I have added include eggs, almonds/nuts, meat (double boost of iron if it’s red!), sardines/fish, extra portions of beans, drinkable yogurt, string cheese and cheese, and the addition of a glass of milk to a meal.

A glass of milk is probably the easiest way to add protein to a meal with about 8 grams per cup. Soy milk is a good plant-based option, but almond and rice milks are much lower in protein (which is why I never drink them).

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I bought a few protein powders (either grass-fed whey or plant based. Vega is my favorite plant kind.) but I try to choose real food as a first defense (yogurt, cottage cheese) for a smoothie before turning to protein powder. Good to have in the house though for when you’re running low on fresh things and are totally craving a smoothie.

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4) Iron. Iron is very important during pregnancy due to the huge increase in blood volume. During the first trimester, I craved red meat and ground beef like crazy for a few weeks. Pregnant women craving hamburgers are probably more iron and protein cravings than “junk food” cravings (it won’t be junk food if you use good grass-fed beef or bison and keep the portion single-decker and the fries to a minimum!) We had tacos and burgers quite a few times to satisfy those cravings. After a while, my cravings went on to other things (pulled pork for instance!) but I’ve still chosen red meat more than I might normally just for the nutrition.

Leafy greens and beans are the other great iron sources (among other foods) and we try to eat them a few days a week. Note if you’re a vegetarian it’s ideal to consume these with some citrus for optimal absorption of non-heme iron! It’s a good thing I am an omnivore because I couldn’t tolerate the thought of either of these two things in the first trimester, so I was able to get iron from meat.

My prenatal also has 18 mg of iron. I asked my OB if I needed any additional iron supplementation (hoping she’d say no if I’m getting the rest of the 27mg or so that are recommended from food) and she said that my iron was great at my first appointment and they would check it again at 28 weeks when they do the glucose test, so for now I feel good.

5) Calcium. Calcium is a very important pregnancy nutrient! Aim for 1,000 mg a day to ensure your bones don’t get depleted as the baby uses calcium to build bones, teeth, etc. Milk and yogurt are my favorite sources, along with sardines (!) and veggies, but don’t underestimate cheese or ice cream! Choose a natural brand like Breyers All Natural. I was surprised to find that there is less sugar in a half cup of Breyers Vanilla Bean than in a typical fruit on the bottom yogurt! The important thing about ice cream is to keep the portion size small and choose a natural kind (not the loaded-with-candy-bar or processed ingredients kinds!) Bonus if you can find organic/grass-fed milk versions : ) This is one pregnancy craving that I enjoyed to the max.

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6) Fats. Fat is important for baby’s brain and nervous system development, so now is not the time to go all fat-free on your diet. Avocados are a great source, and I’ve been trying to buy one a week to incorporate into sandwiches and lunches. Nut butters, olive oil drizzled on a green salad and cheese are also delicious ways to enjoy fats. Twinkies and trans-fats….not so much.

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7) Listeria risk + raw cheese. One of the “rules” of pregnancy eating is to avoid deli meats and smoked meats that have an increased risk of containing listeria, a bacteria that can harm a fetus without you even getting sick yourself. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have turkey or smoked salmon, but it is recommended that you heat it to steaming first. Yeah, I know steamed smoked salmon sounds like an oxymoron, but I’d rather have it steamed than not at all I love it so!

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Several people have asked me how I have been able to enjoy goat cheese and blue cheese since soft cheeses are on the no-no list. It’s because it’s really unpasteurized soft cheeses that are not recommended. Here in the USA, those are rare to come by, but they do exist (my beloved goat milk feta cheese is raw, for example). So I just ask restaurants (especially fancy ones) if their cheeses are pasteurized and then you can goat-cheese away!

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You can also enjoy sushi!! Just choose cooked versions and stay away from the higher mercury fish (like Yellowfin tuna, which wouldn’t be cooked anyways).

8) EPA + DHA. I’ve looked into taking omega-3 fish oil supplements many times throughout my nutrition career. My decision was finalized when I talked to one of my internship mentors who had been involved in extensive omega-3 research. She shared with me that eating a fish high in these essential fatty acids twice a week was ideal for intake. So when I asked her if she thought I should be taking a supplement, she simply asked me: “Why not just eat more fish?” Duh – that seemed like the obvious solution! Fish is a bit hard to handle in the kitchen. It’s expensive and you have to eat it the same day you buy it for optimal freshness. But canned or frozen wild Alaskan salmon and sardines are cheap and shelf stable, so they are my go-tos for omega-3s.

Since pregnancy, I’ve been trying to eat salmon or other omega-3 fish twice a week. I have to say that this wasn’t always possible (ironically salmon was one fish I could not stand during the first trimester) but now that I’m in the second and feeling much better, both are back on the menu. I’ve been buying frozen wild salmon because it’s easier to manage in our meal plan than fresh, and sardines made a comeback this week. This site was recently sent to me as a great resource to cook fish directly from your freezer. I’d much rather spend my money on a fish that comes with protein, calcium and flavor than an expensive pill I have to swallow everyday. I don’t eat fish as often as I should, but I’m working on it.

Sardines Fish

[Note: I recently blogged about Barramundi from Whole Foods that my neighbor recommended for its omega-3 content, but I discovered after I had it home that it was from Indonesia. After checking out Seafood Watch and some helpful blog comments, I realized this was not only a poor choice in sourcing but wild Barramundi is high in mercury too! I would not buy this fish again. Shame on Whole Foods for having this fish on their shelves.]

9) Mocktails. The biggest reason why I love alcohol is for the process of drinking it. I love pouring something to sip on while I’m cooking dinner or swirling around ice cubes in a glass at a party. Rather than cut out cocktails, I’ve just replaced alcohol with a variety of mocktails.

From cherries fizzing in sparling water to asking restaurants if they can make me a virgin version of one of their drinks, this has made all the difference in participating in the social aspects of drinking. While a part of me does ache for a potent glass of red wine or a few glugs of a malty and sweet Belgian strong ale, I really haven’t missed the alcohol much at all. My favorite mocktails have been the lemon/lime/simple syrup martinis I’ve had (any bar should be able to make that if you describe it!) and the Spice-a-rita made with limeade at Mono Loco. Better than the original!

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10) Caffeine. The research says that 200mg or less of caffeine is safe, but since I had weaned myself off coffee due to its addicting and jittery/headache effects on my body the year before I got pregnant, giving up coffee wasn’t a big change for me. I still drink a cup of black tea nearly every morning (~40 mg caffeine) and have had several cups of real coffee and sodas with no worry because they aren’t part of my daily life. But since it’s easy enough to choose decaf coffee, I usually just opt for that over regular, more because I hate coffee’s effect on my sleep cycle and body than because I’m concerned about the safety.

11) Don’t stress. There were definitely a few days during the first trimester where I ate very poorly. Nothing green, too many carbs, too much sugar. But for the most part, I was able to sneak in nutrients even when I couldn’t stand the thought of them. Take advantage of your cravings and just do the best you can. A prime example: mac and cheese (craving!) with a small amount of greens (on the bottom) and some salmon. I took a comfort food craving and amped it up a bit with pregnancy superfoods.

Cravings

Another example we had a few times: a meaty tomato sauce with spinach and zucchini (in small pieces!) stirred in over whole wheat pasta. All of those tricks people sneak into kids’ foods – use them on yourself! For a while a green smoothie was the only way I could get in salads at lunch, so I had one everyday for a week!

Now the only kind of salads I like at home are simple greens with lemon juice and a fun topping (like goat cheese! or hummus) so that’s what you’ll find on my plate most.

Simple salads

Many of you wisely told me this in earlier posts, but I’m here to repeat it: don’t stress too much about weight gain either. I had a big gain in weeks 12-16 when I found my appetite back and strong, putting me on the high end of weight gain charts, but I barely gained any in weeks 16-20. I really do believe that everything will balance out so long as you’re making a good effort to eat well. I’m back to eating 3 meals a day plus a snack, swig of juice or dessert here or there, and so far my doctor says my weight gain is right on track: about 10 pounds in 20 weeks.

All in all, pregnancy hasn’t changed my diet that much. Just a few tweaks here or there and a bit more conscious though into getting more of the things I need most.

Please note that while I am a Registered Dietitian, it is important to check with YOUR doctor when you have any questions regarding your pregnancy diet, as individual circumstances may differ from person to person.

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