One thing that’s been important throughout my wife’s pregnancy is my role in supporting her diet. With the hormones and emotions running all over the place, cravings and aversions come in swings (or tidal waves), and will change on the drop of a hat. My rule of thumb throughout the pregnancy has been “everything in moderation.” If the wife wants chocolate cake, I get her chocolate cake – as long as we’re doing the best we can to eat healthy.
Sometimes, it’s just hard. There are going to be periods throughout the pregnancy where the smell of beef makes your partner want to throw up, or maybe it’s the sight of guacamole that makes her skin crawl. Just do the best you can! Work with your partner, listen to her when she tells you what sounds good and what doesn’t, and come up with some staples for the menu.
Here are a couple ideas that have been incredibly helpful for us:
1) Healthy snacks – your partner not only is going to need to eat healthy, but the further into the pregnancy it goes, the more frequent and smaller meals she is going to need. Fruit and nuts have been great for my wife, and help provide some healthy nutrients she and the baby needs throughout the day.
2) Grilled chicken salad – I swear, we eat this for dinner a solid three to four times a week. Grill a seasoned chicken breast, chop it up and add to a simple salad of your choice. We make a salad with lettuce, chopped almonds, diced apples, and a blue cheese vinaigrette. Cut up the chicken and toss it on top, and you have a delicious and pretty healthy meal.
3) Burritos – Okay, so this one isn’t the healthiest thing in the world. But guess what? It’s not terrible. Make them yourself with chicken instead of ground beef, add some good vegetables to it like zucchini, cut back a little on the cheese and sour cream, and it’s not going to be the end of the world. This meal is an example of a time where it was the only thing that sounded good, so we found a way to make it as healthy as possible.
4) Smoothies – Smoothies! I love smoothies. Pick your ingredients, throw them together in a blender, and boom! Instant meal. This is a great way to hide nutrients if your partner is really struggling to get food down (morning sickness can be a tricky monster). Try out different combinations! Use some Greek yogurt, carrots, chia seeds and orange juice, or try a smoothie with a lot of rich greens like kale combined with some apples. The great thing is, you can use just about anything. Have fun experimenting!
Do whatever you can to help and support your wife’s nutrients during the process, and make sure to communicate with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. But my advice is this – let your partner have what they want, all in moderation.