Brierley Horton, RD, Cooking Light's food and nutrition director, corrals advice from fellow dietitians to help mothers-to-be avoid succumbing to the adverse effects of morning sickness.
You’re pregnant—hooray! Then, for some, morning sickness sets in. Whether it’s true morning sickness, lasts all day, or hits you like a freight train in the evening, it is absolutely no fun.
Perhaps foods you once loved, you now abhor; or the smell of your significant other’s favorite meal has you running to the porcelain throne. Whatever sets you off, you should know which foods might be appealing and how to quell that nausea.
“Eat anything that is appealing to you and not dangerous to baby, such as alcohol, raw animal foods, or cheese made from unpasteurized milk,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy. “Also, don’t get dehydrated or let yourself get too hungry as this can make ‘morning sickness,’ which can actually last all day, worse.”
So what might be likeable? Here, 15 dietitians weigh in with their tried-and-true foods for combating nausea and food aversions during pregnancy:
1) Ginger Ale
"Keep small, bland snacks by your bedside to eat first thing. Also, although not a food, taking your prenatal vitamin with food or in the evening can help." —Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CD, CDE.
2) Gingersnaps, ginger chews
"As well as potato chips, saltines, lemonade." —Michelle Dudash, RDN.
3) Sour Candies
"Such as sour patch kids or sour cherry blasters. Also bland, dry cereal, like Special K or cheerios." —Abbey Sharp, RD.
4) French Fries and Coke
As well as juicy fruits, such as watermelon —Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy.
"Saltines were like manna from heaven with my first child, and for my second all I wanted was matzo ball soup or ramen noodle soup." —Elana Natker, MS, RD.
6) Whole Grain Bread
"Heavily-buttered whole grain bread, toasted and sprinkled with sea salt." —Sidney Fry, MS, RD, @wholefry on Instagram.
7) Daily Eggs
"Pregnancy is when I became an 'egg a day' person. It settled my stomach and helped me feel full—and fortunately it's also choline rich which is super important for pregnancy." —Jenna Braddock, RDN.
8) Hard Candies
"Sucking on a sweet, hard candy." —Brynn McDowell, RD
9) Bagels, Followed By Lifesavers
"Peppermint lifesavers were truly a lifesaver. Bland, starchy foods, like plain baked potatoes and plain bagels, were also easy to eat with a bunch of food aversions and nausea." —Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC.
10) Homemade Ginger Tea
"Peel and cut up a 1-inch cube of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. Drink it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of honey." —Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN.
11) Carb-Loaded Snacks
"Crackers and pretzels." —Lauren Sharifi, RDN
"Sun-dried Amalaki or Indian Gooseberries are time-tested remedies in Ayurveda and holistic medicine from India for pregnancy-induced morning sickness." —Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, RD and Ayurvedic Practitioner
"The more cartoon characters on the box, the better! While sugary cereals are not always a great source of nutrition, fortified cereals can supply some extra nutrition — particularly when nausea or food aversion prevented me from eating my fruits and veggies." —Bethany Frazier, MS, RD, LD
"Nothing worked for me. All of these are great suggestions, but by week 36 I still had not found anything to alleviate the sickness. For some, the only thing that helps morning sickness is delivery." —Shelley A. Rael, MS, RDN
15) Sour Foods
"Orange, lemon, and lime-flavored foods; green apples; really sour lemonade or lemon sorbet." —Bernita LaCroix, RD