Friday, June 8, 2012
Menu Planning For the First Trimester
Trying to plan a menu while nauseous is seriously miserable. When that queasy feeling hits, the last thing I want to think about is food. I remembered from my last pregnancy just how miserable of a task it was and decided to do some pre-morning sickness (I should say ALL DAY sickness) meal planning. I actually found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks. It makes for a long pregnancy, but it also gives me time to prepare for when I am so completely exhausted that I can not pick my self up off the couch or even look at a picture of food let alone get near any.
I decided this time around that I would be more proactive in preparing meals ahead of time for my family. This way they would still be able to eat good home cooked meals rather than cereal of fast food for every meal. I don't want their nutrition to suffer just because momma can't even stand to look at food. Here a just a few of the steps that I have taken...
1. Make a List of Meals
Plan out your meals for at least a month: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. I know when I am feeling queasy I don't want to sit and think about a bunch of food. Having a meal plan already laid out will take all of the thinking out of it. Try to include meals that are meatless or that are simple and easy to put together, yet healthy.
2. Pre-cook meat and freeze it.
During my first trimester I usually can not cook meat. Especially ground hamburger. Just the thought, let alone the smell, makes me sick. So, I bought several pounds of ground hamburger and chicken and took one day to cook it all up. I then divided it, based on meal types, into freezer bags. This way when we want to have Spaghetti with meat sauce later on I can just pull the meat out, defrost it and warm it up with some sauce. When I want to make up some chicken enchiladas, all I have to do is grab a bag of precooked, shredded chicken, and defrost it. This cuts out one step from cooking that I just cannot do while experiencing my all-day sickness. If you are already feeling that aversion to meet, ask hubby or another family member to cook up a bunch for you. Loved ones are usually happy to help, they just need to be asked.
3. Make up casseroles and freeze them.
Take a day to make a few lasagnas or other easy casseroles that you can freeze for later. Or simply double the meals you are currently making for dinner and freeze one for later. This allows you no prep later on when you are feeling exhausted and can hardly get up off the couch. Simply pop it into the oven and you are done. To make this even easier put the casserole in a disposable pan that you can easily toss when you are done. Easier clean up.
These three simple steps have already made a big difference. I am not yet to the worst part of my all-day sickness, but it has helped tremendously not to have to cook any meat!
Have you ever done anything to prepare for that inevitable first trimester sickness?