Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

The Four Food Groups of Early Pregnancy

White food. It’s all I’ve been eating for the last seven or eight weeks, thanks to a robust dose of morning sickness! I had the type that feels like the worst hangover you’ve ever had, lasts all day and can only be cured by second and third breakfasts, a constant supply of carbs, and TV marathons.

Writing about my kitchen activity over the last couple of months would have resulted in rather short posts. They would have focussed on four main food groups; meat wrapped in pastry, chips, bread and potatoes. Let’s not quibble that chips and potatoes are technically the same thing. Any variation, no matter how small, was important considering vegemite was my main source of vitamins.

The first trimester is now behind me and green food has made a welcome comeback to my plate. My latest challenge is feeding the voracious hunger this kid seems to be fuelling. I regularly find myself in front of an open fridge, willing interesting yet healthy snacks to appear. This week, with a second-trimester kick of energy, I’ve stocked up with high-protein snacks to keep this baby growing.

Second Trimester Snacks

Cheese on Rye

When rye crackers appear in the pantry, I know I’m “being good”. I think eating cardboard is my penance for over-indulgence. However, topping a Ryvita with a generous slice of mild goat cheddar and a few rounds of cucumber is tasty and also vaguely northern European, which makes me feel sophisticated.

Blueberry Smoothie

A bag of organic blueberries in the freezer is a good start to a smoothie. A handful whizzed up with a banana, rice milk, greek yoghurt and some almonds brings a little bit of Summer into my grey morning as well as sneaking in a couple of fruit servings.

Salmon and Whitebean Crostini

Salmon and white bean crostini

Tinned things are excellent to have in the pantry for impromptu snacks. Beans and fish combine in this quick recipe for a snack that can turn into lunch, or even an appetiser.

Combine a drained can of cannellini beans, a drained, large can of salmon, some minced garlic, some finely chopped rosemary, a tablespoon or two of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of capers, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Use a fork to slightly mash the beans, combine well. Serve on toast.

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express)

Bliss Balls

Bliss Balls

The snack that tastes and feels indulgent but is actually good for you. I’ve never followed a recipe for bliss balls, I just keep throwing ingredients together until it a) tastes nice and b) has the right texture to form balls. Here’s a rough guide.

Place a few handfuls of nuts, seeds and dried fruit (I used almonds, cashews, dates, sunflower seeds and sultanas) in a food processor and blitz. Add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa or cacao powder. Add enough (liquid) coconut oil, tahini and honey to turn the mixture into a texture that can be shaped into balls. Roll balls in desiccated coconut and store in the fridge for a week, or the freezer for up to three months.

More precise recipes can be found here: One Equals Two’s Amazeballs, Jill Dupleix’s Protein Balls, or these Hazelnut and Orange ones.

I’ll return to non-pregnancy related, normal Simple Provisions posts next week (don’t worry, this isn’t turning into a baby blog). If you’ve got any other suggestions for high-protein snacks, particularly for smoothie variations, I’d love to hear them.

It’s good to be back!

27 thoughts on “The Four Food Groups of Early Pregnancy (and Some Healthy Snacks)

  1. How exciting! I say that as I get ready to usher my just 18 year old off to college. It’s an amazing ride this parenting business. My first months of pregnancy were spent in Zagreb Croatia when the war was going on in those parts and all I wanted to eat were New York bagels – maybe with a smear. Not to be had. Yes, white food.

    1. Amelia says:

      Wow Tricia – I guess a war does impede access to cravings somewhat! I hope the college years are kind to you on this next part of this parenting caper :)

  2. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Huge congratulations Amelia! That’s very exciting news. Oh my, I can relate to those first four first-trimester food groups. Embarrassingly, my biggest craving during the first trimester was custard doughnuts. *Cough* I guess that’s because my body was clearly craving calcium (and custard is, ahem, positively loaded with it). Your bliss ball mixture sounds delicious – love the idea of adding tahini. Thanks so much for the shout-out to my amazeballs (the link goes to Jill Dupleix’ recipe though, but hers sound gorgeous anyway)!

    1. Amelia says:

      Argh! I fixed the link. 2 months off and I’ve lost the ability to put a link in a post correctly!

  3. Congratulations on expecting a little one and good thing you’re feeling better!

  4. Mmm I love making ‘bliss balls’! I call them energy bites, and they are just the thing when you need something that is sweet and delicious but still with some oomph to get you going.

    1. Amelia says:

      Yep, perfect for oomph giving!

  5. Congratulations on the news!

    1. Amelia says:

      Much more woohooing going on now that I’m not sick! Thank you.

  6. ritavegas says:


  7. Lorena says:

    Congratulations! During pregnancy, I was all about protein. I loved poached eggs over sauteed or steamed greens on whole wheat toast, steak salads, mashed avocado and scrambled egg sandwiches on multigrain bread, and anything with beans — especially bean burritos, white bean dip on toast, and hummus with crackers.

    1. Amelia says:

      Bean burritos sound delicious to me right now, and scrambled eggs is a big tick! Thanks for the ideas Lorena!

      1. Lorena says:

        You’re welcome! I’m convinced that anything tastes better with avocado, especially scrambled eggs, and/or in burrito form. Then again, I’m in the American epicenter for both — San Diego, Calif. — and have the good fortune to be able to enjoy them whenever I like. Happy eating!

  8. Congratulations Amelia! Such fantastic news. I had been wondering where you had been, I may have been having Simple Provision withdrawals. Glad to see you back and very glad you are in the second semester happy hormones phase.

    1. Amelia says:

      Hannah, that is so sweet! Thank you! I am very happy to be back.

  9. Congratulations! Great to hear your news..

  10. annmahnet says:

    Congratulations, Amelia! Sounds like you’ve made it through the hardest part. I can’t wait to try the salmon + bean crostini. I try to limit my canned tuna intake (because of mercury) — thanks for the canned salmon suggestion. Genius!

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you Ann. I hope your pregnancy is all going well too!

  11. heybernice says:

    Massive congratulations gorgeous girl! I was reliving both my pregnancies reading your post. A friend of mine referred to it as the Beige food months! The amount of potato (huge bag of potato gems in our freezer at all times!), pasta and bread I ate was ridiculous. So excited by your news xx

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks Bin! I hope you and your lovely girls are well xx

  12. mrsgillies says:

    Oh i love potato gems. YUM. And congrats!

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