Sunday, September 1, 2013

60+ ideas for food to eat when you have "morning sickness" (a.k.a. all-day pregnancy nausea and vomiting)

Being an academic, scholar, and researcher, I have done a $%#@load of research to prepare for this pregnancy.

In fact, I kind of have a hard time not slapping people in the face when they ask if my pregnancy was planned.

Oh, you know, only down to the cycle.


Anyway, resources and research have been and are very important to me, but you know what I didn't find when I felt like I was dying from the pregnancy nausea?

A list of snack ideas to keep me, you know, alive. I went about four weeks on water, granola bars, and soda crackers (which I detest).

I was so sick, I honestly couldn't wrap my mind around what on earth I could possibly consume. I still can't, to be fair, so a good portion of this list comes from the mother-friends of mine who I e-mailed in desperation, looking for suggestions.

I am a huge foodie, so this was a problem. If I couldn't think of food to eat, how many others out there were starving away along with me?

I haven't been able to eat dairy with this little one, so I've tried to suggest some ideas that do contain dairy, but there may be some conspicuously absent ones, and I'd love to hear from you on those, and any other ideas you have that you think I should include.

For now, though, hopefully this is a pretty good list. Some of these are going to sound horrible to you, but hopefully, everyone can find one thing or another that they like.

My rule of thumb for this list has been my own personal rule of thumb. It has to be fast, it has to be easy, and it can't be too processed. Normally, I'm a pretty principled eater, but right now, I'm really just operating on any calories that will go down and stay down.

  • peanut butter and honey sandwiches
    • and variations thereof: hazelnut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, Nutella, etc.)
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • toast and butter/jam/cinnamon sugar
  • hummus and pita chips
    • for me, this meant the plainest version of both: it didn't sound good at the beginning of the nausea, but I devour it with zeal now at ~14 weeks)
  • salsa and tortilla chips
  • guacamole and tortilla chips
    • make your own if it sounds like too much: smash one avocado with salt, and consume; add a few drops of lime juice or white vinegar if you want some more zing)
  • bean dip and tortilla chips
    • no bean dip? Refried beans and salt make a pretty good substitute.
  • Spaghetti-O's 
    • I know what I said about processed food, but upon reading the ingredient label on these suckers, it really isn't that bad
  • salad with vinaigrette dressing
    • For me, this meant mixed greens with Greek or balsamic vinaigrette, and tomatoes. Nothing else.
  • string cheese
  • yogurt
  • bagels with cream cheese
    • vary it up by varying the type of bagel and/or the type of cream cheese
  • salt and vinegar chips (or potato chips in general)
    • not very nutritious, but they pack a punch in terms of calories, carbs, and fat and how much you have to eat to get said calories, carbs, and fat. A handful of potato chips got me a lot further than an apple did.
  • pre-cut fruit from the produce aisle: strawberries and blueberries, mixed fruit, melon... whatever strikes your fancy
    • because you just feel that crappy.
  • veggie tray
    • see previous
  • apples
    • whole ones made me gag, but cutting these up with an apple cutter or even a knife fit within my five-minute requirement
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • pomegranates
  • carrot sticks and ranch dressing
  • celery sticks and ranch dressing
  • red bell pepper strips and ranch dressing
  • chicken salad sandwich on croissant (canned chicken + mayo + croissant. boom.)
  • egg salad sandwich on toasted white bread (hard-boiled egg + mayo + mustard + bread)
  • shrimp salad sandwich on white bread (frozen cooked baby shrimp + mayo + bread)
  • crab salad sandwich on white bread (real or imitation crabmeat + mayo + bread)
  • cherry and/or grape tomatoes
    • I dipped mine in sea salt
  • hard-boiled eggs with salt
  • smoothies
    • before, I made these. Now that I feel like I ate an angry mackerel who just won't die, I buy them.
  • cold cereal and (almond) milk
  • chicken nuggets
    • from anywhere I can get them: fast food, restaurants, the freezer (microwaveable or fry-it-yourself)
  • french fries with ketchup
  • Gatorade
    • this is what I have for breakfast every morning
  • brownies
  • rice krispie treats
  • soft white dinner rolls (with butter and jam or jelly, or whatever you like)
  • pasta with red sauce
  • gummy candy
  • egg noodles with canned roast beef and sour cream (quasi-stroganoff)
  • Frito pie: Frito chips topped with canned chili, sour cream, and/or cheddar cheese
  • pizza
    • can actually be reasonably healthy if you shop it right: you've got your carbs, protein, and fat all in one
  • fake-a-pizza: tortilla or bagel topped with pizza/marinara sauce and cheese and anything else you want
  • pancakes
  • waffles
  • German pancakes/puffy pancakes/hootenannies/Dutch boys
    • obscenely easy: mix 3 eggs, 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. flour, and a pinch of salt. Put 3-4 Tablespoons melted butter in the bottom of a pie dish and pour in the batter. Bake 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Eat with syrup, jam, or whatever strikes your craving's fancy.
  • real fruit or real fruit juice popsicles
  • granola bars
  • crackers with cheese or cheese whiz, if that's how you roll
  • quesadillas
  • fakeadillas: tortillas with beans and/or cheese, microwaved until cheese is melted and rolled up
  • pickles (not very high in calories, but better than nothing if veggies don't sound any good)
  • pickled green beans/dilly beans
  • pickled carrots
  • stewed tomatoes
  • doughnuts
    • again, not healthy, but when you're throwing everything up, these are simple to digest and pack a great punch in terms of calories to get you to the next, hopefully healthier, snack or meal
  • oatmeal
    • preferably from scratch, because it tastes better and isn't so processed, but Quaker just tastes like magic sometimes
  • granola with (almond) milk
  • hot hoagies
  • ice cream or gelato
  • frozen bananas blended with (dark) chocolate (almond) milk
  • instant breakfast and protein shakes
    • I drank these when I was extra nauseous and couldn't even think about food. In retrospect, the dairy in them probably made things worse, but they were convenient, quick, and tasty. Throw in some ice cubes to enhance the flavor and texture if you wish.
  • morir sonando
    • this is a Dominican beverage. Take one cold prepared batch of orange juice from concentrate and stir it up with one cold can of evaporated milk. Sweeten to taste with sugar and stir with ice cubes: the colder, the better! 
  • sauteed vegetables
    • whatever sounds good: oil, maybe some garlic, salt, and the vegetables
  • fruit cobbler
    • canned fruit or pie filling, topped with one of the following and baked:
      • canned biscuits
      • cake mix and club soda or lemon-lime soda
      • crumble topping, if you're feeling ambitious
  • cinnamon rolls
    • from a can or a bag from the freezer, of course. You're not feeling up to making them from scratch, are you? Normally, I would be, but oh no. Not right now.
  • biscuits
    • again, probably from a can
  • scrambled eggs
  • canned soup
  • cooked rice (instant or not)
  • Jell-O (make your own or buy the cups)
Got more? Leave them in the comments here, and I'll add them!

And let's be honest. I've consumed a disgusting amount of ramen noodles, too.


  1. Egg rolls. Calorie dense and easy to get down.

  2. Thanks for making this list. Saw it on Pinterest. Definitely would have used it for my pregnancy!

  3. Officially my grocery list!
    Thanks for making Preggo life with 2 wee ones that much easier!

  4. You should probably double think that whole Peanut butter and honey sandwich thing though

  5. Loove this thank you! My first pregnancy was easy! But this one is awful (im only 5 weeks:() I stuck with fries w/fry sauce (utah thing!) Mix ketchup+miracle whip or mayo with a squirt of mustard! Fabulous! Scrambled eggs sandwiches mix scrambled eggs + miracle whip+toast! Yumm-o! And in between puking Graham crackers n butter :)

  6. Currently 8 weeks pregnant, and I'm having a terrible time with "morning" sickness. I have found that if I can eat something every few hours, I'm great in the afternoons! Mornings are my roughest times, but if I accidentally nap too long I'll have a rough afternoon too. I think it comes down to me being over hungry? Idk- but I feel like if I miss my "eating window" I'll be sick as a dog for at least two hours. In these moments- I find the faster the better!

    I've taken to cold canned fruit (peaches and pineapples), the cold soothes me :) and I also like the green giant just for one frozen veggies. They come in packs of 4, take about three minutes to heat up and come in flavors like brocolli and Mac, brocolli rice and cheese, brocolli and cheese, Italian seasoned veggies, etc. There have been days where this is the only thing I can eat every few hours and I do think it helps get me back on track faster than toast or crackers :)

    I also try to remember that every time I'm sick, that's just a little reminder that my little baby is developing right on track! Good luck all and congratulations!!!!!

  7. Thank you so much for this list! Its exactly what I needed!

  8. Thank you for posting this. I'm 8 weeks and although I'm not really having morning (or any other time) sickness, I have had terrible nausea for most of the morning and late evening. I don't even want to look at food before lunch, and then in a matter of seconds I go from uniterested to starving. I've tried to have some quick foods on hand when this strikes. Mostly I've been wanting carbs (breads, pastas, tortillas) but reading through this list, most of it actually sounded good for a change. I will be adding some of the these items when I go grocery shopping this week.

  9. This is my first pregnancy, and I am sick all day and all night. I have such a hard time eating, figuring out what wont trigger vomiting, and knowing what I am craving. I've read so many different foods and theories that 'help' with the nausea, but so far nothing helps.
    I came across this blog on pinterest & everything on it (besides anything to fo with eggs or pickles or pickled items, couldn't do that) sounded appetizing! So I have finally been able to write out a grocery list of what I want and what I know I will easily consume!
    Thank you so much for this!
    You have saved me <3

  10. I subsisted off of rainbow sherbert with apple juice mixed in for a good month and a half. It wasn't nearly enough calories but it kept me hydrated and some extra vitamins when I couldn't even keep down water.

    I will also say that while oatmeal sounds like a good idea for its absorbancy, its not very fun coming back up.

    1. Omg do I know what you mean..its like choking yourself..never fun

  11. Chicken pastry. Or chicken and dumplings. Whatever you call it.

  12. I'm obsessed with all things cheese. Cottage Cheese is my go to when I feel gross.

  13. I agree with Amber. Honey can be harmful to your baby when you're pregnant. Doctors say to stay away from it, along with soft cheeses and sushi :(

  14. It's fine to eat honey while pregnant; there isn't any medical research/literature that supports it being dangerous. It is best to stick with pure/pasteurized forms, you just shouldn't give honey to an infant.

  15. Great list! I'm 10 weeks and currently living on bagels with cream cheese. This should give me a bit more variety! Thank you! :)

  16. 1) Orbits peppermint gum is miraculous
    2) peppermint iced tea
    3) roasted almonds

  17. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to write this. So many of us struggle with keeping food down and it gets scary losing so much weight in the first trimester. I greatly appreciate this list. All my love <3

  18. Orgain protein powder is plant based and sage during pregnancy. Chocolatey goodness that is amazing mixed with almond milk.

  19. Orgain protein powder is plant based and sage during pregnancy. Chocolatey goodness that is amazing mixed with almond milk.

  20. So yeah pretty much everything on this list is a no go for me right now...peanut butter? Typically I love it... Can't stand the smell of it right now. Toast with butter and apple sauce and non acidic fruits are OK, but anything dairy not good. Anything fried, not good! I didn't have any morning sickness with my first two but have it all day every day with this one. Eating very often and small amounts at a time is the only thing that helps.

  21. First 2 kids, I had no problems. Last kid I've been nauseous all day. I read an interesting article the other day that tied nausea to a number of things but one of them is being tired. I've had some pretty terrible nights which has lead to really bad days and I've been finding that if I can fall asleep and stay asleep that my day goes by much better. Thanks for the food ideas, I definitely needed some!!

  22. I loved the quote, "before, I made these. Now that I feel like I ate an angry mackerel who just won't die, I buy them." I was laughing out load! My pregnancies are horrible... I am on #3, and I puke up until the day my kids are born. I liked this list just because it reminded me that it is ok to eat quick foods, even though I'd really like to be healthy! I think part of my issue is acid reflux (this causes nausea in non-prego people too). Now that I have gotten past my first trimester, I attempt to take zantac first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It feels horrible... but I think it is working? I guess if I can stop throwing up this pregnancy, it will be proof that it works, right? :) And adding to the comment above - sleep really does impact me too... try unisom! Best thing ever, especially if your nausea is connected to morning sickness and/or you have horrible pregnancy insomnia!

  23. I was having hard time during my early weeks due to all the time nausea and sickness and managed it with the help of an organic tea no to morning sickness tea.

  24. im almost 10 weeks with my fifth baby and this is by far my worst pregnancy. i cant eat anything without feeling sick. my best friends at the moment are Fanta and Minstrels (not healthy in the slightest but its something) cant handle any dairy or cooked food so feeling pretty pants at the mo :( will definitely be trying some of your suggestions.

  25. If I eat every 90-120min I'm ok. And it doesn't matter what it is. I can eat normal then. But if I miss that window it's a lot trickier to find something to go down. And then it takes 1-2hrs to get straight again. I have found that drinking Kombucha helps me with the nausea. And anything salty! Ramen Noodles. Kefir w. Cereal is also my morning go to cause its fast, cold and stays down. I can't eat anything candy and I LOVE sweets! Def. loosing weight but it is what it is. I'm also a fitness trainer so it makes it harder to do, but usually if I eat 1-2hrs before the class I feel ok while moving. And then I have to eat something like a banana immediately after. Then eat again when I get back home. All I do is eat, it seems like. But yeah mornings and nights are the worst. If I don't eat until I close my eyes for sleep I have a horrible night. Good luck!

  26. No to morning sickness tea, ginger ale and crackers were helping me alleviating my nausea and vomiting during my pregnancy.

  27. So far...
    -pancakes, waffles
    -baby food (the good flavors, like banana, or apple oatmeal, etc.)
    -ginger ale
    -minty gum
    -Annie's cheddar bunnies, lol

  28. Ramen noodles, jasmine rice cooked fresh or cooled off, and steam able corn got me through my most rough days during my first pregnancy.

    Second time around now. Nauseous and only 4 weeks! Yikes! But I look at my sweet beautiful son and know he is such a gift so this makes the nausea a little bit more tolerable this time now that I know what a gift we get at the end of it!