Pregnant and need to eat more.
January 31, 2012 5:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm pregnant and having problems eating enough. Please advise.

I'm in the second trimester of pregnancy and having annoying food drama. I'm not particularly nauseated anymore, but food tends to seem pretty repulsive. Preparing food grosses me out, so I mostly rely on my partner to make things or eat out. It's hard to plan because what I'm willing to eat varies a lot from day to day: for a couple weeks I'll think pizza (for example) is the best thing ever, then suddenly I feel that I can never eat pizza again. Often when I try to find something to eat I go through everything in the kitchen thinking no, I've already eaten that, it's too disgusting. Making decisions about food has become overwhelming. Before most meals my partner spends several minutes with me asking could you eat this? what about this? and we go through at least 10 different possibilities before I think ok, maybe I could try that.

My attempts to just ignore my food aversions and eat whatever's at hand haven't worked, trying to eat something that seems repulsive makes me feel worse. Once I'm hungry and out of it (which is an increasing fraction of the time these days) everything gets even harder and I melt down like an overtired child. I keep waking up in the middle of the night hungry. It's escalated to the point that I just had a midnight meltdown after waking up starving and spending an hour trying to think of something to eat, then I woke up my partner while sobbing because I felt so guilty that I was disturbing his sleep because I'm incapable of feeding myself. We had some milk and oatmeal in the middle of the night and laughed about it, but I would rather be able to sleep at night.

I should also mention that one easy solution would be to eat more high-calorie sweets, but I've been consistently repulsed by sweet foods for a couple months.

I need some new strategies. So what tricks could I use to get more calories when I'm repulsed by many foods but exactly what I'm willing to eat fluctuates from day to day?
posted by medusa to Health & Fitness (35 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, I'm sorry you're going through this. I know all about the food related melt down. Do you have ANYTHING that is go-to? Saltines, cheese sticks? It doesn't have to be a 'meal' meal. It can be anything that buys you the time to make a decision. It might be helpful to have a schedule - at 6am I will make a decision about breakfast, at 9am I will start thinking about snack, ..... I know that means you'll have to think about food ALL THE TIME, but if you're asking yourself the question before you're famished you're less likely to meltdown. Maybe have a small glass of juice while you decide what baby wants to eat to stave off the low sugar crazies.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:22 AM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There was a point where I subsisted almost entirely on Greenblatt Delicatessan's chicken soup (a famous deli here in LA) and their seasoned broccoli vegetable side plate. I had tons of ToGo containers in my fridge, and I packed it up and ate that when I was out and about.

I SWEAR to you this passes. Please make sure you take your vitamins in the meantime!

All that said, a lot of prepared food IS disgusting. Even from restaurants.

Try juicing organic vegetable and fruits. You can definitely make this in a blender by adding a bit of water, juice, or broth - healthier this way as it includes the fiber.

Lentils. Lentils are irresistable. As are good Yukon gold mashed potatoes! And roasted sweet potatoes with butter and salt!!

Eat freshly prepared, free range and organic whenever possible to cut down on the revulsion factor.

But yeah. I went through a giant soup phase because, like I said, everything else was revolting. To get variety you might try purée vegetables cooked in good chicken stock - one type and flavor per batch - like potato, or celeriac, lentils, broccoli and cauliflower, etc., etc.. Then just carry that with you in ToGo containers, or a thermos, especially if you've made a blended or juice extracted beverage.

Freshly prepared soups or smoothies with quality ingredients, that was my solution for this condition.

Congratulations, btw!!
posted by jbenben at 5:46 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Can you drink whole milk? I had to drink at least 3 litres while pregnant and replaced almost all my water with milk or hot chocolate.

My freezer still has a whole bunch of frozen meals, the only things I could stand at the end. Cheese (melted cheese on toast, chedder cheese on crackers, mac and cheese...) is also high calorie. I also had lots of beef jerky. I didn't like ice cream or chocolate much while I was pregnant, but once in a while, I could eat that for the calories.

Don't be at all embarrassed about this! The way you write, you sound a bit like I felt, sort of guilty for being a fuss about food and putting so much extra work on the rest of my household. But uh, you are creating an entire new life with huge physical demands - some women sail through this, some women do not. Getting calories and nutrition is tough when your body suddenly changes.

So order out different food. Try lots of condiments - green chillis and mustard helped a lot.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:50 AM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Does drinking have the same issues? I got through a lot of this by drinking Special K protein shakes and Odwalla smoothies. You could make your own, too, if that helps. The Special K vanilla were okay for me at room temp, so I would keep one near my bed for the middle of the night issue.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:59 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: My partner refused to talk about food with me or "preview" what we'd be having because it made it worse. Instead he made multiple small easy dishes and brought them to me. What I ate, I ate; what I didn't, I didn't.

I remember sobbing regularly over not having enough food or because I was presented food that I found's awful. Hang in there. It does get better. Once I had my baby I was a nomming machine (still am).
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:03 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: Can you do a lot of small snacks throughout the day? Like, a handful of almonds or pecans is pretty high in calories, and will help keep the hunger monster away. One avocado, likewise. A small container of full-fat Greek yogurt, is dairy doesn't squick you out.
posted by rtha at 6:05 AM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Smoothies! frozen fruit, protein powder, yoghurt and sneak in a handful of greens. Great way to get nutrients and calories in a stomach soothing way. A little ginger syrup added can help with nausea too.
posted by leslies at 6:10 AM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

As this is a temporary problem associated with growing a small human in your body, don't feel bad about what you are putting your husband through. It will pass.

For now, try to avoid sugary sweets as they will make you feel hungry all of a sudden. Try to find one thing that you can eat every day for breakfast so you don't have to make a decision first thing in the morning.

I microwave a potato nearly every morning and eat it with whatever leftover meat I have from the night before.

Don't worry about getting enough calories or vitamins or anything like that. Just listen to your body and eat what you are craving, even if it is weird and disgusting.

At one point, during my 3rd pregnancy, I thought that applesauce on salad was the most genius combo in food history.

Throughout all 3 pregnancies I had the same issues as you. I would weep because I couldn't have crab claws and then spend all of our grocery money on fresh cherries that I couldn't get enough of. I ate my body weight in watermelon.

The third pregnancy was very confusing. I am passionate about bacon. Little Marguerite would only allow me a kosher diet (I'm not Jewish). I had to give my neighbor my stash of boudin because baby wouldn't let me sleep with it in the house, she made it so repulsive to me.

All three babies wanted me to eat lots of watermelon. Baby 2 had me eat an indecent amount of cake. Baby 3 thought she might be Jewish. They all came out perfectly normal and healthy.
posted by myselfasme at 6:15 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: I've never been pregnant and never had a particular problem with being disgusted by food in general, but I notice a bunch of drinkable suggestions here, and wanted to add to that the suggestion to drink these things THROUGH A STRAW. It makes everything go down much faster, which gives you less time to be disgusted by it.
posted by mskyle at 6:17 AM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Ah, I remember this well. Congrats on the pregnancy, and I'm sorry this is a tough part of the ride. Some of it sounds like hormones and the usual pregnancy stuff; the behaviour and indecision a lot like low blood sugar. The good news is that you will now have a little empathy when your future kid melts down for the same reasons. When people have too many choices before them, they tend not to make decisions. If, when you discuss food with your partner, he can offer limited selections, you might have an easier time mentally processing it (and that's good advice for the kid too). Don't ravage the cupboards - have a cup of tea to bide your time, and think about what you want, not what you have and what grosses you out.

I had a hard time eating because the smell of people and cooking grossed me out. If I caught a whiff of someone's hair on the streetcar, or sniffed old grease, I'd have the pre-barf saliva working in my mouth for hours. Eventually I walked the forty minutes to and from work (in August) because certain body odors would indeed lead to barfing, and discovered new foods along the way that helped the cravings as I stopped in places to cool off or get drinks. Ginger Ale was a lifesaver. What helped immensely was to find a scent that neutralized what was overwhelming. I kept a few slices of lemon in a sandwich baggie in my pocket, and it helped to clear my senses a bit.

These ginger snaps were also something that I found I could always eat, and I'd graze on them all day, and would keep them on my bedside table, which would take the edge off the hunger and nausea and allow me to get my pregnancy vitamins down. Getting hangry is no fun for you, or for those around you, and it's hard to pull yourself back up when you're over the brink. As we say with my kid, on a tantrum scale of 1-10, we can maybe bring her back down from a 6, but when she hits 7, we just buckle up and hang on for the ride. Try to keep your hunger manageable however you can. And talk to your doctor if it's really a problem, of course.

Can you make some shakes and smoothies, sipping them through a straw so you don't have to think about mouth feel? Throwing in things like avocados and such? Choose less-ripe bananas if you need to, because the scent isn't as strong. Would you find something like an oatmeal cookie stuffed with nice dried fruits something you could nibble on throughout the day?

Some of my friends really loved the various "preggie pops" that are out there. They weren't my thing, though I did crave Certs and similar mints.

And you know what? Eating out is fine, if you can swing it and there's stuff you will eat. It'll be exponentially harder once the baby comes along, so do enjoy it. I spent the last two trimesters alternating between one place around the corner whose schnitzel with green apple slaw I craved, on the days when the gnocchi from the place down the street wasn't hitting the spot. Good luck, and take care.
posted by peagood at 6:22 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I went through this with both of my pregnancies. It passes, I promise. The suggestion to stop thinking of whole meals is a good one, too. I pretty much grazed during my third trimesters and that not only stopped me from feeling ravenous all the time, it made food in general seem much less disgusting.

Crackers were a boon (saltine, graham, Club, oyster, Wheat Thins, Triscuits) so we kept a supply handy at all times. Cheese was good, too, along with the crackers. Oddly enough, Pop Tarts were my midnight go-to "food." I don't normally eat a lot of processed stuff but a packet of strawberry Pop Tarts in the middle of the night was not only palatable, it kept me full until morning.

If you forget to graze and you start feeling super hungry, drink something first. A glass of water, a cup of tea, or a glass of juice will take the edge off and hopefully you'll be able to figure out what food combination will work for you that day.
posted by cooker girl at 6:25 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: I had a similar experience while pregnant. Because I was carrying twins, I needed to consume more calories than a singleton pregnancy but at the same time would feel full quicker due to space issues. I started looking for the highest calorie items on the menu and picked whatever sounded good/edible. It was a lot of mac and cheese and smoothies for me. If it’s feasible, maybe getting some take out and nibbling on it through out the day will work for you?
I also grazed and my partner would spend part of the morning packing me a bag of food for my day at work. There would also be days where I would veto 10 foods before I heard something that sounded edible, although cheese was always a yes. I pretty much ate all day long and always had various nuts (walnuts, peanuts) on hand to grab a handful of whenever I started to feel hungry.
Like another person commented, this should pass and even if it doesn’t, going a week eating only one food and then not wanting anything to do with said food may be frustrating but I say it’s great fodder for later on. “Look how big you are, I survive for a month solely on pickles before you were born!”
posted by Polly Carbonate at 6:53 AM on January 31, 2012

Oh, I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I vividly remember sobbing because I was hungry and couldn't think of anything to eat. I spent months living on nothing but cottage cheese & frozen waffles. I drank a lot of chocolate "Instant Breakfast" stuff, homemade smoothies with yogurt & berries. I snacked on almonds because they were bland & full of protein.

As everyone else has said, this too shall pass. Hang in there.
posted by belladonna at 6:54 AM on January 31, 2012

I just went through this phase (around 16-19 weeks) and I'm finally hungry again at 20 weeks. So, this too will pass. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I would also go with your first instinct. I would get really upset when the only thing I really wanted to eat was Indian take-out food, but I knew my husband was at home cooking up something healthy for us. By the time I got home and dinner was ready, the homemade food sounded terrible, everything else sounded terrible, and now even the Indian food sounded terrible. Lesson: if I'd just picked up the Indian food on my way home, everyone would have been a lot happier.
posted by jrichards at 6:54 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I feel your pain. I variously kept a container of nuts (cashews, almonds, or peanuts), a box of girl scout cookies, or a box of granola bars next to my bed for those midnight wakeups. Usually I could have something. When I didn't want anything, sometimes we'd just watch TV until I saw a food commercial and IMMEDIATELY that's what I wanted and my husband had to go IMMEDIATELY to get take-out from whatever it was. Before I saw another food commercial.

When I had trouble with weight (I was throwing up a lot and losing weight) I had a LOT of milkshakes and smoothies from a local shake place because they were high-calorie, stayed down easy, and drinking was more appealing than eating. The smoothies weren't TOO sweet and they had enough flavors that usually one was appealing.

I made up for the losing weight in the 9th month and by the time the baby came I didn't care if I ever saw food again because I was hungry all the time and all food was disgusting. I ate a lot of cheese and crackers because I could keep it down and it filled me up okay.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:02 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

:( So hard. Just came here to say, since your question doesn't specify this stuff, that if you are still gaining weight and baby is growing and your doc/midwife isn't too nervous about the way things are going, then it really might be okay. Not okay in the sense that you're having meltdowns (though sometimes those happen regardless of food intake... everyone says second tri is the great one for moods but it's not always awesome for everybody), but okay in the sense that it happens to a lot of people. Sometimes the disinterest in food is a postscript to the nausea phase... you're so used to the adverse reaction to food that it takes a bit to get back in the groove. So if it hasn't been forever since you were in the nausea phase, maybe just give yourself a break for a bit and buy a ton of snacky stuff of different varieties and nibble whatever you can through the day. I ate a lot of smoothies and drank a lot of whole milk (and I really hate whole milk when I'm not pregnant), and eventually my app returned. Very slowly.
posted by takoukla at 7:06 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: been there, done that (still there actually). I hate the middle of night starving wakeups the most, because all I want to do is sleep and I can't because I'm starving, and I have often freaked out then. I found that having something quick and easy to eat there by the bed helped because I could just eat that. What it was had to vary with my week, but included poptarts, granola bars, and pretzels. I also kept water by the bed because filling up on fluid helped get through the night (though I needed food as well most nights).

I think part of the key is to be more constantly eating, I found that the hungrier I was, the pickier I got, and the more upset I was at not being able to find food. So snacks, nuts, pretzels, chips, fruit, whatever you can have on hand that is sounding good that week (currently I'm on a garlic hummus kick), munch on it throughout the day, it will some of the worst at bay. I also am a big fan of eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon (with some milk to wash it down), it gives me the calories without the effort of making food, etc.

And don't feel bad about this, the stereotypes about pregnant women sending their husbands out in the middle of the night for food is there for a reason. I personally have sent my husband out for doughnuts, cookies, pizza, thai food, and cocoa krispies during this pregnancy. You are growing another human here, you are allowed to be a little wacky.
posted by katers890 at 7:10 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm almost jealous; I'm late second trimester and my husband is starting to fear for his limbs. Because I might eat 'em.

I am kind of averse to meat, though, so to some extent I feel your pain. I think the key is to SNACK. I bet at least a little of the problem is that you're letting yourself get too hungry, or blood sugar too low -- it can make you nauseous. Nthing many suggestions above, like crackers and cheese.

cheese sticks are individually wrapped and will hold up in your purse for a few hours.
Peanut butter saltines. So f'ing tasty, and pretty filling, too.
Nuts and nut bars (I like Kind brand.)
Cottage cheese and berries, though surely the cottage cheese is a little riskier, tastewise.
Milk. Chocolate milk.
ICE CREAM. OK, it's not the best nutritionally, but a bowl before bed will prevent you from getting up to eat in the night.
Tortillas with cheddar (even buy pre grated; it's easier) and maybe hot sauce, in the microwave.
posted by kestrel251 at 7:15 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you do a lot of small snacks throughout the day? Like,a handful of almonds or pecans is pretty high in calories,and will help keep the hunger monster away.

I was going to suggest almonds, but that you treat them like chewable vitamins.

Like "Ugh, I've got to take my almond vitamins, and then I'll try to figure out what to eat."
posted by vitabellosi at 7:16 AM on January 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: My wife just did this; couldn't eat certain things, couldn't prepare food. This is tough because it's so subjective. What grosses other people out might just do the trick for you. She had the best luck with really spicy Thai food/soups and prepackaged food like cereal and chips. Damn, the woman could eat a whole bag of chips. And orange juice. She only drinks orange juice, even still towards the end of trimester two. There is a hole in my wallet shaped like an orange.

Two good, general tips I've seen so far that work: (1) eat little things regularly to avoid the headaches/crumminess from not eating and (2) drink things through a straw (and I'd suggest a lid to keep smells in the cup) so it passes more of your tongue.

As for (1), what about popcorn? There are so many varieties and it's really filling.

Go to the grocery store without a list and walk down the aisles and buy a cart-load of things that look tasty. Keep those things all in one place in your pantry/separate drawer in your 'fridge and only look there when you're hungry. Don't keep them with other, yucky things. So much of it's mental that things like that actually help. Worked for us, anyway.
posted by resurrexit at 7:18 AM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I ate a lot of fast food during my pgy. Taco Bell, Burger King, Arby's, local biscuit place. Terrible I know, and I have no taste for it now, but at the time it was all I could stand. Allowed me to pick what I wanted (could stand) on a day-to-day basis.
posted by kirst27 at 7:28 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: My two pieces of advice are to throw out all the rules and eat all day long. Actually, the second kind of falls under throw out all the rules, too...

I was lucky to have very few food aversions while I was pregnant, but I did have the low blood sugar meltdowns all the time. I fixed it by eating constantly, all day long. Things that worked for me might not work for you, but my big ones were raw almonds and gigantic blocks of cheese. I ate at least a kilo of cheese every week from mid-pregnancy until my kid was about 10 months old. Sugary things weren't terribly appealing but I loved fat, all kinds of rich creamy fat.

I also ate a ton of ice cream every day, not just chips but chips with tubs of sour cream dip, litres and litres of orange juice (normally dairy and orange juice make me sick) and the highest fat versions of every single thing I ate. In the last two months of pregnancy or so, I ate at McDonalds every single day--something I hadn't done in the previous dozen years or so--and it was totally satisfying. I always tell my kid that she's 1/3 cheeseburger.

So, the rules to chuck include 3 meals a day, what kind of food is "healthy," what kind of foods should be eaten when (thai curry chicken is a fine breakfast, giant bowls of ice cream with nuts and strawberries a great supper), etc.

Also, this might be cold comfort, but what my midwives told me was that unless I was absolutely starving myself, the only harm that was coming was to me, not the baby. The baby'll suck the calcium right out of your bones to build its own, so you want to eat more to save yourself, but if you can't the baby will still be just fine.
posted by looli at 7:47 AM on January 31, 2012 [6 favorites]

Graze, graze, graze if there is absolutely anything that is usually acceptable stock up -- for me that was Cheerios, turkey sandwiches, chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and frozen waffles. Like looli said, forget about 3 meals a day. And drink calories if you can't find anything to eat -- milk, broth, smoothies, juice.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:49 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: When I was pregnant and easily nauseated by the food smells, swimmer's noseclips were a lifesaver.
posted by ambrosia at 8:50 AM on January 31, 2012

I've lived this too... nthing find whatever food works for you, drink calories, and don't be afraid to graze.

There is a LOT of stuff out there that lays the pregnancy food guilt on pretty heavy... IGNORE IT. You are not hurting your baby by eating(drinking) whatever is palatable to you at a given point in time.

Personally, I ended up going the milk + prenatal vitamin route for most of the first and much of the second trimester. Gradually added mac & cheese and ice cream into the rotation. Meat of any kind was off the menu for a very long time, until I woke up one day late in my second trimester and OMGMUSTHAVESTEAKOMNOMNOM.
posted by somanyamys at 9:19 AM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You described me to a T and I'm not pregnant.

I mostly graze and I drink a metric shit ton of milk. I've rearranged pretty much my life to be able to go to the grocery store every other day so that I could buy just what seems good at the time, and not too much of it since it'll probably seem gross in a few days. If you can manage to go food shopping a lot more often that may help.

AT any given time I can usually stand one of the following: Almonds, Cheese, Cucumber slices, Chicken salad, biscuits, dark chocolate, ice cream, milk, tea.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:35 AM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've never been pregnant so I don't know what it's like to have such rapidly changing food aversions. However, I've struggled with disordered eating, and in the past, I'd let myself get too hungry, which would then set up the perfect storm for a binge or an emotional meltdown. This is different than your particular situation, but anyone who is hungry on a consistent basis is going to be more susceptible to a meltdown. Cut yourself some slack there. I think one tactic for you is to try to eat smaller snacks throughout the day when your hunger is just kicking in. Buy a bunch of different high protein items that will have a longer fullness effect. Maybe if you have enough options you will find something every day that will be appealing. If you haven't eaten anything before going to bed, try to eat a high protein snack so you aren't waking up in the middle of the night.
posted by Sal and Richard at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: Nthing smoothies. Add protein powder. I subsisted mainly on only this during my second pregnancy due to food aversion and heartburn (total weight gain: 3lbs), and my daughter ended up over 9 pounds, so it all worked out well in the end.
posted by Addlepated at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Something that worked for me was drinking a bit of orange juice before thinking about eating. It was inoffensive enough that I could get it down, it gave me a bit of an energy boost so I could get my head on straight again, and left me feeling just a leeeetle less hungry so I could coherently choose actual food to eat.
posted by meggan at 12:32 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been keeping a few protein shakes in the fridge for when I really need something but can't stand the thought of preparing/smelling/consuming real food.

Right there with you though, and I don't think my husband appreciates my pickiness! Especially since I'm normally the cook and he's had to take over a few meals a week. I was ravenous by this time in my last pregnancy, but this time I've been so turned off by most things that I haven't gained any weight yet (halfway through!).

Congrats, and I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for posting this thread. Although I haven't come across any tips that I think will work for me, it's good to commiserate, and have a chance at finding the answer!
posted by sunshinesky at 1:30 PM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: I've never been pregnant, but when I'm REALLY, REALLY hungry I have the same meltdown thing where I cannot possibly figure out what to eat and I almost start crying and I basically curl up into a little ball. Making a decision about what to eat at that point is basically impossible (and that's without any food aversions) - so you have my complete sympathy.

Two ideas that work for me: First, eat on a schedule, even if you're not hungry, to avoid getting to that point. Second, if you get to that point, eat something small and then wait 10 minutes. The something small can be anything - it's good to have a go-to (almonds, orange juice, prepared smoothie, ice cream, granola bar, etc - you could have a box of snack and just grab something from it). Wait a couple minutes for your blood sugar to go up a bit, and try again to pick out your real meal.

Good luck!
posted by insectosaurus at 1:41 PM on January 31, 2012

I would also like to add onto what looli said.

When I questioned whether I was gaining enough weight, my dr told me the kiddos were like little parasites. They would get everything they needed no matter what I was eating.

That took some of the stress off of me concerning food/eating during my pregnancy and I felt like the massive amounts of "junk" I was consuming was for me and not hurting them.
posted by Polly Carbonate at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers so far! This is very helpful, and hilarious...reading through the answers is making me laugh, which is a very good thing.
posted by medusa at 2:10 PM on January 31, 2012

Best answer: My friend went through this while pregnant, down to waking up in the night and sobbing with hunger and revolt and having no ability to make any kind of decision. One day we were chatting on the phone, and she started to get hungry, and couldn't figure out what to eat. She started falling apart, so I quickly went through a ton of food. I said, close your eyes, and I'll say out some foods and for 0.6 of a second, you have to think about eating it. If you don't immediately gag, try it. If you do, let's move on."

We ended up making a GIANT list of all possible snack foods. It was really specific too. When she was hungry, she could start reading the list herself, and when her partner was home, they could read it together. The key is that it was a literal, physical list, on a giant piece of posterboard in her kitchen. It doesn't work if it's just a mental list.

- wheat thins
- triscuts
- stone wheat thins
- graham crackers
- tortilla chips
- carrot sticks
- cut up red pepper strips
- sliced apple
- pretzels
- english muffin
- plain toast with butter
- plan bagel
- flavor bagel (sesame, everything)
- plain ruffles chips
- eggo waffle
- one of the above with cream cheese
- one of the above with peanut butter
- one of the above with humous
- one of the above with sour cream dip (she loved it at the time)
- one of the above with onion chip dip (ditto)
- one of the above with nutella

- oatmeal
- oatmeal with frozen rasperries

- french fries
- yam fries

- string cheese
- babybel
- sliced cheddar with apple
- sliced cheddar with crackers

- scrambled eggs with toast
- melted cheese on toast

- edamame pods in microwave

- banana
- banana with peanut butter

- grape nuts
- greek yogurt
- greek yogurt with honey or maple syrup or jam
- greek yogurt with grape nuts
- greek yogurt with granola
- plain cheerios
- honey nut cheerios
- granola with milk
- granola bar

- pancakes
- french toast

- kashi crunchy
- roasted and salted almonds (she hated raw)
- roasted peanuts
- doritos
- corn chips
- emergen-c
- mashed potatoes
- sweet potatoes
- pan fried brussel sprouts
- lentils with bread
- tortillas with butter and salt
- soy sausage link

- protein shake
- peppermint tea
- earl grey tea
- latte
- orange juice
- peppermint ice cream
- vanilla ice cream
- oreo ice cream

- lemon piece in water
- lemon piece in tea
- ginger lemon tea

The list went on, and I can send it to you if you're interested... feel better. Please don't beat yourself up. You're doing a great job. HANG IN THERE!
posted by barnone at 3:01 PM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: After a month of experimenting, I've marked as best answers the strategies that are working best for me. More frequent eating, more smoothies and soups, more cheese and milk and fat, and an avocado before bed are all helping. We also have a food list on the fridge that's a lifesaver. Thanks again.
posted by medusa at 8:21 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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