Foods for Morning Sickness

Morning sickness strikes most pregnant women during their first trimester, and many continue to suffer some degree of morning sickness or nausea through out their pregnancy.

Diet itself can go a long ways in helping to prevent and control morning sickness – and there are foods that can trigger morning sickness and queasiness as well.

Three main food “do’s” that you can do to help combat morning sickness are:

  1. Eat complex carbohydrates, focusing on grains (rice, corn, wheat, oats, millet, barley). Complex carbohydrates act as time-release energy capsules, slowly releasing energy into your bloodstream and helping to keep you feel full. Breads, pasta and crackers are just a few of the foods that should help you combat morning sickness. Be careful of the ‘toppings’ though – pasta smothered in tomato, heavy cheese, or other sauces might actually act as a ‘trigger’ for nausea instead of helping combat it. The same holds true with crackers – you may want to stay with plain crackers (such as saltines, rye crips, or triskets) instead of eating crackers that are coated with cheese, seasoning and other flavorings.
  2. Focus on chilled foods instead of hot foods. Chilled pasta salads, green salads, fruit salads, cold chicken (cooked, then chilled), sandwiches, etc., tend to be easier on the stomach than hot-out-of-the-oven foods.
  3. Stay with comfort foods that make you feel better. Make a list of foods that help you feel better, and keep a second list of foods that trigger nausea (or heartburn, which is another common discomfort of pregnancy). The purpose of the list is to help you recognize potential “no-nos”, and keep in mind those foods that don’t trigger nausea and morning sickness. Don’t be surprised if the list changes as your pregnancy progresses.

Foods that may be just fine for some folks might cause problems for others. My ‘proven cure’ for morning sickness was cranberry juice and graham crackers – a combination that some of my pregnant friends couldn’t understand. Popcorn, which works for many pregnancy women, made any feelings of nauseau I was having take a turn for the worse. Foods that are known to be ‘tummy-friendly’ include:

  • Applesauce (unsweetened seems to be the preferred type)
  • Avocado
  • Bagels
  • Cereal
  • Crackers, bread
  • Fresh fruit – apples, bananas, pears, etc.
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Ginger (tea, sticks, snaps, etc.)
  • Grapes (frozen grapes make a wonderful cooling treat during warm months)
  • Lemon drops
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes (in any of your favorite forms - baked, boiled, mashed, chips)
  • Pretzels
  • Puddings
  • Rice
  • Rice cakes
  • Sherbert
  • Yogurt smoothies

Foods that May Trigger Morning Sickness or Nausea (again, your personal experience may vary). Many of these foods (marked with an asterisk) are also known to trigger headaches as well.

  • Artificial Sweetners* (and foods made with them – such as Splenda or Nutrasweet)
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Coffee and Sodas*
  • Foods containing monosodium glutamate* (MSG)
  • Fried foods (either deep fried or fried in oil)
  • High-fat foods
  • High Sugar foods*
  • Onions and peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sausages
  • Tomato sauces

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. The information is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical care. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have.