Good morning and welcome to this early Sunday morning edition of TGE! Why quite so early you ask? Well the tiny ninja I’m currently growing has been karate chopping me in the bladder because clearly he thinks SLEEP IS FOR LOSERS. He will be reminded of this opinion when he is a teenager of course. And I know, I know, I can hear you all helpfully pointing out that these sleepless night are “all good practice for when the baby arrives!”. Thanks, you well-rested bastards, I’ll resist the urge to stab you in the face with a rusty fork for now and agree that, yes it probably is but no need to sound quite so chirpy about it.
So with a few more hours than I usually have in the day/night to fill, I thought I would write a little handy guide for handling the foodie preggo in your life.
DIET ADVICE: THE NAUGHTY LIST
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
- Any variation of shrieking “you can’t eat that!!” at a pregnant woman. Do you know why? Because she sodding knows. Honestly, there are whole books about what you’re meant to eat, websites full of advice, your midwife tells you at length, you’re showered with informative leaflets and if you have a handy app it will send you daily reminders about what is/isn’t safe. I was recently standing near a piece of brie and had a helpful “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT THAT!!” exclaimed at me from across the room. I resisted the urge to charge bump first at full speed with flailing arms into this helpful person whilst bellowing “I know, that’s why I wasn’t eating it, you lemon!” because I understand that people are only trying to be helpful. However, unless you see a preggo doing something genuinely dangerous, perhaps she has confused a delicious scone for a venomous snake and is clearly in imminent danger if she eats it, don’t get involved. Even if she is in proximity to soft cheese.
WHAT TO SAY:
- “Are you allowed to eat this?” before cooking or ordering food for a preggo. Look, it’s confusing and health advice changes fairly regularly about what is/isn’t safe so of course if you’re cooking you want to make sure it’s ok to eat before you start. This is thoughtful and she’ll appreciate the effort you’re going to. Maybe don’t introduce any ‘surprise’ ingredients as well just to be on the safe side, especially in the first trimester when nausea can be at its worse. For about the first 12 weeks the only thing I really wanted to eat was plain chicken and plain rice – I ordered that at a local restaurant and it came coated in dill which resulted in a subtle little sob at the table whilst scraping it all off…
DIET ADVICE: THE NICE LIST
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
- “You should eat lots of [insert healthy but dull/unpleasant thing here].
A similar theme to the above so say it with me, she sodding knows. No honestly, they really bang on (rightfully of course) about diet in the early stages and if the preggo in your life is anything like me they spent the first 12 weeks pretty much googling any ingredient just to check if it’s on the naughty or nice list. “Leafy greens are a great source of folic acid” can be cheerfully twittered at preggos all you like but don’t be surprised if all you get in response from her is a snarl, a tightened grip on your Terry’s chocolate orange whilst she attacks you with kale.
WHAT TO SAY:
- “Would you like some of my Terry’s chocolate orange [or other food of choice}?”.
Alright, I’ll admit this wasn’t one of my proudest moments but recently Mr TGE had the flu – actual proper can’t move type real flu – which meant his appetite pretty much vanished. Anyone who knows Mr TGE knows that this means it was serious stuff. In order to try and tempt him into eating anything I bought a selection of treats I know he likes for him to nibble on – the jewel in this culinary crown being a Terry’s chocolate orange. Mr TGE managed one segment, offered me one which I declined because I don’t like orange flavoured chocolate, before giving in and going to bed for an early night. This, dear reader, left me unattended with the chocolate orange in question which was no problem because as I’ve already said, I don’t like them. Except, I was quite hungry and the kitchen seemed quite far away. And what kind of food writer am I if I’m not willing to try new things? So, in the spirit of journalistic integrity I thought it only right to try a piece to confirm my initial suspicions that I didn’t like it. Except…actually…it was quite nice. So nice that I definitely needed to try a bit more… maybe a little more… ok well that’s half the orange gone. I wrapped the remainder up and popped it back in the cupboard ready for Mr TGE whenever he fancied a bit more. Reader, I’ve never seen Mr TGE more outraged than discovering his remaining half of that chocolate orange. Indignant howls of betrayal and accusations wailed through the house. Protestations of the chocolate somehow being “his” bounced off the walls while my explanation that technically as we’re married everything is half mine and actually really technically I had been the one to buy it in the first place, fell on deaf ears. How unreasonable eh?
So I think as you can clearly see the moral of this story is don’t leave chocolate near a preggo and expect it to still be there in the morning…