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Pregnant Dinner Guest


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As a currently pregnant person, I have to respectfully disagree with Soupcon. It's very thoughtful of you to consider her diet. Mostly, I wouldn't serve rare meat, unpasturized cheeses, dressings or desserts with raw eggs, and seafood on the forbidden list (esp. tuna, swordfish, and anything raw). It's frustrating to be a dinner guest at the home of a wonderful cook, and to be served (and then have to avoid) foods you can't eat.

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As a currently pregnant person, I have to respectfully disagree with Soupcon. It's very thoughtful of you to consider her diet.

I second Sue Flay and also respectfully disagree with Soupcon. Pregnancy is not an illness but not all pregnancies are the same. Some women are more at the risk of complications than others and some wouldn't even be aware of that. It was very thoughtful and kind of Daniel to ask what's safe and what's not.

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I also agree with Sue Flay, pregnancy may not be a sickness, but it can be very frustrating to sit time after time in a restaurant watching those around you supping away on wine, eating a juicy steak, eating sushi etc, whilst you sit there enviously searching the menu for something that A.) you are allowed to eat & B.) something that you can actually stomach. It is very kind of Daniel to prepare a meal that everyone can eat and enjoy and you do not feel left out or that you are missing out.l

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Definitely ask. I ate every food that's on the no-no list when I was pregnant. (And drank wine too - somebody better call the pregnancy police!) Not frequently, and not in large amounts, but given that I ate tasting menus at Trio, Tribute, Citronelle and Maestro when I was pregnant, I wasn't about to miss a minute of those chef's creations, or offer up a long list of foods I couldn't eat.

Edited by tammylc (log)

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And I would like to agree with Pan about how sweet and considerate your endeavor is.

I can't add much, i'm nine weeks and like others, aversions and cravings are a day to day thing. Food smells don't bother me too much (luckily since I'd be in trouble at work) but so far I've had no problem eating anything in front of me if I'm hungry enough.

just don't be offended if she doesn't clean her plate! I do a lot better when I eat less, more frequently.

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First off....I'd like to apologize for this lengthy/wordy/full of links reply....

We are making Sunday dinner for a group of people.. One being pregnant, what type of foods should we stay away from serving.. No raw meats or fish?  No Shellfish (really) like shrimp or lobster. How about Sea Urchin?.. Unpastuerized cheeses? Anything else that we should include? How about runny eggs or poached eggs? Is organ meats ok?

This thread has piqued my interest (from a professional point of view...I'm an OB/GYN). A pregnant woman's immune systems don't work as well in terms of fighting off infections, so bear this in mind when comparing what is considered acceptable for a nonpregnant person to eat. (And speaking about a decreased ability to fight off infections well...it's flu season right now, so all you pregnant ladies...ask for the inactivated flu vaccine!) There are also food safety recommendations (in regards to listeria and salmonella) given for patients who have AIDS. OK...back onto the topic of food & pregnancy.

Some of the big things I worry about in regards to food in pregnancy are:

(1) mercury due to its effect on the developing fetal brain - shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel all tend to be high in mercury.

(2) listeria can cause miscarriages/stillbirths or meningitis of the newborn - unpasteurized soft cheeses or milk, raw or undercooked meats or poultry, cold hot dogs or deli meats (ok if served steaming hot), unwashed fruits and vegetables.

(3) toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriages/pretem delivery/stillbirths in pregnancy or blindness/heart defects/death of the newborn - unpasteurized milk, undercooked goat/lamb/mutton/pork/beef, unwashed fruits or vegetables.

The U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services has a website with recommendations. Shellfish is ok...just as long as it's not raw/undercooked...so uni would be out. Ditto with the runny eggs. (Pity about that...I do love all the runny-yolk food porn :wub: ) Raw sprouts and unpasteurized fruit/veggie juices are also out.

I think the website that best covers all of the major concerns is the March of Dimes website. They even make a comment about liver!

Someone I knew that was pregnant wouldn't eat any fish unless the mercury levels were ok.    She used this chart every time she had to eat fish to determine if it was ok.  Mercury in Fish

It's mainly the fish at the top of the food chain that are on the no-no list. Fish on the low end of the food chain are not likely to have high amounts of mercury.

I'm pregnant.  I didn't know about the shellfish thing...oops!!  Basically, at least for me, you can't eat any of the good stuff.  It seems every week they come up with a new thing that you are not supposed to eat.  It can be very frustrating.  Some women are stricter than others on all these no no's, so maybe it would be good to talk to your friend and see how strongly she feels about what she shouldn't be eating.  Also keep in mind that many pregnant women have unexplained aversions to certain foods.  So her favourites may not be so any more.

As long as you're not craving raw shellfish, you should be ok (but I have to put in a disclaimer that you should talk to your healthcare provider about this too). I agree with Jenny...asking your friend if she has any food aversion should be helpful. Some women have nausea throughout their pregnancy. For those of you who have the morning (or all-day) sickness, you may want to check out this site.

The lamb wasn't something I knew about either (don't worry, have never been pregnant) but was told it over dinner a couple of weeks ago with a new mum and my sister in law who's pregnant with her second.

Apparently it's something to do with toxoplasmosis... but if you get tested for toxoplasmosis and you're ok, then you can eat rare meat and lamb.  All I knew re tox was that you should avoid cat faeces... (which usually isn't that much of a sacrifice)

In this CDC pamplet, it does mention that if you're had toxo before, that you'll pass immunity to the fetus, but some experts say women should wait 6 months after a toxo infection prior to attempting pregnancy. Even if you do test as being immune for toxo, it's not a green-light to eat rare meats! (still at risk for other food-borne illnesses if you eat rare meats)

Honestly...I'm not trying to be a kill-joy, but it certainly does put a damper on what is considered "ok" to eat! :sad::blink:

Daniel, I agree with everyone else...I think it's soo very thoughtful of you to ask what to cook for your friend!

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Hey thank you everyone for your suggestions and experiences.. And thank you Cat for taking the time to share with us your medical knowledge.. And congratulations Cleo, Sue Flay, Jenny McClure,Lesfen. and Lia! I have written her a letter asking her if there were any smells the made her feel sick or if there were any strange cravings. Luckily, she has not been experiencing the difficulties that some have mentioned.. However, she has told me that Italian and carbs have been what she has really been enjoying recently... So using this we will try to create a menu..

Dinner is tomorrow night so we will be planning the menu today.. But a bread soup, fried risotto balls, and pasta will most likely be part of the menu.. I really think we are going to focus on the desserts.. Thanks again, I will let you all know how it turns out..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Hey thank you everyone for your suggestions and experiences.. And thank you Cat for taking the time to share with us your medical knowledge.. And congratulations Cleo, Sue Flay, Jenny McClure,Lesfen. and Lia! I have written her a letter asking her if there were any smells the made her feel sick or if there were any strange cravings.  Luckily, she has not been experiencing the difficulties that some have mentioned.. However, she has told me that Italian and carbs have been what she has really been enjoying recently... So using this we will try to create a menu..

Dinner is tomorrow night so we will be planning the menu today.. But a bread soup, fried risotto balls, and pasta will most likely be part of the menu.. I really think we are going to focus on the desserts.. Thanks again, I will let you all know how it turns out..

What a special person Daniel is.

His caring is what makes him special. Too few hosts would go to this extreme for a pregnant mother.

I doubt she'll ever forget his caring and attention. And when she has a beautiful healthy baby??

Thank you Daniel.

When I was pregnant, the one thing that made me violently ill was the stench of Cajun style boiled shrimp.

It was only one of my most favorite meals pre-pregnancy.

My mother in law? It was the smell of brewing coffee,something she could not live without.. She spent 7 months in a no-caffeine fog, and I'm told she developed the personality of a pit viper due to caffeine deprivation.

Daniel has no idea how even the smells of certain foods can cause violent reactions in pregnant women. I'll retrtract that. I think Daniel does understand.

In either case, Daniel is a prize. A wonderful ,caring ,and extremely intelligent host.

I'll bet he's a good cook too!

My 2 cents?

Ask the lady what churns her stomach... It's the right thing to do. The menu you have offered sounds wonderful.

Your research resulted in what sounds like a wonderful meal, a mom-to-be who can enjoy your meal, and a happy time had by all.

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Dinner did go really well, thank you again for all your help.. We started with an apple rutabaga soup with sweet potato, butter nut squash cream and some mape syrup.. This was like Fall in a bowl.. I saw Patrick Connell make this on my favorite cooking show Chefs A Field.. Its really simple and so complex..

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Then we moved on to a salad of organic lettuces we purchased at Union Square Market by me in Manhattan.. Served this with Camambert Cheese wrapped in Phyllo and then fried in butter..

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Next was homemade beet ravioli served in a butter and poppy seed sauce.. The beet filling was mixed wiith ricotta cheese..

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At this point our pregnant guest was full and eagerly awaiting dessert.. This was a duck consume with duck breast and scallions cooked with sambuca.. In the stock I also put in fried duck cracklings..

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Here is the dessert plate.. Top left is Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream.. Bottom left is this maple cream cheese cake from the Babbo CookBook.. Bottom right is a Butternut Squash Ice Cream Sandwich on Ginger Cookies rolled in toasted Granola.. Top right is challah bread pudding.. We normally make a whiskey sauce, but we did not this time.. She left with a huge tray of bread pudding..

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Thank you again for all your suggestions.. I really appreciate all the help...

Edited by Daniel (log)
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.. Served this with Camambert Cheese wrapped in Phyllo and then fried in butter..

Everything looks amazing, but if I die without making the fried Camambert my life will be incomplete!

If you don't mind me asking, is it as simple as wrapping a wedge in Phyllo and frying it, or is there anything else involved? Do you keep the rind on, or remove it?

Your friend is very lucky!

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I have to add that when I read that Camembert thingy,

I had an AHA moment - my contribution to

next week's TG potluck is decided!

I'll gussy it up a bit by slicing the cheese horizontally

and spreading some kind of filling (something spicy hopefully)

yet to be determined on it, then wrapping.

I may bake instead of fry, because of the logistics.

It may be easier to take a baking tray of already wrapped

triangles to the host's house and stick them in the oven

rather than frying them....

Great idea Daniel!

Thanks

Milagai

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apple rutabaga soup with sweet potato, butter nut squash cream and some mape syrup..

Recipe? Pretty please?

"Fall in a bowl", chock full of vitamins and goodness, flavor and texture. It sounds completely wonderful.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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