The first-time mother dishes on what she's eating while she's pregnant, what she's missing, and what she can't wait to eat again once the baby arrives.
When it's time for her baby's arrival, Today Show host Dylan Dreyer has a game plan in place, and this plan has nothing to do with hospital, doctors, or suitcases. Her husband is under strict instructions to deliver a specific food to her hospital room once the baby has made its grand appearance. "I'm dying for a sandwich, just a nice sub sandwich with ham, capicola, like a good Italian sub," the soon-to-be mother says. "I told my husband when I'm in the hospital, 'Just go get me a sub from Jersey Mike's.'" Like goat cheese and wine, deli meats is one of the items on Dreyer's don't-eat-until-baby list.
The meteorologist and morning show host is expecting her first child, a boy, with her husband, NBC Nightly News cameraman Brian Fichera, in December. Once the baby arrives, she has another request for her husband, and this one he's having to fulfill now. "This time of year, I love pumpkin beer, mainly because I rim the glass with caramel and cinnamon sugar. It's a decadent, delicious way to have beer, and I miss that," she says. "Pumpkin beer is in the house now so when it's December and I can't get that beer in December, I'll have my pumpkin beer."
Food After Baby
Beyond the sub and the pumpkin beer, Dylan has a pretty good handle on how she'll feed her family once baby arrives. "I have a couple of meals that I tend to make, and when I make them, I make a bunch that I can freeze, too," she says. Among those foods are red sauce, chicken pot pie filling ("I make the filling and freeze it, so I can just put a little puff pastry over it and bake again"), and chicken and soup rice. But she also plans to rely on trusty delivery, too. "Living in New York City, we can order food all the time. I'll have my good home-cooked meals in the freezer, and we'll pepper in our normal delivery."
Just don't think Dreyer is planning on indulging in pizza and sodium-rich Chinese food with these deliveries. She has a eating strategy that makes even takeout food a healthier option. "My husband is the type to order classics like pizza or greasy sandwiches, but I try to get the salad or pizza loaded up with veggies," she says. "When we order Chinese food, I'll forego what I really want and end up getting steamed vegetables with a little sauce on rice."
The eight months of pregnancy up to this point have been filled with creating gift registries, seeking advice from other moms, and planning a nursery for their new addition, but one thing has been missing that many expectant moms experience: cravings.
"Everybody asks, 'What's your pregnancy craving?" But I really haven't had a set thing that I need or one thing that I really want," she says. "It's just more food in general, all the time."
Even with permission to eat a bit more here and there because of the growing baby, Dreyer says she tries to stay focused on a healthy, balanced diet and exercise. "I've been trying to get my healthy things in during the day. I signed up for several apps when I got pregnant, and they send me pointers every day," she says. "They're friendly reminders just to maybe think twice before you eat the junk food." She's shaped a healthy snacking strategy with go-to snacks like an apple and peanut butter, mashed up avocado and hard-boiled egg with carrots, and Greek yogurt loaded with fruit and a topping of granola.
"I've also been on a mango salsa kick," she says. She makes a big bowl of mango salsa with some red pepper, onion, and lime juice, and she serves it with everything from chicken and fish to dips for corn chips.
Dreyer and her husband are both youngest children in their families, and they have a fairly laid back approach to raising baby and life in general. She says she's "all for being a sponge and taking in advice" during this time of their lives though, especially as her delivery date draws near. Friends have offered opinions on everything from breastfeeding to hiring nannies. But as she points out, her parents and their parents before them, managed to raise children successfully, so when she feels overwhelmed she just remembers, "We're going to figure it out. Let's just take a chance and hope it all works out," she says.
One thing she won't leave to chance: family dinners. "One thing I want to make sure I do with our own family is family dinners. They were so important with our family," she says. "There was a set dinner time. My mom cooked dinner. My dad would come home from dinner. He would get cleaned up, and we just had a dinner as a family. There wasn't an option. If I wanted chicken nuggets, no. My mom's making whatever she's making, and you have to eat it." That's one reason she credits for her good appetite and dinnertime structure. "I think that's why I eat my meat, some sort of vegetable, and a carb at dinner now, just because that's the way my mom always set up our meals. They were well-balanced meals. That's definitely something I intend to do with my family."