Should I give in to my pregnancy food cravings?

Should I give in to my pregnancy food cravings?

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Yes! But there are healthy ways to do it. First, since you only have a limited number of extra calories to work with in the second and third trimesters, you want to keep portion sizes in mind.

You'll want to balance your cravings – especially the less-healthy ones – with other foods to make sure you're getting all the nutrients, protein, and healthy fats you and your baby need during pregnancy.

If you're craving sweets or junk food, the key is portion control. I have a small round glass that I always use for ice cream. I go with all-natural, satisfying, full-fat ice cream and stick to a 1/2 cup serving, which looks really huge in my small glass. Half a cup of ice cream is about the size of a Christmas ornament. I can enjoy the whole bowl without feeling guilty. Never eat directly out of a package – it's a recipe for calorie disaster.

Another little trick I use is to combine something healthy with one of my less-healthy cravings. For example, I mix a high-fiber cereal with some really yummy granola. You get the fiber you need to help prevent constipation (a common pregnancy nuisance), plus the sweet crunch you're craving.

And instead of just having chips and salsa to satisfy the salty craving I experienced in my second trimester, I made myself a fried egg (packed with choline and vitamin D) and put it on a toasted tortilla, sprinkled it with shredded cheese, and then topped it all off with salsa and diced avocado. It had more calories than just the chips, but it also packed in a lot more nutrients.

A lot of pregnant women crave salty or spicy foods, such as Chinese takeout or fried chicken. You can certainly indulge a craving like this, but make sure to fill the rest of your day with low-sodium options, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Too much sodium will make bloating and swelling worse. Stick to the recommended daily limit for sodium (2300 mg), and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Food cravings are definitely a reality of pregnancy and are nearly impossible to ignore. In my book, Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide, I organized the recipes by the most common pregnancy cravings: Sweet, Meaty, Salty/Savory, Spicy, and Thirst-Quenching. Each recipe has a Baby Bonus or Momma Must-Have (or both), which means that in addition to indulging a craving, the recipe either provides a nutrient that helps your baby develop or it gives you something to keep you healthy, happy, and strong. For example, in the Sweet category, I included a Chunky Monkey Muffin that is super chocolaty, but it gets a nutritional boost from ground flax seed, wheat germ, and whole wheat flour, all of which provide 3 grams of fiber per muffin.

But what if you really want a black and white cookie, BBQ potato chips, or gummy bears? Go for the smallest serving available and savor it.

Note: If you find yourself craving non-food substances such as clay, soap, laundry detergent, dirt, paint chips, cornstarch, or ashes, you may have a condition called pica, and you should call your doctor immediately. Pica may be a sign of a severe nutritional deficiency in calcium or iron.

Watch the video: Is it normal to lose appetite during pregnancy -What can I do if I have no appetite during pregnancy (August 2022).

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