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Pregnancy Cravings? 7 ways to make them healthy

“Cravings are common during pregnancy thanks to hormonal changes and an altered sense of taste and smell,” says Yale University nutritionist Lisa T. Kimmel, MS, RD, CSSD. There is room for an occasional splurge, but if cravings are wreaking havoc on your diet, Kimmel suggests these easy swaps to ensure that you’re packing the most nutritional punch into your prenatal meal plan.

Warning: If you find yourself craving nonfood substances, like clay or dirt, talk to your doctor immediately. This condition, called pica, can be harmful for you and your baby.

  • Ice cream

    SWAP WITH

    Greek yogurt

    Greek yogurt is a naturally sweet alternative that helps fill your dairy quota while providing calcium, vitamin D and a hefty dose of protein. Top it with honey or fresh berries.

  • Pizza

    SWAP WITH

    A 5-minute healthy homemade version

    Take a fiber-filled whole-grain English muffin layered with a few tablespoons of pizza sauce and whatever healthy toppings you want – tomato slices, broccoli or spinach are all great – and sprinkled with part-skim mozzarella cheese. Pop it into the toaster oven or a 350 degree traditional oven for 5-10 minutes.

  • Candy bar

    SWAP WITH

    An ounce or two of dark chocolate

    Dark chocolate packs a pretty sweet nutritional punch of heart healthy flavonoids.

  • Bagel and cream cheese

    SWAP WITH

    A whole wheat wrap

    Fill it with almond butter and dried cranberries for a blend of complex carbohydrates, protein and heart healthy fats that will keep you fuller, longer.

  • French fries

    SWAP WITH

    Baked sweet potato crisps

    Kimmel’s recipe: Wash and slice a sweet potato into wedges, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, like garlic, pepper, rosemary, basil, oregano, cumin. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

  • Bacon

    SWAP WITH

    Canadian or turkey bacon

    Both are leaner but just as tasty.

  • Potato chips

    SWAP WITH

    Homemade whole wheat pita crisps

    Kimmel’s recipe: Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles (like cutting a pie) and brush with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

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