5 common pregnancy cravings and how to make them healthier

Here's how to enjoy your pregnancy craving in a healthy way—plus some alternatives to common pregnancy cravings.

In movies, pregnant women yearn for hilariously mismatched foods, like peanut butter and tacos. In reality, cravings are usually less extreme, but often not super healthy. It’s OK to give in to a pregnancy craving if your physical condition is otherwise good—just try not to go overboard. Here’s how to enjoy your pregnancy craving in a healthy way, plus some alternatives to common pregnancy cravings.

Chocolate
Go ahead and eat the sweet treat. But to avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, stick with 100 calories’ worth per day, preferably of dark chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over fruit, so you’re still having it—you’re just having less.

Pickles
Pickles contain a lot of salt. If your favourite brand of pickle doesn’t contain excessive sodium—say, 200 to 300 milligrams each—then it’s OK to enjoy a whole one each day. Tip: Buy sliced pickles, so when you stick your fork into the jar, you get a smaller serving.

Ice cream
A daily bowl of ice cream is fine, as long as the serving size is modest and it’s your only high-sugar treat of the day. Or try “nice cream”: Blend frozen sliced bananas with a cupful of milk, then top with chocolate syrup.

Potato chips
Once you get started, you might find yourself wanting to eat the whole family-sized bag. No one needs that much fat or sodium. If you crave a salty crunch, try popcorn instead. Three cups of oil-popped popcorn have just 120 calories, vs. 450 calories in three cups of chips.

Soft drinks
Some pregnant women crave the sweet, carbonated and caffeinated buzz from soda. Soft drinks are pure sugar, so keep servings small (half cup) if you indulge. If it’s the fuzzy bubbles you crave, try sparkling water spiked with a dash of fresh fruit juice.

Read more:
4 reasons to kick excess sugar from your pregnancy diet
Pregnancy food guide: Truth about what you can eat (+ cheat sheet)
Is the glucose test during pregnancy optional?

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