Your Pregnancy Food Cravings Explained
From ice cream and pickles to Beyonce’s apparent yearning for bananas dipped in ketchup, pregnancy cravings are far from urban myth. While the exact cause of cravings is unclear – they may be related to changes in hormones, indicate a deficiency in a particular vitamin or mineral, or urge women to eat food higher in calories and fat – most women will experience strong cravings during pregnancy.
Vegans may find themselves craving red meat and women who have no interest in sugar may long for stacks of chocolate chip cookies. Regardless, most of these cravings are normal – however, there is a rare condition called pica that may cause women to crave sand, dirt, paper, soap or other things they know they shouldn’t eat. Please contact your doctor if you ever find yourself with potentially dangerous cravings.
“Sometimes our bodies crave nuts because we are low on magnesium or a big plate of pasta to address the need for extra carbs. Most often, these cravings are normal and harmless, however, it is important to continue to focus on a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy,” said Certified Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Knapp.
To address particular cravings: during your pregnancy
- Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day that incorporate some of the items you are craving as well as the items your baby craves, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and nuts and seeds.
- Consider substitutes: Sometimes you just can’t beat the real deal, but if you find yourself ordering French fries daily, try making your own baked fries instead. Enjoy a Popsicle instead of a bowl of ice cream or flavored seltzer instead of soda.
- Remember that cravings typically fade or even vanish by the third trimester so, this, too, shall pass.