Weird cravings are as iconic to pregnancy as morning sickness and sore feet—and they’re just as frustrating at times. These bewitching food desires might steer moms-to-be away from the nutritious foods they and their babies need in the coming months. Combating pregnancy cravings with nutritional foods will make a huge impact on how you feel both emotionally and physically throughout your pregnancy.
Focus on a Morning Meal
Eating will sound like the worse idea possible on some mornings, but prioritizing even a light snack to start your day makes a big difference. Craving sugary foods is, at times, a sign of low blood sugar. Instead of fighting to find the perfect sweet snack when the craving demands it, eating a morning meal like oatmeal, yogurt, or fruits prevents this blood sugar dip and staves off hunger throughout the day.
Make Time for Balanced Eating
Perhaps the best way to combat pregnancy cravings with healthy food is to set aside time for meal planning and more dedicated grocery shopping. Even when you aren’t pregnant, buying food while wrestling with hunger hankerings is a recipe for disaster.
While you may not always be able to stick to the plan, taking the time to organize balanced meals for each week will help you eat more nutritious meals than not. Keeping cravings in mind and a variety of sweet, salty, savory, and sour snack options on hand also makes it easy to beat cravings without going for junk food.
Document and Adapt to Food Aversions
Food aversions are the other side of the pregnancy-craving coin that new moms need to contend with. It’s easier to stick to the foods your body is demanding when it seems like you’re struggling to keep every other food down.
Keep a journal of your food aversions as they come and go so that, as you plan meals, you and your family members can avoid buying foods you know you’ll end up avoiding. Noting if the issue was the smell, texture, or taste helps you cover your bases and stick to healthy foods you know you’ll enjoy overall.
Ultimately, when trying to figure out how to combat pregnancy cravings with healthy food, remember that your mental health plays a role in your well-being too. Go easy on yourself, and allow yourself to partake in some unhealthy snack foods or a meal out now and then. While getting great nutrition is great for you and your baby, healthy eating is only one among many things to consider while pregnant.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.