How to Indulge Your Sugary (and Sweet!) Pregnancy Cravings Without the Added Guilt

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

Cravings are one of the most stereotyped symptoms of pregnancy, and now a new study shows that they can have real consequences. Australian researchers found that if mother rats consumed junk food while pregnant and nursing, the babies had resulting changes to their brain chemistry, leaving them more susceptible to a junk food addiction later in life.

After the morning sickness of the first trimester, my cravings ranged from broccoli (very garlicky and stir-fried only) to raspberries (even better with frozen custard!) and by the end of my pregnancy, my go-to snack were s’mores with dark chocolate and mini marshmallows. Of course, I tried to behave myself, and once I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I had to find new ways to satisfy my cravings.

So what’s a mom-to-be to do when she’s jonesing for something sweet, salty, or fatty (possibly even ALL at the same time)? While I was diabetic and now that I’m breastfeeding, I take extra care with my diet, but that doesn’t mean all treats must go!

Here are some tips I’ve found for battling those cravings:

1. I share my dessert with my husband or a friend instead of demolishing it myself.

2. When baking, I try to use more nutritious substitutes like applesauce, Greek yogurt or even avocado to replace the fat in recipes.

3. When I crave soda, I drink sparkling water (bonus points for yummy flavors like lemon-lime or blackberry!)

4. A thick, blended smoothie hits the spot when I’m in the mood for a milkshake.

5. Above all, I try to eat healthfully as much as I can, so one or two small indulgences don’t throw me overboard.

How do you deal with strange or junky pregnancy cravings?

Plus, more from The Bump:

What My Craziest Pregnancy Cravings Could Mean for Baby

Eating Right During Pregnancy

Weirdest Pregnancy Cravings