Most pregnant women have food cravings during the first trimester.
What causes food cravings?
We don’t know exactly. They may be related to pregnancy hormones that make your sense of smell stronger, which can affect your sense of taste and make you want certain foods.
Should I give in to my cravings?
It’s okay to satisfy your craving as long as you eat good food and not too much of it — especially sweet, spicy or salty foods which can cause other problems such as heartburn or gaining too much weight.
How can you handle your food cravings?
Here are our tips on what you can do to manage your cravings.
Control portions: Minimize the quantity of whatever it is that you crave, especially if it has little to no nutritional value. For example, if you feel like nothing other than potato chips will do; instead of eating from the bag, place a serving size in a bowl and put the full bag of chips away.
Find healthier options: Finding healthier alternatives to your craving can help you. For example, if you need something sweet, instead of cookies, eat fresh pineapple or a teaspoon of honey. Swap potato chips for fried carrots, crisp apples, or rice crackers.
Plan your snacks: You may have to keep nutritious snacks around you, which you can take in between meals. This way you stay satiated all the time in a healthy way.
Exercise: Exercising or engaging in another activity when a craving arises may help take your mind off of it. A good workout helps your body to produce endorphins and may reduce your cravings for sweets.
What if you crave non-foods?
Some pregnant women crave things that aren’t food such as plain ice, soap, flowers, or even soil or dirt. This kind of eating problem is called Pica. Discuss with your doctor what to do if your cravings make you want to eat things that are not safe for little Your Child.