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You’ve never felt hungry like pregnant woman hungry. It’s different. As soon as you get an idea of what you want to eat, you have to have it, right then and there. Raging hormones, food aversions and horrible nausea mean that when you do find something you want to eat, it’s a good idea to eat it.
But, there are some foods you can eat during pregnancy to help curb the cravings, or at least lower the severity and frequency of them.
By having these foods, you’re allowing yourself to satisfy your cravings in the healthiest way possible, instead of trying to fight them and then go on a food rampage later on. Being prepared is the best way to curb pregnancy cravings and keeping these foods on hand will definitely help.
1 – Chocolate
Okay, hear me out. I’m not suggesting for you to go all out and gorge yourself on as much chocolate as you want. But, chances are, if you’re craving chocolate you’re probably going to eat everything in your path until you get it. And then you’re just going to eat in any way.
So, rather than trying to fill your craving with something else, give in and have a small amount of chocolate.
If you want to stick to the healthier options, then go dark. Otherwise just stick to smaller portions. Plus, if you ‘let yourself’ have it, and you know you’re going to get it, then you won’t feel the need to eat all the chocolate, all the time.
2 – Carrots and Hummus
During pregnancy, cravings don’t only happen for the food and flavours, but for textures too. Raw carrots can help satisfy a ‘crunchy’ craving and hummus just adds more flavour and a good dose of protein to the mix too.
Keep a tub of carrot sticks in your fridge and hummus ready to go so whenever the craving strikes you can get on top of it straight away.
3 – Fresh Fruit
If you’re finding it difficult to avoid the sweets, eating fresh fruit can help keep the sugar cravings at bay. While it won’t always measure up to the cake you’re craving, if you have fruits you love, you may be able to keep the severity of the sugar cravings down.
Be sure to keep a variety of fruits on hand for when a craving kicks in. Also having juicy fruits (think watermelon, peaches), crunchy fruits (think apples, pears) and berries will mean you have plenty to choose from.
4 – Grilled Chicken
Not only does this pack a protein punch to keep you fuller for longer, but it also can be as flavourful or as bland as you need it to be. It is such a versatile meat that you can add to soups, curries, stir-frys or salads. You can grill it, bake it or slow cook it. And can use it in just about every kind of dish you could want.
Hot tip, make sure your chicken is completely cooked, raw chicken is not a good thing (especially in pregnancy).
5 – Popcorn
If you’re craving salty and buttery foods then popcorn is a great go to! It won’t leave you feeling super heavy and bloated but it will satisfy your need for salty food. Plus it’s super quick to prepare and can be done in the microwave in a matter of minutes!
6 – Vegetable Curry
If you’re like one of the many women who crave spicy food, then a vegetable curry is the perfect meal for you! Instead of reaching for the deep fried spicy wings, cook up a big batch of vegetable curry and freeze it so it’s ready to go when you need.
You can add meat too if you want (maybe even some of that grilled chicken) but basing a curry on vegetables ensures you’re getting a whole heap more of the nutrients you need to grow your gorgeous babe, while satisfying that spicy craving.
7 – Smoothies
You can satisfy so many cravings in smoothie form, and you can often add some extra nutritious items in there without changing the flavour too much too. You can have fruit smoothies (add some spinach), or even creamy smoothies (add some almond butter for good fats) and they are so filling too!
Try having a smoothie mid-afternoon, when your cravings for sweets are most likely to kick in.
Read This: 6 Smoothie Recipes To Kick Start Your Day
8 – Bananas
Not only are bananas great for helping to keep cramps at bay (leg cramps anyone?) they also hit the sweet tooth and can help you stay fuller for longer. They’re also easy to carry around so you’ve got a snack on hand when you need one.
9 – Avocado
Avo’s taste amazing and are jam-packed full of healthy fats to help in the brain development of your little babe. Again, a super versatile food (see the trend here) that you can add to most dishes and even your smoothies. Plus they also help keep you fuller for longer.
While it’s not always easy to avoid pregnancy cravings, keeping these foods on hand and being prepared can help prevent a simple little niggly craving turning into a full blown food rampage. Plus knowing what you can eat during pregnancy and what foods help keep you satisfied will ensure you get the best of both worlds – your cravings met and eating healthy too.