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Mercedes R. Donis

How To Indulge Your Pregnancy Cravings Without The Guilt

Get realistic tips from a real-life mom.

Cravings are one of the most stereotyped symptoms of pregnancy. According to this study, the foods you indulge in during pregnancy can have big consequences for you and baby.

Australian researchers found that if mother rats consumed junk food while they were 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 my first trimester morning sickness, my cravings ranged from broccoli (very garlicky and stir-fried) 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, but 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:

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

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

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

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

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

Mercedes Donis lives in Scotland with her husband and twins. She likes to read and eat chocolate cake in a mug. She is the author of Twin Manibreasto: A Success Story of Milk & Multiples, and blogs at Project ProcrastiNOT.