Did you know (according to Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 5th edition) the most common food cravings among pregnant women are
- Chocolate (33%)
- Sweets of some sort (20%)
- Citrus fruits and juices (19%).
I belong to the latter category. I can’t wait to eat an orange every day, and when I don’t have oranges in the house, I guzzle down fruit juices. I have almost no desire for chocolate or other sweets, whereas before the pregnancy, I would always go through chocolate cravings. However, during the first few weeks of my pregnancy, oranges were far away from my edible foods list. All I could handle consuming for the first few months was peanut butter toast and cereal—really, anything bland.
The past few months I’ve been learning all sorts of facts like these as most of my reading time has been spent reading an array of pregnancy books and articles including the best-selling What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s amazing how long it has taken me to read the books on my book club’s reading list, or the other fiction texts in my collection that I normally devour.
Being that I’ve been spending so much quality reading time on pregnancy books, I thought I’d share some tips on ways I’ve modified my eating to integrate more calcium and other essential nutrients, which all of my books stress emphatically. I am typically a healthy eater anyway, but with some additional tweaks, I’ve learned to integrate more of those nutrients vital for healthy baby growth. Listed below are some of my new “go-to-foods”.
- Bran cereal with Greek yogurt and fruit (I like Kellogg’s All Bran, bran buds. The bran buds don’t overpower the yogurt taste like so many fiber loaded cereals do. The cereal also provides half of your daily supply of fiber, which is so important for pregnant woman. Yogurt provides calcium.).
- Whole Grain English Muffins with peanut butter and banana, or with a poached egg and cheese. Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffins are only 100 calories, and have almost as much fiber as the bran cereal (8 grams).
Lunch and snacks
- V-8, low sodium small size cans
- Hard boiled eggs (protein is so important and pregnant women aren’t affected by the cholesterol in eggs, so I keep these on hand every week)
- Cut raw vegetables: carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, etc (It’s important to have these ready for a quick snack. All loaded with important C, A and B vitamins).
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole grain bread (it’s important to avoid processed lunch meats, and sometimes you’ve just got to have traditional comfort food).
- Chips and salsa (fresh salsa is nutritious, and a better alternative to cheese dips).
- String cheese (calcium)
- Pumpkin seeds (I love these homemade and they happen to be full of iron).
- Oranges (your body doesn’t store Vitamin C, so a fresh supply is needed every day).
- Chicken breast, turkey burger (protein)
- Baked Potato with skin (loaded with iron)
- Spinach, romaine and mixed veggie salad (vitamin C, B, and iron)
- mashed cauliflower mixed with boursin cheese or cream cheese (The cauliflower gives you vitamin C and the cheese is a source of calcium and protein–you need 3 servings a day of both vitamin C and protein).
- spaghetti squash with marinara or meat sauce (vitamin C, protein, and iron).