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Why do we get food cravings during pregnancy?



Brought to you by the Kiindred Editors. Our team are committed to researching and writing on all the things we know you will want to know about, at each stage of your pregnancy and parenthood journey.
Created on Oct 09, 2023 · 3 mins read

We’ve all heard about the wacky food combinations some mums succumb to try when their pregnancy cravings take over. From pickles and peanut butter to bananas in ketchup (yep?!) the shocking tastes are endless.

Why do you get these pregnancy cravings?

Send a thank-you note to your hormones for this one! As you’ve heard, hormones affect pretty much everything when it comes to pregnancy, including what food you want to eat.

On the other hand, if some of your favourite foods have started tasting off or the smell puts you off, it could be due to a weird change in your taste buds and smell. They can become oversensitive or dull, leading to a loss of interest in some meals and certain foods, especially if you’re suffering from morning sickness. There is no real way to control this change, just hope that it goes back to normal once your system realigns.

There’s another theory that you crave the things your body is missing. Comfort foods are usually packed in fat, sodium, or dairy, which makes them especially appealing.

This might be a way of your body signalling that you need some more minerals or nutrients in these foods. It’s not quite clear how mac n cheese or nachos can do this, but your body is a mysterious beast!

How can you handle your cravings?

The crazy urges you get are sometimes so powerful you have no way of fighting them. In those moments don’t feel guilty about indulging a little, just try and get back on track the next day. As long as you’re eating a mostly healthy, nutrient-rich diet you can have the occasional treat (or two!).

A few helpful tips you might like to try when the cravings kick in:

  • Look for healthy substitutes that might satiate you – think dark chocolate over milk or homemade pizza instead of takeaway!
  • Try your hardest to not overeat – stick to smaller portions of these cravings.
  • Choose exercise over eating – we know, yeah right! But, still, if you get your body moving and out in the fresh air it can distract you and the craving may pass. Worse care, if it doesn’t there’s your exercise done for the day.
  • Stock up on healthy foods in your house. If you keep junk food in the house for those moments you know will happen they are more likely to occur. So stock up on healthy options instead.

As much as these cravings might feel like they control your life at times, don’t fret – they will end soon enough. For now, embrace the wacky pairings and ask your friends what wacky combinations they’ve tried. It’s just another weird and entertaining part of pregnancy!

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