Stress can cause so much harm to both you and your baby during pregnancy, and honestly the last thing you should be stressing about is your cravings. Pregnancy cravings are normal, natural, and to be expected during your time growing a human child in nine short months (that may not feel so short in the moment).
But if you’re worried about weight gain, excess sugar intake, or whether or not those gas station nachos are effectively nourishing a growing fetus, it might be time to look into some of our tips on how to go with the cravings flow in the healthiest way possible. Here are some top tips from Bumpin Blends founder (and toddler mama) Lisa Mastela, MPH, RD.
1. Don’t fight it.
This is a time in your life in which you should really allow yourself to give into some cravings now and then, so don’t be so hard on yourself! “Let yourself indulge to a certain extent,” said Lisa.
“The word ‘healthy’ has new meaning when you’re pregnant — enjoy it! If you’re watching your weight gain and either gaining too much or want to be more mindful of calories, there are lots of fun swaps and recipes for health-ified alternatives to treats in the blogosphere. A simple Google search can go a long way.”
2. Choose indulgences wisely.
“Aim for quality indulgences versus fast food and prepackaged items,” said Lisa. “If you want cookies, bake cookies!” That’s a joke. You obviously are going to make your partner bake you cookies. Anyway. “If you want mac-and-cheese, find a local, smaller company or restaurant that makes it with real ingredients rather that the box with the ‘wtf-is-this-made-of’ powder,” she said.
3. Aim to avoid anything artificial.
On that note, you’ll want to outright avoid anything with preservatives and artificial fillers and ingredients.
Here’s the thing: the excess calories, fat, and sugar is fine (to a degree), but it’s the “artificial ingredients and preservatives that you’ll want to avoid as much as possible while you’re pregnant,” said Lisa. Your baby don’t need none of that. But, we will reiterate - the most important takeaway here is to be gentle with yourself and mindful overall. If you are just driving yourself insane avoiding flaming hot cheetos, maybe have 2-3 pieces and call it a day.
4. Find healthful foods that satisfy cravings.
Certain nutrient dense, delicious foods can pack a craving-reducing punch — all while avoiding the artificiality and improving your health (and the health of your baby). “When I was pregnant, I struggled with this because nothing like Bumpin Blends existed,” said Lisa. “Smoothies are my number one recommendation, because the morning sickness, cravings, and exhaustion can be too real (and way too intense) to handle vegetables,” she explained. “Then, smoothies got too cumbersome (waddling around my kitchen all clumsy, getting stitches trying to chop veggies, spilling chia seeds everywhere…),” … sound familiar? Doing basic tasks like making a smoothie feel a little overwhelming as your belly grows and grows.
This is how Lisa thought of the concept of Bumpin Blends. Something spelled out for you — exactly what you need in terms of nutrition for you and your baby, calculated out, and blended up into a perfect recipe. With flavors like cookie dough, cinnamon toast, and ginger snaps, you’ll not only be nourishing your little one (and yourself), but satisfying alllll those cravings without the stress around whether or not you made a good dietary choice. You’re welcome, mama.