When my aunt was pregnant with my cousin, her main pregnancy cravings were apple juice, cherry pie, and Chinese food. She was able to indulge a bit in these foods, but shortly after becoming pregnant she developed gestational diabetes. To this day she always tells us how she could never have apple juice and had to find other ways to get through the craving.

Well, you don’t need to have gestational diabetes in order to keep pregnancy cravings in check. While you’re allowed to eat some of these foods, you have to make sure your pregnancy diet is healthy for both you and your developing baby. However, there are ways to satisfy these cravings without going over your calorie limit or eating too much junk food.

Common Pregnancy Cravings
Most of the time, women say that they crave certain foods, but what they’re really craving is something that is:
•    Sweet
•    Salty
•    Sour
•    Spicy
Within these categories, there are some common foods such as:
•    Chocolate
•    Pickles
•    Chips
•    Ice cream
•    Salsa
There are probably hundreds of other foods that could go into the main craving categories, but a lot of women say that they crave these specific foods more often than others. As you can imagine, eating pickles, ice cream, and salsa for every meal would not give you the nutrients you need and would probably make you sick eventually. When you feel a craving coming on, try a few of these alternatives.

Alternative Craving Foods
While it’s hard to substitute Chinese food and cherry pie, women with a sweet tooth during pregnancy can substitute ice cream for frozen yogurt, smoothies, or even a helping of Greek yogurt with fruit. A candy bar can be substituted with an ounce or two of dark chocolate, and other small sweets like candy can be swapped out for a trail mix with dried fruit and bits of dark chocolate.

Salty foods can be a little trickier because it’s the salt that makes you want it, and it’s the salt that makes it unhealthy. However, if you’re craving chips, you can easily substitute this crunchy snack for air popped popcorn with a light sprinkling of seasoning, and French fries can be swapped for baked sweet potato wedges. Thankfully you can still eat olives, just don’t go crazy.

For people who love sour snacks, you’ll be glad to hear that pickles are actually not that bad for you. They have quite a bit of salt, but they’re also high in vitamin K and one dill pickle spear only has one gram of fat and only four calories.

Women's Healthcare Associates Staff. "Prenatal health: common pregnancy food cravings & possible causes."Women's Healthcare Associates, LLC. N.p., 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.

Levin-Epstein, A. (2010, July 9). Pregnancy cravings? 7 ways to make them healthy. Babble RSS.