3 Healthier Alternatives to a Common Pregnancy Craving: Ice Cream
I had so many cravings during my pregnancies and they ran the spectrum of nutrition – from bad-for-you onion rings to roasted broccoli, I wanted it all. There are not many other times in life where your body commands you eat something as strongly as it does when you're pregnant and there are times where your head and body will conflict.
While there's nothing wrong with indulging here and there when it comes to your pregnancy cravings, you probably don't want to have your meals consist of nothing but your unhealthiest cravings. One craving I had that I wasn't able to indulge in every single time, no matter how badly I wanted to, was ice cream. It's not exactly the healthiest thing to eat, but to make matters worse for me, I can't tolerate dairy. But oh how badly my body wanted nothing but ice cream.
If you're craving ice cream during your pregnancy and you want to satisfy the craving without having to worry about how bad it is for your body, there are healthier solutions! Three dietitians share their picks for healthier ice cream alternatives that satisfy both your body and mind:
Use frozen bananas
“A common pregnancy craving is ice cream, at least that was the case for me. A healthier alternative would be making it yourself. I used a product called Yonana, where all you do is take a frozen fruit (banana) and run it through the Yonana machine. This way you are avoiding any added sugars and preservatives, while increasing your fruit intake. Seems like a win/win to me. It is so easy to do, as well.”
— Denise Hernandez, MS, RD, LD, at The Houstonian Club in Houston Texas
Grab an apple
“When that nightly craving for ice cream pops up, do your best to grab an apple, 1/4 cup almonds, and a bottle of water. You'll save calories and feel pretty full on a sweet and salty alternative.
Consider also baking extra sweet potatoes with dinner that can be used as snacks. They're sweet all on their own with a much better vitamin, mineral, and fiber profile than any sweets in the pantry.”
— Natalie Stephens RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian
Eat blended berries
“I had major ice cream cravings! I blended frozen fruit like berries and bananas and yogurt (sometimes kefir) and poured them into ice cube trays and froze them. Every time I had a craving, I would pop a few out and let them soften at room temp for 10- 15 minutes and then they were a great consistency to enjoy. They didn't take the place of ice cream entirely but they sure helped!”
— Liz Weinandy, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian
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