Appetite changes and feelings of nausea or morning sickness are well-known features of pregnancy. More than 60%women experience food cravings, and some women will experience a food aversion — a strong dislike of certain foods. As these appetite changes might be quite common, they can make healthy eating during pregnancy a challenge. 

Food aversions and cravings are at their peak during the first half of pregnancy as the pregnancy hormones increase but can last the entire 9 months and even beyond. They can also go away, then come back.

It is ok to give in to cravings as long as you eat healthy and low calorie foods.

Craving for non-foods like clay, dirt etc; occurs in few pregnant women. This is called PICA and is caused usually due to anaemia of pregnancy which can be treated. 

As this is dangerous , it has to be reported to the doctor immediately.

Some mothers develop aversions to specific foods due to their odours. It is better to avoid such foods as they induce vomitings.

Helpful tips:

Try to avoid going crazy with pregnancy cravings that do nothing for you nutritionally — even while you indulge them. For example, go for a mini chocolate bar instead of a king-sized version, or a glass of low-fat chocolate milk rather than a tray of brownies.

When cravings strike, take a walk or go to the gym. 

Even reading a book or calling a friend for a chat may take your mind off that food item.

Give in to your cravings once in a while (though not for alcohol) — then eat well for the rest of the day.

Small frequent meal with fruit intake will keep your stomach full and decreases cravings.

If food aversions during pregnancy are limiting your food intake, look for substitutes for the healthy foods you can’t eat right now.

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