Pregnancy Cravings: Let’s Taco Bout it

by Meghan Yost

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my first pregnancy, it’s that food cravings are REAL and totally unexplainable.

No, I haven’t wanted anything strange like you see in movies or on TV, such as ice cream topped with pickles and syrup, (at least not yet), but I often have moments where I felt like I needed to have something right then and there (a crunchy taco, a bagel with cream cheese, or something more specific like an Eggo topped with melted butter and powdered sugar).

As you can probably tell, my pregnancy cravings haven’t been all that healthy. For the most part, all I’ve wanted is food I wouldn’t normally eat because it lacks nutritional value. In fact, I’ve actually mostly craved food from a time when my diet was less than stellar (hence the Eggos from my childhood).

To add insult to injury, I’ve dealt with some pretty BIG food aversions. Foods that I’d normally enjoy on a daily basis — for example, a fruit and veggie smoothie with pea protein — have seemingly overnight made my stomach churn. Or, sometimes, if I eat something one night — say Indian food — I won’t want it for weeks or even months afterwards (this happened after we went out for Indian food for my birthday in September). The food aversions have thankfully faded as I approached my second trimester, but the cravings seem to have ramped up.

Some say food cravings are our body’s way of telling us the nutrients are lacking, however, I’m pretty sure my body is not lacking in bagels and cream cheese, so I’ve come up with some ways to keep those hankerings at bay.


1. Give it time

Sometimes foods will pop into my brain like memories from my past. And that’s no exaggeration. This morning, I randomly thought about Skittles and could vividly remember the taste of the colorful candy on my tongue. They were one of my favorite candies as a kid, but mind you, I probably haven’t eaten a Skittle in more than a decade.

Had a bag been in front of me when I had this random thought, I may have bought it, but instead, I gave it a little time, and sure enough, the craving passed.

2. Give in once in a while

With the above said, it’s also not realistic to totally ignore cravings.

For me personally, it’s better to give in once in a while than to avoid something altogether. Sometimes when I do that craving come back with a vengeance and I’ll end up eating too much of that not-so-good thing.

3. Look for healthier alternatives

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been loving bagels with cream cheese. They’re bready and fairly bland, and that’s pretty much what I’ve been preferring lately. So after indulging in a few too many Dunkin Donuts everything bagels very early on in pregnancy, I decided I needed to nip my craving in the bud.

So naturally, I went to my favorite grocery store Whole Foods and grabbed a healthier bagel from their freezer aisle, as well as a tub of cream cheese made from almond milk (Kite Hill is absolutely amazing and tastes just like the real thing, I kid you not). It satisfies my craving, but I feel a little less guilty about indulging.

I’ve also been craving cereal. While I really wanted Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I instead opted for Kashi’s Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Cereal. It has 9 grams of sugar versus 6, 2 grams of protein versus 1 and has ingredients like whole yellow corn flour, corn bran and red lentil flour.

If chocolate is what I’m after, rather than grab a sugary sweet Hershey’s bar, I’ll look for something like Not Your Sugar Mama’s Pure & Simple Chocolate Bar, crafted on Martha’s Vineyard from just four ingredients, including maple syrup.

4. Stock up on healthy snacks

I find the more healthy snacks I have on hand, the less likely I am to reach for those poor choices. I am slightly obsessed with dried mango, and thankfully, still enjoy it now that I’m expecting. We also always have Lara bars in our pantry (my favorite flavors are Peanut Butter, Cashew Cookie, and Coconut Cream Pie). This fall we’ve also been keeping fresh, locally grown apples in our house.

5. Offset the bad foods with good

If I have something not so stellar for breakfast, I try to get in at least a decent lunch or dinner, full of fresh veggies and protein, like eggs or beans. I’ve accepted that I’m not going to eat 100 percent perfect all of the time as I would have in my pre-pregnancy fantasies, but I also know it’s important to feed my baby the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

6. Sign up for a meal kit delivery service

Since I’m not eating the nutrients I typically do, and also because I’m turned off by the thought of eating leftovers, I find that a meal kit delivery service like TB12 by Purple Carrot is helping me stay somewhat on track.

My husband works very long hours and between commuting and working full time myself, my days end up being pretty long. I don’t have much energy at the end of the day to think about what to cook, go grocery shopping for all the ingredients, cook, clean up, etc. etc.

So I’ve relied on TB12 to deliver to my doorstep veggieful, plant-based meals. Now, I still have to take the time to prepare, cook and clean up, but it keeps my plate varied, my diet healthy, and my belly happy.

For more on the TB12 meal kit delivery service, check out this post.

7. Take a prenatal vitamin and DHA/EPA supplement daily

This goes without saying, but every pregnant mama should be taking a daily prenatal vitamin as well as a DHA/EPA supplement. If you’re not familiar with the latter, DHA/EPA are omega 3 fatty acids that are crucial for the development of a baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system (learn more at

While it’s ideal to get the nutrients you need from real, whole foods, it might not always be realistic, and supplements can help fill in those gaps.

While it’s important to take supplements, it’s just as important to choose the right one. For me, I’ve opted for the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin, made from real vegetables and herbs. Another good prenatal option is Dr. Fuhrman’s gentle prenatal vitamins.

As for DHA/EPA, I choose to get mine from a vegetarian source — algae — versus fish oil. I buy Nordic Naturals Algae Omega on Amazon, which supplies 715 mg of omega 3s (195 mg of EPA, 390mg of DHA, and 130 mg of other omega 3s). According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant and lactating women should be getting 300 mg of DHA daily.

Did you have any cravings when you were pregnant? What was it you couldn’t live without? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, as well as how you dealt with them. 🙂



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Kristin Brown November 8, 2018 - 1:38 am

Great tips ! My Obgyn told me eat anything I want during the first trimester but watch out for the second and third trimester.

Meghan Yost November 8, 2018 - 11:13 pm

Thanks for reading Kristin! Thankfully, I feel like I’m doing a lot better in the second trimester. 🙂 I’m eating my veggies and fruit.

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