Food Aversions in Pregnancy

Many pregnant women will experience some sort of food aversion. Sometimes the aversion is so strong that the woman can not even stand the sight or smell of the food in question. Just like cravings, aversions generally occur in the first trimester, although the dislike of the food in question may continue well into the pregnancy, the response should become milder.

Aversions are normal, and generally can be blamed on the hormones that are running wild in a pregnant woman’s body, especially in that first trimester. While they are nothing to worry about, they do often cause pregnant women to miss out on foods that provide much-needed nutrition. If you are experiencing an aversion to a healthy food, or even an entire food group, you don’t have to choke it down. Just make sure you fill the nutritional gap in your diet with other healthy foods that supply the same nutrients.

Some of the most common food aversions are to foods like dairy, eggs, meat, and green vegetables. These are all important to a healthy and balanced pregnancy diet. Fortunately, with a little effort you can replace the nutrients found in these foods with other choices.

Skipping the Dairy Case

If it’s just milk you can’t stand, you have a number of other dairy choices to fill the void, such as cheese and yogurt. But if your aversion extends to all things made with milk, you will have to turn to some other foods to make up the difference. Hopefully you aren’t also turned off by leafy green vegetables such as spinach, as they are a great source of calcium. You can also choose calcium-fortified orange juice, and add a supplement just to be safe.

Temporarily Vegetarian

Meat is a very common culprit in food aversions, but it’s also an important source of protein and iron. If it’s just red meat, turn to poultry and fish. If you can’t bear those either, you can meet your needs by adding legumes, beans, and soy products to your diet. Again, an iron supplement might be a good idea, since it is such a vital nutrient during pregnancy. You might also find an aversion to eggs accompanies your dislike of meat, but if not, they are a great source of protein as well.

Turning Green

When those healthy green vegetables are the last thing you want to think about putting into your mouth, you are unfortunately missing out on a great source of nutrition. Make up for them by eating a wide variety of the fruits and veggies you can stomach. You can also try hiding the greens in other foods. Add finely chopped greens to pasta sauces or soups, and you probably won’t even realize they are there. If you can’t trick yourself, ask someone else to do it for you. If you don’t know where the offensive food is hidden, you might not be so bothered by it.

Food aversions can be annoying, especially when they involve foods you may have really enjoyed prior to your pregnancy. The good news is they will likely fade as the pregnancy progresses. As long as you make smart changes to your diet to replace the nutrients from the foods you can’t stand, your food aversions will remain just an annoyance and not a problem for your baby.

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