Healthy Ways to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Finding ways to satisfy the craving for a sweet treat is not just a problem faced by pregnant women, but by much of the population at large. However, in pregnancy nutrition is vitally important, and satisfying that sweet tooth isn’t always in the best interest of a healthy pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are some sweets you can enjoy virtually guilt-free. With a few substitutions, changes, and some fresh ideas, you can take care of your sweet tooth and your baby’s needs at the same time. Here are some ideas for common sweet cravings.

The Craving: Chocolate

One of the most common cravings for women, whether pregnant or not, is chocolate. Luckily, chocolate doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, try one of these ideas to take care of that craving without taking in empty calories.

Make a cup of homemade hot chocolate – with real cocoa, sugar and milk, not from a mix! Sure, it contains a little sugar, but it also contains calcium, vitamin D and antioxidants. The rich chocolaty flavor of real cocoa can’t be beat.

Melt some semi-sweet chocolate with a little butter, and use it like a fondue to dip fresh piece of fruit. You will consume much less of the chocolate, and get all the healthy fruit at the same time!

The Craving: Baked Goods

When you feel like you just have to have something only the bakery can provide, take heart. There are options other than cakes and cookies that can satisfy that desire without all the fat.

First of all, if you must have a sweet treat from the oven, make it your oven. When you bake at home you will know exactly what went into what you are eating. You can also make healthy substitutions to the recipes, such as replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, or using applesauce in place of some of the oil or butter.

Choose baked goods that contain healthy ingredients, such as pumpkin muffins or banana bread. They will still have extra calories, sugar, and fat, but at least there will also be some nutritional value.

Sometimes the craving for something sweet and baked can be satisfied with a warm piece of whole wheat toast smothered in peanut butter and an all-natural fruit preserve. Give it a try – you might find it works better than you would think!

The Craving: Ice Cream

Many a pregnant woman has felt that incredible urge for something cold and creamy. The good news is that ice cream isn’t entirely bad for you if you eat a small amount and choose a lower fat option, such as frozen yogurt. It does offer some nutritional value. However, there are even smarter ways to indulge this craving.

Buy some freezer pop molds and fill them with healthy choices such as all all-fruit smoothie or your favorite 100% fruit juice. Stash them in the freezer for those ice cream cravings and enjoy a frozen treat that’s a whole lot better for you. You can also purchase an ice cream maker and make your own ice cream from fresh, healthy ingredients. That way you control what goes into it, and thus what goes into your body.

Most of us have a sweet tooth now and then, but during pregnancy it can seem to be a regular occurrence. If you plan ahead, choose smart options, and remember to keep all those sweet treats to a moderate level, you can indulge that sweet tooth with no regrets!

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