Do a number of foods now sound totally unappetizing? Here’s how to deal with food aversions during pregnancy while making sure you keep up with nutritional needs—for you and your baby.
During pregnancy, you may be surprised to find a slew of formerly beloved foods now unappetizing. And while food aversions during pregnancy are common, the thought of not getting your fill of lean meats, smart seafood, and vegetables might make you worry that your baby isn’t getting enough essential nutrients. Here’s what to know about food aversions—and how to deal with them.
Changing Food Preferences During Pregnancy: What’s Going On?
Food aversions—finding certain choices unpleasant—are normal during pregnancy and often show up in the first trimester. In fact, it could be one of the first signs that you’re expecting. Of the women surveyed in a recent study, a little more than half experienced some sort of food aversion during pregnancy. Some of the most common offenders: meat, dairy, eggs, and vegetables.
Hormones are the likely cause.
Keeping Up Good Prenatal Nutrition
Regardless of why they occur, food aversions can be tricky—especially when mealtime rolls around and you find yourself staring at an open fridge and can’t find anything you’d like to eat. A few ways to help:
Make smart food swaps. Can’t stand the smell of grilled chicken or the taste of lettuce? Skip them and make easy food swaps to ensure that you and your little one are getting the good stuff you need. If chicken isn’t working for you, up your protein intake by having a sandwich made with nut butter instead. To get your fill of folic acid, stick with beans or oranges if green salads won’t be on the menu for a while.
Dine simply but nutritiously. Feeling tired and dealing with food aversions during those early weeks of pregnancy? Give yourself a pass on cooking elaborate meals, and drop the guilt about not eating as healthfully as you had planned. Luckily, food aversions often subside as you hit your second trimester. In the meantime, stick with simple meals—maybe it’s pasta with one or two veggies that do sound tasty to you or a baked sweet potato topped with cheese and black beans rather than a bigger meal.
Stay committed to your prenatal supplement. A simple way to help ease worries about food aversions and nutrient intake: Make sure you’re taking your prenatal supplement every day. This way, you know that even if your favorite healthy foods are taking a backseat for a few weeks, you’re making sure you get your daily intake of important prenatal nutrients like iron and folic acid. Enfamil® Expecta® is designed to help meet the nutritional needs of you and your baby, including DHA for your baby’s brain development.