Curb the Junk-Food Cravings When You’re Pregnant

I haven’t been my regular granola-crunching Natural Mom self lately. For the past eight months, this baby has had me hankering for some of the worst food I can think of, and I’ve indulged in just about every craving.

During my first trimester, I could barely look at food. On the rare occasion I visited the grocery store, I bypassed most of the aisles for fear of upchucking in my buggy. I’d come home with fruit (this is the only healthy thing I’ve wanted this pregnancy, and there are days when I feel like I could – and sometimes do – eat four apples in one sitting), doughnuts, cereal and a can of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli.

The nausea subsided after the third month, but still I’ve been craving foods I’d never normally eat – and certainly wouldn’t feed to my family. It’s not even about fast food; I’ve craved every canned, boxed and processed food imaginable.

And while I don’t feel too badly about indulging in my cravings, I don’t like the idea of feeding that stuff to my son. And when Isaac sees me eating Fruit Roll-Ups and Keebler Fudge Shoppe Grasshopper cookies (the closest thing I can get to Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies until February), he wants them, too.

So I started thinking about ways I could amend my cravings to make a healthier version for Isaac – one without all the sugar, sodium and artificial colors and flavors.

One of my favorite books, “Super Baby Food,” provided some helpful recipes, as did the Internet. I will admit, when Isaac’s not looking or after he’s gone to sleep, I like to partake in the less healthy version of the recipes below. But I feel like a better mom for giving these to my kid. And, we double our fun by making the recipes together.

Homemade Fruit Leather

Instead of Fruit Roll-Ups, fruit leather “Super Baby Food” offers a couple of methods for making fruit leather. Begin by wrapping a 10” x 15” cookie sheet in plastic wrap, taping it to the underside of the sheet. Wash and peel (if desired; the peels contain a lot of nutrients and it’s OK to leave them on) your fruit of choice, then chop it and put it in the blender or food processor on “puree.”

You can use raw or cooked fruit. Cooking the fruit releases some of its nutrients but results in shinier, prettier leather. Raw fruit will yield dull leather but will taste more like fresh fruit. Once your fruit is pureed (while pureeing, you can add some lemon juice to prevent discoloration. The consistency should be like that of applesauce, and the more liquid you add to the fruit, the longer it will take to dry), spread it out on the cookie sheet in an even, thin layer.

Put the sheet in the oven with the door slightly ajar and bake at 115 degrees for six to eight hours. Flip the leather over, remove the plastic wrap, and continue drying another six to eight hours. You can also set the oven to 175 degrees and bake with the door slightly open for three hours. Or bake the leather in a 275-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven off, leave the door closed and let the fruit dry overnight for at least eight or 10 hours.

“Super Flour” Cookies

Instead of packaged cookies, homemade cookies with “Super Flour”

I use “Super Baby Food’s” Super Flour in many of my baking recipes. Usually I’ll use half Super Flour and half organic white flour. Super Flour adds extra protein and nutrients to regular old flour and consists of one tablespoon soy flour, one tablespoon wheat germ and one tablespoon brewer’s yeast per cup of whole wheat flour.

Because it changes the consistency of the cookie or cake a bit, I really like it in oatmeal cookies and muffins, where it’s not as noticeable.

Fruit Smoothies

Instead of ice cream, fruit smoothies

There are 100 different ways to make a smoothie, but I find, for me, simpler is better. I fill the bender up to the blades with pineapple juice, add a couple of cups of fruit (strawberries, blueberries and bananas are good), one cup of ice and a tablespoon of honey and blend it up until it’s smooth. Tasty!

Categories: Infant/Pre-School, Little Ones