One of the most common cravings to eat when you’re pregnant is undoubtedly ice cream. Don’t ask me why; no one really knows why such specific cravings occur, but they’re usually related to eating high carbohydrate and fatty foods like ice cream. But is it okay to eat ice cream when you’re pregnant?
It’s thought that the reason that women crave ice cream during pregnancy is that psychologically, the thought of the sweetness of the ice cream is what you’re actually craving more than the taste. During pregnancy, a woman’s body will need to increase more than 30% in it’s volume of blood. This is to help accommodate the new baby. Eating sweet and salty foods can help to increase the blood flow throughout your body, which is likely why your brain craves these sweet and salty foods.
But, what about the effects of eating ice cream whilst your pregnant? Will this have any long term impact on your child’s health?
Is it okay to eat ice cream when pregnant?
Generally, you should absolutely fine eating ice cream whilst you’re pregnant. This is because any milk and eggs that may be contained in your ice cream have been pasteurized by the time that you’re going to eat them. This means that you don’t run the risk of getting salmonella poisoning, which is something you definitely need to avoid whilst you’re pregnant.
I think that the reason the majority of people question whether it’s okay to eat ice cream whilst pregnant is that they assume that dairy products may cause an issue for a baby. This is probably because it’s known that some soft cheeses can cause issues during pregnancy. And of course, you need to be super careful when eating eggs during your pregnancy. This is because certain eggs you eat give you the risk of getting salmonella poisoning – make sure your eggs are cooked thoroughly!
Now, it’s completely up to you whether you decide to eat ice cream whilst you’re pregnant – or junk food in general, for that matter. Generally, you want to try and avoid eating junk foods during your pregnancy (easier said than done sometimes, I know!). This is because pregnancy is a fundamental time for your babies growth, and you want to ensure that they’re getting the nutrients that they need.
There are several reasons that you might want to avoid junk food during your pregnancy. The main reasons are;
- No nutritional benefits for your baby – Eating junk food doesn’t provide your baby with any of the crucial vitamins that they need to develop. Sugary foods with empty calories aren’t going to help your baby develop.
- Weight Gain – Weight gain during your pregnancy is very normal. But too much weight gain can cause health complications like sleep apnea, so it’s important to try and stay eating a relatively balanced diet.
- Allergies – Research has shown that your baby may develop allergies depending on the food that you’re eating. So, its important to restrict the amount of fats and sugars in your diet whilst you’re pregnant.
- Fat – It’s also been heavily researched and proven that if you’re eating lots of fatty foods, you increase the chances of your child developing cravings for fatty foods too!
Of course, it’s important to remember that a certain amount of junk food is normal; you don’t need to stop eating anything bad completely! If you want to avoid chemicals, you can always use a maker and make the ice cream yourself.
What to eat instead?
If you really want to eat something sweet during your pregnancy, there are better options than opting for ice cream. Here’s a few that might help you fill those cravings.
Protein is essential for your babies health. Calcium is also essential for your babies health. The best way to get a combination of both? Find yourself a relatively healthy yoghurt and consume that as opposed to an ice cream that’s based primarily on fats and sugars. A good idea for this is to opt for a greek yoghurt and add a little honey to help sweeten the deal.
Berries are one of the best options you can pick from if you’re looking for some healthy to give your baby. In fact, they’re one of the best options if you’re looking for something healthy to give yourself, too! They’re filled with lots of vitamin C, which is awesome for your babies health and will help you to absorb iron – also essential for your little one! They also have relatively low sugar, so they’re unlikely to cause any spikes in insulin.
I’m sure you’re probably fully aware of the health benefits of dark chocolate by now. It’s filled with antioxidants, which are great for your body. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking something a little less sweet, but still ultimately super enjoyable.
Low fat cheese
Although it can be difficult to find, super low fat cheese can also be a good option. If you grate your cheese first, this can help infinitely with portion sizing.
To conclude, it’s easy to see that you can most certainly eat small amounts of soft serve ice cream whilst you’re pregnant without guilt. The main thing that you need to remember is to not to overdo it! I know, it’s much harder said than done, but it is possible.
When you’re thinking of gorging on junk food – and by gorging, I mean a tub of ice cream, two whole pizzas and a pack of cookies – then remember that none of those foods are benefitting your child. Things like salmon, sweet potatoes and leafy greens actually provide some nutrients for your child. Try to remember this when you’re reaching for another bag of doritos!