Satisfy Your Pregnancy Cravings

Smart ways to prepare the foods you suddenly can't stop eating.

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How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy:Decoding Pregnancy Cravings

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Shannon Greer

Maybe you've always blanched at bacon, and now you can't get enough. That's totally normal: Pregnant gals often start hankering for some kooky food combinations. We put out a Facebook call to see what you were drooling over, and you dished about your love of foods like pickles, spicy chicken wings, and vinegar. (Many of you wanted to subsist on McDonald's French fries for nine months -- and although we don't recommend noshing on them every day, we totally empathize. You can cave sometimes...we won't judge!)

Good news: There are lots of healthy ways to prepare some of the foods you're craving. We rounded up recipes featuring your gotta-have-'em ingredients. Go ahead--indulge those wacky whims.

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Pineapple

Peter Ardito

Pineapple

I craved pineapple. I would eat at least a can a day. --Sallee Glickler

For a healthy breakfast or snack, mix pineapple or other fruits with cottage cheese -- a 1/2-cup serving contains a whopping 15 grams of protein. During pregnancy, your daily protein intake rises from about 45g per to 70g per day -- so keep chowing down on protein-filled foods!

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Black Olives

Blain Moats

Black Olives

I couldn't stop eating black olives! Eww--I hated them before! --Jessica Shaw Harris

Luckily, a few of these go a long way. Serve them with braised chicken for a flavorful and healthy dish.

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Cheese

iStockphoto

Cheese

I ate cheese like it was going out of style.
--Melissa Crawford

You know that calcium is crucial for building and maintaining bone health, and it's even more important during pregnancy and new motherhood. You'll need to up your daily dose during your third trimester, when your baby's skeleton is developing most rapidly. So go ahead and stock up on low-fat varieties of cheese.

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Limes

Jason Donnelly

Limes

Near the end of my pregnancy, I wanted limes dipped in salt. Yeah, that tore my teeth up.
--Erika Waller

Limes make a great low-cal addition to beverages. Swap your daily soda for seltzer water with fresh lime. You'll cut your calories without sacrificing flavor.

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Tomatoes

Peter Ardito

Tomatoes

I could eat tomatoes every day! I loved them!
--Christine Ann Scaccio-Pokorny

Keep 'em coming. Tomatoes are full of lycopene and potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood. Plus, the antioxidant-rich veggie may strengthen your immune system.

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Red Peppers

iStockphoto

Red Peppers

I craved red peppers and ate them all the time, but I hated any form of pepper until I got pregnant. --Megan Kroes

Red peppers pack antioxidant-rich vitamin C and fiber, and its vitamin A helps boost healthy vision. Toss a few red or green slices into this fried rice, which is a great way to add bell peppers to your diet (and a healthy alternative to takeout!)

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Oranges

Peter Ardito

Oranges

I generally hate oranges, but while preggo I couldn't stop eating them. --Emily Wood-Varsho

That's a good thing! Oranges deliver lots of vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure, a particular risk during pregnancy. (Proceed with a bit of caution, though: Citrus fruits can also cause heartburn.) This salad makes a delicious lunch or sweet side.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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