Amy Palanjian

Pregnancy Cravings: Please Pass the Ice Cream

I’m about 5.5 months pregnant, and I’ve been craving/eating dairy (including homemade ice cream) like never before in my life.


According to everything I’ve heard and read, this is because the baby is busy growing bones and needs the calcium. The funny thing is, until a few months ago, I hardly ate any dairy at all, as it tended to give me stomachaches. This change in my diet has been a bit of a revelation—I haven’t had a dairy-induced stomachache in more than a month and I’m back to being able to enjoy many of my favorite foods.


My current daily dairy intake includes at least one serving of yogurt (sometimes two), cheese, sometimes kefir and cottage cheese, and I’m amazed to know that I’m hitting the number of servings of dairy that all of the pregnancy-diet sheets recommend. I adore the little baby-size whole-milk yogurts from Trader Joe’s and could eat the banana flavor nearly every day (sometimes I do). I love cottage cheese with a little jam stirred in, and plain Greek yogurt with a swirl of honey. Often, these foods are what I have for dessert at night because I know that they are a healthy (calcium, protein) and balanced way for me to get a bit of sweet.


But once a week, I treat myself to full-fat, seriously high-quality ice cream. And it makes me ridiculously happy.


And yes I know that it’s winter and is extremely cold in most parts of the country, but when it’s warm and toasty inside, ice cream still hits the spot. I’m currently going through a phase with plain, old-fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream and have been pulling out my ice cream maker about once a month. Most times I have the vanilla ice cream as is, but sometimes I add in some fruit and a topping, like a sliced banana and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.


Even though I’m getting monthly weigh-ins at my midwife visits (about which I have to say that it’s pretty disconcerting to see your weight creeping up on the scale—even though I’m well aware that it’s a good sign that the baby is growing!), having regular food indulgences helps me feel like myself. In essence, I’m eating the same way that I was before I was pregnant—real food that’s local and organic as much as possible, with good fats and some treats thrown in to round things out.


But now the difference is that I am hyperaware that everything I put into my body is helping to build another person. That’s a huge concept to wrap your mind around—and a responsibility that almost paralyzed me when trying to make food choices when I first learned I was pregnant. Since then, though, I’ve decided that along with my daily salad of dark leafy greens, low-fat diary, eggs, fruit, produce, nuts, grass fed meat and wild fish, I want my daughter to learn the joys of a sweet treat here and there. Even at this early stage.


We all scream for ice cream! Try these homemade ice cream recipes, and ice cream desserts!




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