I am pregnant and have celiac disease. I’m craving gluten foods, especially bread. Is there anything I can substitute for it?
Hi Chrissy. As you know, you can always have the gluten-free alternatives of the foods you are craving. However, cravings during pregnancy can be your baby’s way of telling you it needs certain nutrients. If gluten-free grain alternatives are not satisfying your cravings, it could be because they don’t contain the same nutrients as their gluten-containing counterparts. For example, gluten-containing breads, cereals and pastas are often enriched with B vitamins and iron.
Keeping this in mind, you should try to eat naturally gluten-free whole grains, including: brown and wild rices, corn, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum and teff. These grains can be found in gluten-free breakfast cereals (hot and cold) as well in their natural form, which are often found in the rice/grains sections of natural food markets.
If you are not familiar with how to prepare these foods, recipes abound on the internet and in gluten-free cookbooks. A good place to start searching is at www.glutenfreemall.com, as it sells gluten-free grains and cookbooks.
For additional information about maximizing nutrition during pregnancy, visit NFCA's Women's Health section.
Rachel Begun, MS, RD