Common Pregnancy Food Cravings
So you’re almost 12 weeks into your pregnancy and you suddenly feel this wave of hunger overcome you. You ignore the feeling for a while but there it is again! It continues to nag you and poke you in the side until you give in!
Relax because pregnancy cravings and especially those wonderful pica cravings are perfectly normal. If you’ve never heard the term “pica” used in the same sentence as pregnancy cravings, it’s a term used to refer to a bird that will eat, well, almost anything.
Pregnancy cravings generally start toward the end of your first trimester and peak during the second one. And now that you know you’re officially on the pregnancy cravings bandwagon, here are 65 pregnancy food cravings that range from common to crazy, to downright bizarre:
- Baked Potatoes
Pregnancy is a chance to load up on calories because you’re eating for two now. Your baby’s main source of energy in the womb – carbohydrates – is abundantly found in potatoes.
Anything with whipped cream or just plain cream – your body will crave like mad. The baby needs a steady supply of fat, so it’s perfectly fine to stuff your face with some cream.
Anything with lots of salt or actual table salt– you’re going to crave it for sure. High-salt cravings aren’t a big deal – in fact, you may need salty foods from time to time to keep your energy up.
With the baby gently kicking around in your tummy and your mood swings ‘kicking in’ – you’re going to want to spike your insulin levels for sure – with anything that’s even remotely sugary.
Doctors everywhere agree that milk and all milk products are among the most common pregnancy cravings. So drink up and treat your baby with loads of calcium for healthy bone development.
Don’t be surprised if macaroni and cheese end up on your plate at least several times a day, because you’re going to be craving that wonderful protein-rich cheese day and night.
Like they say: no ice, no dice. You’re going to suddenly feel thirsty, very thirsty. And when water doesn’t cut it, you’re going to want to munch and suck on a big ice cube.
- Spicy food
Ayye’macarena, girl! With the taste in your mouth going from normal to weird to downright sour within minutes – you’ll be ready to get your hands on anything that’s spicy.
Chocolate – a pregnant woman’s best friend. Chocolate is a good source of antioxidants (the dark kind mostly) and also a great mood elevator.
The idea that you’re actually craving something really healthy during pregnancy, as opposed to salty and sugary snacks, might initially come off as weird, but it could simply mean that you’re running low on your supply of vitamins.
Don’t be surprised if you’re in the produce section with your significant other and suddenly have this overpowering urge to snack on avocados. They’re full of potassium, vitamin C and B, as well as B6, so stack up and enjoy. They are also one of the best pregnancy superfoods that help with baby brain development.
Cravings for certain vegetables during pregnancy, including tomatoes, are very common. However, they may also signal that you’re low on certain nutrients such as iron or simply undergoing hormonal changes.
Craving meat is also quite common in pregnancy. There’s another being growing inside your body, so you should be consuming foods rich in tissue building protein.
- Soda / Fizzy Drinks
Since it’s perfectly normal to crave sweet and carbonated drinks in pregnancy, it’s only a matter of time before you reach for that can of coke. Just keep it down to no more than a can or two a day (high caffeine).
About 50% pregnant women have actually admitted that among their most common craving is ice cream and yogurt. Don’t hesitate to have lots of this good stuff because your growing baby is going to need all the calcium he/she can get.
No, this one did not end up on the list by accident. If you’ve craved dirt then you are probably low on iron or borderline anaemic. If spinach doesn’t cut it, maybe dirt will?
According to folklore, they say if you’re craving sweets, you’re going to have a baby girl. Well, baby girl or not, in limited doses, sweets can provide the much needed mood elevation and a quick jolt of feel-good energy.
Oh yeah – you’ll be craving lots of these, that’s a given! Although go for a turkey or veggie one because soy-based burgers will provide plenty of iron and protein for your baby.
Being pregnant is tough business, we get it. You’re going to have mood swings and energy lows every now and then. Coffee can fix that but you should keep your daily cup of antioxidants to just one due to the caffeine content.
Suddenly feeling the urge to have salty snacks like crisps even though you had a full meal hardly an hour ago? It’s entirely normal, even scientists cannot refute it.
- Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are actually on the list of most popular foods to have in pregnancy, and you’ll not only love them but crave them, especially if you mix some in your green tea. They can also help you fight nausea and morning sickness.
- Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are craved and loved by pregnant mums all over the world! In fact, hot wings are even more popular because they induce sweating, allowing the body to cool off.
Even though one survey indicated that a mere 10% pregnant women crave fruits, but when they do, they can’t resist gobbling down juicy fruits like blueberries, peaches, apples and watermelons.
If you’re craving any kind of red meat, then you’ve most likely had people tell you that you need more iron. Steak is also high in zinc and B vitamins, which will do wonders to boost your energy levels.
This is how cravings work: if you’re craving something salty, then chances are you are craving something sour as well. Sour cream Lays chips anyone or perhaps chicken Thai soup with extra vinegar?
- Dog Food
Any kind of dog treats or food is generally not safe for human consumption. Still, you might crave it because during pregnancy, you are biologically wired to crave all kinds of non-edible items that look and smell funny.
- Fried Eggs
Ah, pregnancy – a process to welcome a newborn into the world and also discover strange cravings you may not have had before. Fried eggs with salt and pepper not only taste great but also provide your baby with plenty of amino acids.
- Grapefruit Juice
Maybe you and your baby need extra vitamin C, which would explain the grapefruit juice cravings at odd hours. Did you know this super-fruit is one of the best natural fat burners around?
Pregnancy is a time to let your taste buds loose – sweet, salty and sour – the merry three! A good source of vitamin C, pickles are also loaded with certain minerals and help you combat muscle cramps.
It’s perfectly okay to crave tea during pregnancy because you need a refreshment every now and then. The antioxidant rush isn’t anything to complain about either. Drinking certain types of tea is perfectly safe and what's more they are packed with some amazing benefits too!
Mayonnaise, cheese, butter, oil or anything spreadable – if you can spread it, then you’re going to crave toast – day and night!
- Apple Juice
As your demand for fluids increases, so will your cravings for some good old fashioned, refreshing apple juice. Loaded with rejuvenating vitamins, apple juice can help you combat fatigue and lethargy, among other things.
- Coffee Grounds
Pregnant women who typically detest coffee can’t stop craving coffee ground or beans. And they just want to chew it rather than drink it. Go figure.
It’s perfectly normal to crave any kind of meat because your body needs to hold on to as much lean muscle tissue as possible to help the baby grow in a normal and healthy way.
- Peanut Butter
With hormones flaring and moods all over the place, it’s only normal that you crave a top-notch comfort food like peanut butter. The healthy fats and proteins will certainly give birth to a strong baby with a good weight.
Watermelons are loved by pregnant women the world over. Not only do they rehydrate and rejuvenate you but also ease heartburn as well as swelling. The good sugars in them help kick morning sickness away, while the minerals help combat those annoying third-trimester cramps.
- Chewing Gum
While there may be minimal to no health benefits of chewing gum in pregnancy, it can certainly help elevate your mood, increase concentration and focus, aid in digestion and also help keep all that food down.
You may be craving garlic simply due to the fact that certain foods that you’ve been avoiding in order to prevent extra weight gain, contain ample amounts of garlic. It’s okay to give in, because garlic is rich in antioxidants and improves the body’s anti-inflammatory response.
Some pregnant women tend to have cravings for non-edible items such as soap. Referred to as “pica” (discussed at the beginning), the condition could indicate that you’re deficient in certain minerals or have severe anaemia.
Where there’s garlic, there’s hummus! And chances are if you’re craving the former, then you’re definitely craving the latter. Be careful though – always eat or get your hummus from places you trust because if it’s contaminated with listeria, it may prove fatal for your baby.
- Ice Cream
Your body’s going to be producing a lot of milk for the upcoming baby, which is why you’re experiencing those dairy food product cravings. Ice cream, however, is the go-to dairy food for most pregnant mothers, before anything else.
Mints are great – they’re refreshing and they instantly entertain the taste buds! Expectant mothers often complain about having a bitter taste in their mouth which explains the mint cravings. An added bonus is that it can help you digest your food better and keep it down too.
If you’re craving oranges then you may either be deficient in vitamin C or simply need a little mood elevation. And don’t believe that eating oranges will give your baby jaundice – they are perfectly fine to eat during pregnancy and are a great immune booster.
Due to hormonal changes and the nutritional demands of pregnancy, you’re probably craving pasta as well. This carbohydrate-rich food source is ‘high quality fuel’ for you and your baby, having plenty of carbs, fibre and magnesium. Plus, they boost serotonin levels in the brain, which is why you’re craving this “feel good” food.
Many experts have suggested that ingesting your partner’s semen in the morning is one of the best ways to prevent morning sickness. This explains why some women can’t stop craving sperm once they have gone through the experience. Plus, your baby will thank you for the extra supply of protein and minerals!
Another great comfort food – add some fries and ketchup and you’re in for a fantastic protein + carbs treat.
Fluctuating pregnancy hormones may cause beetroot cravings, and this may also signal that you’re deficient in certain nutrients. Beetroot is a good source of nitric oxide – the stuff that promotes better blood flow in the body.
Even though there’s not that many women craving veggies during pregnancy, those that do can’t get enough of broccoli. It’s rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamins C, K and A, as well as iron, potassium, folate and fibre.
- Hot Sauce
Since your energy and nutrient demands are up, you’ll be craving all kinds of foods – spicy foods in particular – and hot sauce happens to be a household favourite.
Again, highly unusual – but does happen, thanks to the pica syndrome. The cravings are normal because you’re pregnant, yay!
This, again, has to do with the condition “pica” where pregnant mothers crave eating almost anything, including non-edible items like paper.
Radishes are actually a must-have pregnancy food – in fact, add some to your salads and soups and you’re getting a good dose of calcium, potassium, vitamin C and iron – all great nutrients for your developing baby.
Bananas are a great source of quick and sustainable energy, and help manage blood pressure a lot better due to the potassium content. So don’t be surprised if your system’s craving it.
You’ll hear many mothers admit to how they can’t stop having carrots during pregnancy. The beta carotene is something that your system will crave in order to maintain good eyesight. Plus, it makes for a great alternative to, say, chocolate.
Sugary and carby delights ahoy! You’re always in need of extra calories, so make it a few extra donuts – woo hoo! Although don’t be surprised if you gain a few extra pounds around your love handles – dohh!
A great salad makes for the ultimate health meal. Packed with fibre and other healthy nutrients, would-be mothers crave salads probably because you can have them in so many innovative ways.
Craving vegetables could mean that you’re body’s demanding an ample supply of minerals and vitamins, which you may not be getting. So go ahead and indulge.
If you’re craving mustard, then you should probably add more onions to your diet (a sign that you need more antioxidants) and smother them with mustard without a hint of remorse!
Craving salty olives? And you should because your sodium demands are practically going through the roof.
There’s no end to how creative you can get when having raspberries. Add them to your favourite dessert or cereal, for starters. The demand for potassium, folate, fibre and vitamin C in the body is probably why you’re craving them.
A study done recently revealed that garlic mushrooms dipped in custard were among some of the strangest foods craved by pregnant women. Eat up because the wide-ranging antioxidants will help in optimal foetal growth.
The pica syndrome is back! Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to crave sand because you’re pregnant. Just don’t have any, that’s all.
Toilet paper, newspapers, to-do notes, toothpaste – what’s the difference, right? You might feel like swallowing your toothpaste instead of spitting it out. Don’t worry, no one’s going to judge you. Just know that there are no health benefits of doing so!
Kale is packed with nutrients and is considered among the best prenatal foods mothers love having.
- Ice Lollies
During pregnancy, you’re body’s temperature is elevated and you’ll need more hydration than usual, which explains the cravings for ice lollies.