Curious about who else may be dreaming of apples and ketchup?
Check out our pregnancy cravings list—containing everything from the common to the creative.
The truth about the ultimate pregnancy cravings list is that there is no such thing as the ultimate pregnancy cravings list.
What does it for one mama-to-be may not do it for all.
But one certain thing is that pregnancy cravings are most definitely a thing.
In fact, it’s estimated that up to 90% of mamas-to-be experience a serious desire for specific foods when pregnant.
Sweet treats like chocolate and ice cream are a hit.
As are savory snacks like pizza and chips.
As are animal products like meat and dairy.
You may also experience the opposite of cravings—an intense aversion to certain foods.
And particularly if you’re dealing with pregnancy nausea, just a whiff of some food types can leave you feeling green.
In this article: 📝
- What are the top 10 pregnancy cravings?
- Weird pregnancy cravings list
- What are some pregnancy cravings to try?
- What are your weird pregnancy cravings?
- What causes pregnancy cravings?
- How early in pregnancy do cravings start?
What are the top 10 pregnancy cravings?
According to this study, these are the most common food cravings reported during pregnancy:
- Sweets. Think candy, desserts, chocolate. While it’s good to watch your sugar intake, a small amount of dark chocolate is fine to have. And it may even have some benefits! The antioxidants in chocolate may help improve the blood flow to your uterus. Just go for a square or two at a time rather than a king-size bar or a whole host of sweets.
- High-calorie savory food. Pizza, chips, salted peanuts, anyone?
- Animal protein. Even lifelong vegetarians can get a craving for steak (cooked at least to medium, please!) while pregnant.
- Fruit. Midnight mango snack? Does every meal need a pineapple chaser? Watermelon, citrus, cantaloupe—all of these are favorites. Luckily, this craving can help you pack in nutrients, fiber, and hydration.
- Savory dairy. Cheese and sour cream are common pregnancy cravings on our list.
- General carbs. Think pretzels, cereal, popcorn…
- Fast food. You may want to frequent your local spots more often than usual.
- Cold foods. Ice cream, popsicles, frozen grapes – anything cold and refreshing.
- Vegetables. If you have vegetable cravings during pregnancy, consider yourself lucky! High in fiber and full of nutrients, veggies are a great addition to your pregnancy diet.
- Sweet dairy. Milkshakes, ice cream, more ice cream, even more ice cream….
What is the most common pregnancy craving?
This one won’t surprise you:
It’s not likely to be the caffeine that’s drawing you to chocolatey goodness, since there’s not that much in there (usually about 12mg of caffeine for a 60g serving of standard milk chocolate).
And it’s not like chocolate is exactly nutritionally beneficial for you or baby ‒ sure, dark chocolate has some minerals and antioxidants in it, but not enough to scarf it down and get everything you and baby need.
It might be a psychological thing ‒ a 2014 study by the University of Albany suggests that moms-to-be might be craving foods “they may otherwise prohibit themselves from eating”.
So it’s like being pregnant is a psychological free pass to eat whatever you want.
Craving chocolate during pregnancy might also be more of a thing in the US and UK, too ‒ Peanut users from Australia put Vegemite up at the top of their list, and Mexican mamas-to-be tend to crave spicy food.
Weird pregnancy cravings list
Firstly, nothing’s weird when it comes to your pregnancy.
But these foods may not have been quite what you expected to be munching on during pregnancy.
- Ice. Yep, it’s common. And while crunching down on some ice may be a way to keep cool and hydrated, it’s a good idea to report this craving to your doctor. That’s because it can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.
- Pickles. The combo of sweet and sour here can make this a particularly delectable treat. And the good news is that pickles can make a healthy pregnancy snack. Like anything, though, just make sure they’re not your only snack, especially because they can be high in salt.
- Hot sauce. Delicious on so many dishes, yes. But be careful of this one, particularly if you’re experiencing heartburn and indigestion. It may only make the issue worse.
- Lemons. Okay, we’ve already mentioned fruit on this list, but this one deserves a special spot of its own. If you’re craving lemons, one way to satisfy this craving is to pop lemon in your water. This can help you get the hydration you need while ticking the craving box at the same time.
- Soda. It’s refreshing, it’s sweet, and the bubbles can ease nausea. But try not to go crazy on soda if that’s your pregnancy craving. It has a high sugar content, and some sodas also contain caffeine, which should be limited when pregnant.
What are some pregnancy cravings to try?
But chocolate and steak?? … Maybe.
We’ll start with a classic:
- Pickles and ice cream. You may have heard this phrase as a stand-in for any kind of pregnancy craving. That’s because of a scene in the show I Love Lucy, where Lucy has a hankering for a papaya milkshake and dill pickle combo.
- Toast and ice cream
- Peanut butter and mayo on toast
- Avocado and chocolate
- Apples and ketchup
- Peanut butter and hot sauce
What are your weird pregnancy cravings?
We asked our Peanut community about their weird pregnancy cravings, and… just wow.
So if you’re wondering whether your pregnancy cravings were weird, you’re not alone:
- “A whole jar of pickle spears.” ‒ Janay
- “Mike and Ikes.” ‒ Arizona
- “Reeses Puffs. In my first trimester, I would wake twice a night and eat a bowl and if I didn’t I would get super sick!” ‒ Emily
- “Hot Cheetos with cream cheese, Korean BBQ, chocolate ice cream with bacon, Babybel cheese with whipped cream and oxtails.” ‒ Zakyah
- “Cream cheese jalapeños wrapped in bacon.” ‒ Martha
- “Eggos spread with almond butter and topped with clementine slices. Wheat toast with mustard and avocado.” ‒ Megan
- “Beef and Oreos.” ‒ Natalie
- “Not really a craving, but I had a vivid dream a couple of weeks ago that I was continuously making and eating a grilled ham, peanut butter, and jelly sandwich.” ‒ Jennifer
- “McDonald’s fries and Burritos from Taco Bell.” ‒ Lacie
- “Chocolate milk and jalapeno chips.” ‒ Carlee
- “Spicy ramen and Slushees.” ‒ Cas
- “Cold, not fully ripe peaches.” ‒ Raimonda
- “Both pregnancies, salt and vinegar crisps, ice pops, weirdest craving ‒ saline from a drip.” ‒ Nicole
- “Olives, banana peppers and chips!” ‒ Ana
- “Chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and chili powder.” ‒ Paige
- “Gatorade has been a favorite for me. I never liked it especially before.” ‒ Samantha
- “All I want is a big bowl of mango covered in lemon and salt at all times.” ‒ Valeria
- “Ice water! Like cold enough where it’s starting to freeze and get ice flakes in it.” ‒ Jeanna
- “Any kind of junk food and chalk (never ate it but had a craving for it).” ‒ Cassy
- “I ate breakfast for dinner for an entire month.” ‒ Tiffany
- “McDonald’s diced onions, Chinese food and blue Slushies.” ‒ Nadia
- “Grapefruit, cream of wheat, and beef ribs.” ‒ Alexis
- “Banana bread! I was baking at least 2 per week.” ‒ Merely
- “Strawberries and lemonade.” ‒ Jennifer
- “Lemons and spaghetti.” ‒ Kait
- “Apple fritters. Every. Single. Day.” ‒ Courtney
- “Chocolate milk. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE. MILK.” ‒ Skydra
- “Jelly beans and frozen grapes.” ‒ Louise
- “Nacho cheese. I would just eat spoons of it. I remember going to the movies by myself just to eat a lot of it in the dark so no one would notice.” ‒ Samara
- “Peanut butter, Nutella and cheese sandwiches.” ‒ Maryanne
- “Cocktail sauce!” ‒ Lindsay
- “Banana bread with cheese.” ‒ Abby
- “Whipped cream on toast.” ‒ Andrea
- “Tomatoes… Ate them by the plateful covered in black pepper and salt.” ‒ Bee
- “Carrot cake!” ‒ Sarah
- “Sparkling water ‒ from the outset and right through pregnancy.” ‒ Elisa
- “Spaghetti with avocado.” ‒ Amor
- “Oatmeal raisin cookies and clam chowder, which was crazy, because I hated those things before pregnancy but my partner loved them.” ‒ Angie
- “Peanut M&Ms. ‒ Audi
- “Pickles and popcorn.” ‒ Sarah
- “Peanut butter was a huge craving, just ate it straight out of the jar!” ‒ Cortney
- “Pickles and liquid cheese.” ‒ Becca
- “Pineapple with heavy cream over it.” ‒ Courtney
- “Peanut butter and sliced onion sandwiches.” ‒ Carms
- “Hear me out: A fried egg sandwich with cheese, but French toast as the bread. Dipped in syrup. I had one almost every day while I was pregnant!” ‒ Savannah
- “Blueberries on cheese pizza, but because we were out of pineapple.” ‒ Sierra
- “Pickles in gravy.” ‒ Paris
- “Frozen Malteasers.” ‒ Christine
- “Baked potato with cream cheese, chives, and topped with popcorn. But we didn’t have potatoes, so I made Mac and cheese topped with popcorn instead. It was so satisfying!” ‒ Elle
- “Cut up avocados with milk.” ‒ Aureliana
- “Gravy and pasta.” ‒ Libby
What causes pregnancy cravings?
There’s a lot of speculation about what causes us to crave certain foods when pregnant.
Is it all because of hormonal changes?
Is it because of nutrients you’re missing?
Or is it your little one calling out for a taste of their soon-to-be favorites?
While the research is still ongoing, we do have some clues.
At present, there’s no conclusive evidence to support the theory that cravings have to do with a nutritional deficiency.
One possibility is that there’s a link between the culture we’re a part of and how we experience cravings.
While in the US you might reach for the bittersweet delight of chocolate, in Japan, you may be more likely to crave rice.
There’s also evidence that cravings are related to our brain’s reward systems, which appear to change when we’re pregnant.
This research is quite new, and scientists are still looking into what it could mean to help mamas-to-be get the right sort of nutrition while pregnant.
How early in pregnancy do cravings start?
They can start as early as the fifth week of your pregnancy.
While rare, some pregnant people also crave non-food items like chalk, burnt matches, and dust.
These are called pica cravings.
If this is what you’re experiencing, know that you’re not alone.
It’s one of the many interesting things that can happen during pregnancy (or any time in your life).
But because eating these substances can be harmful to you and your baby, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pica cravings.
That way they’ll be able to keep an eye on your condition and recommend any potential substitutes.
(The American Pregnancy Association recommends sugarless chewing gum as an option.)
Getting your friends or family members involved is also a good idea to help you avoid eating anything harmful.
If you’re feeling a strong craving for something you’re not supposed to eat, like chalk, sponges, or dirt, try texting a buddy for some support.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the wonderful world of pregnancy cravings—from the more common to the more, well, original.
Any of those sound familiar? You do you, mama!
But don’t be surprised when your favorite apples-and-ketchup snack sounds downright disgusting the second the baby is born.
To keep both you and your baby healthy, there are some foods that it’s best to avoid even if you have a strong craving for them.
Steer clear of raw meat, fish, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy.
And alcohol is also on the no-go list.
But provided you’re getting the nourishment you and your baby need, there’s so much you can still enjoy.
And if you feel like swapping ideas with other mamas-to-be, join us on Peanut.
We don’t have to go through this alone.