Curious 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 thing that is certain 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 causes pregnancy cravings?
- What month do cravings start in pregnancy?
- 20+ pregnancy cravings
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 undergo changes when we’re pregnant.
This research is quite new, and scientists are still looking into what it could mean for helping mamas-to-be get the right sort of nutrition while pregnant.
What month do cravings start in pregnancy?
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 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.
20+ pregnancy cravings
Common 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 ones here.
- 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 in pregnancy, consider yourself lucky! High in fiber and full of nutrients, veggies are a great addition to your pregnancy diet.
- Sweet dairy. Milk shakes, ice cream, more ice cream, even more ice cream….
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.
- 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.
Pregnancy cravings combinations list
Chocolate? Good. Steak? Great. But chocolate and steak??
Welcome to the land of weird pregnancy craving combinations, starting 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.
And here are some other reported favorites:
- Toast and ice cream
- Peanut butter and mayo on toast
- Avocado and chocolate
- Apples and ketchup
- Peanut butter and hot sauce
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.