That little human growing in your belly can do strange things to your body, including making you crave a pickle covered in chocolate sauce resting on a bed of ice cream, with a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
Food cravings are one of the most common first-trimester symptoms, ranging from sweet or salty to the most incredibly ridiculous culinary combinations.
And if you think your food cravings are crazy, wait ’till you see what other mums are feasting on!
Why am I craving strange food?
If you’re hankering for food that would usually make your stomach turn, you’re among the 90% of mums-to-be experiencing cravings. This pregnancy symptom usually kicks into high gear during the first trimester, as hormones hit their peak.
Like at other times during your life, things like being tired or emotional can also get you craving food, but why you crave such strange combinations is still unknown. Science thinks it could be our bodies trying to replace or boost things in our system or stop us from eating things we shouldn’t (which is what happens with pregnancy food aversions).
What your cravings are telling you
Some experts suggest that these cravings might be your body’s subtle way of signalling nutritional needs. It’s important to note that the following breakdowns don’t consider potential influences from physical, mental, or social factors, as research in this area is still somewhat limited.
If you are ever concerned about your cravings, make sure to have a chat with your doctor or midwife.
Now, onto the fun part!
The classic duo
Ah, the classic combo that’s practically a pregnancy stereotype. If you find yourself reaching for a jar of pickles followed by a scoop of ice cream, your body might be telling you it needs a balance of salty and sweet. Pickles can satisfy the salty side, while ice cream caters to the sweet tooth. It’s like a culinary yin and yang.
Craving red meat? Hello, iron!
If you’re daydreaming about a perfectly grilled steak, your body might be screaming for iron. Pregnancy can zap your iron levels, and your body is smart enough to send you signals. So, fire up that barbecue and enjoy your steak guilt-free—it’s practically a prenatal vitamin in food form.
If you find yourself reaching for the Vegemite jar more often than not, your body might be screaming for vitamin B. Vegemite is chock-full of it, and guess what? So is your growing bun in the oven. Vitamin B is crucial for your little one’s development, so go ahead and spread that black gold on your toast guilt-free.
Sour lollies for the win
Craving sour lollies like there’s no tomorrow? Your body might be in need of a vitamin C boost. Citrus fruits and sour lollies can come to the rescue. Besides, who can resist the tangy goodness of Sour Rainbow Straps?
Bring on the carbs
If your carb cravings are through the roof, blame it on your body’s need for quick energy. Growing a tiny human is no easy feat, and your body wants those energy-packed carbs to keep you going. Embrace the pasta, the bread, and all things carbolicious.
Feeling like you could eat your weight in watermelon? Well, guess what? Your body is probably asking for hydration. Watermelon is not just a juicy delight; it’s also a fantastic way to keep yourself hydrated during pregnancy.
Craving all things spicy? Your taste buds might be on a wild ride, but there’s more to it. Spicy foods can actually kickstart your metabolism and provide a temporary energy boost. So, if you’re reaching for the hot sauce, know that your body is just revving up for the pregnancy marathon.
If the mere thought of chocolate makes you weak in the knees, it might be your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I need some magnesium.” Dark chocolate, in particular, is a great source of magnesium, which is essential for muscle function. It’s like a sweet excuse to indulge in some cocoa therapy.
Cheese cravings during pregnancy are more common than you’d think. Your body might be craving calcium, and cheese is a tasty way to deliver it. Whether it’s a gooey toastie or a fancy cheese platter, embrace the dairy delight.
If you can’t stop dreaming about avocados, your body might be whispering, “We need healthy fats!” Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are not only delicious but also essential for your baby’s brain development. So, guacamole away, Mumma!
Fruit salad frenzy
If your cravings lead you to a rainbow of fruits, your body is probably in need of various vitamins and minerals. Different fruits offer different nutrients, so mix it up for a fruity explosion of goodness. Your baby will thank you for the nutritional fiesta!
Craving Zooper Doopers left and right? It might be your body’s way of asking for hydration in a fun and icy form. Opt for natural fruit flavours to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping cool. Bonus: it’s a great way to stay cool during those hot pregnant summers.
Craving yoghurt with all the toppings? Your body could be asking for a dose of probiotics for good gut health. Throw in some granola and fresh berries for a delightful and nutritious treat.
Nutty about nuts
Nuts are a powerhouse of nutrients, and if you’re craving them, your body might be signalling a need for healthy fats, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Grab a handful of almonds or walnuts for a crunchy and nutritious snack.
Breakfast for dinner
Breakfast cereal cravings can strike at any time of the day, and it’s perfectly okay to surrender to them. Your body might be asking for a quick energy fix, and a bowl of your favourite cereal with milk can be a comforting and satisfying choice.
Lemons are like nature’s little vitamin C bombs. If your taste buds are doing a happy dance for lemons, your body might be in need of that immune-boosting, skin-loving, and all-around superhero vitamin C. It’s like your body’s way of saying, “Bring on the citrus, I need that C!”
Tacos are often loaded with protein, and if your body is chanting “taco time,” it might be a sign that it’s craving some serious protein power. Growing a tiny human is no small feat, and your body is cheering for that extra boost of protein to support both you and your little one.
While it might seem like an unconventional hankering, craving vinegar could indicate a need for a digestive boost. Vinegar has been known to aid digestion, so if you find yourself drawn to vinaigrettes, pickles, or even salt and vinegar chips, your body might just be seeking that acidity to ease digestion.
Milo is often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. If your body is craving Milo, it could be signalling a need for those extra nutrients during pregnancy. The vitamins and minerals in Milo, such as iron and B vitamins, are crucial for both your well-being and your baby’s development.
Milkshakes are like the rockstars of calcium. If your body is singing the milkshake anthem, it might be requesting a calcium boost. Growing a tiny human means extra calcium demands, and your bones (and baby’s bones) are cheering for every sip of that calcium-rich goodness.
Sweet potato surges
Rich in beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are the superhero precursor to vitamin A. If your body is hankering for sweet potatoes, it might be signalling a need for that extra boost of eye-pleasing, skin-loving, immune-supporting beta-carotene. Roast them, mash them, or turn them into fries!
Popcorn is like the MVP of fibre. If your cravings are leading you to the popcorn bowl, your body might be asking for a little digestive delight. It’s like your gut is throwing a party, and popcorn is the guest of honour.
Craving sushi, but concerned about the raw fish? Opt for veggie rolls or cooked options to satisfy your sushi cravings safely. Your body might be craving the variety of flavours and textures found in a good sushi platter.
If the thought of biting into a juicy orange or enjoying a grapefruit makes your mouth water, it might be your body’s way of asking for more vitamin C. Citrus fruits are not only refreshing but also a fantastic way to boost your immune system.
Craving olives like they’re going out of style? Your body might be signalling a need for healthy fats and a dose of antioxidants. Olives are a tasty and versatile way to meet these cravings. Snack on them, toss them in a salad, or even add them to your pizza.
If visions of cheeseburgers dance in your head, your body might be asking for a combination of protein, carbs, and fats. It’s like your taste buds are chanting, “Bring on the protein party!”
Peanut butter passion
Peanut butter cravings are a classic, and they often signal your body’s need for protein and healthy fats. Whether you spread it on toast, dip apple slices in it, or just eat it by the spoonful (no judgment here), peanut butter is a delicious way to satisfy those cravings.
Minty fresh desires
Mint is renowned for its nausea-soothing superpowers. If your cravings are leading you to minty goodness, your body might be requesting a bit of relief from the pregnancy queasiness. It’s like your taste buds are waving a mint-scented wand to calm the storm in your stomach.
Soft drink showdown
If you find yourself daydreaming about fizzy drinks, your body might be asking for a caffeine-free pick-me-up. Opt for sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice for a refreshing and hydrating alternative.
Bananas are a popular pregnancy craving, and for good reason – they are the kings of potassium. If your cravings are steering you towards this yellow delight, your body might be sending out a potassium plea. It’s like your taste buds are saying, “Give me that mineral magic for muscle and nerve function!”
Craving flavoured milk like you’re back in the school cafeteria? Your body might be asking for a calcium boost with a side of nostalgia. Whether it’s chocolate, strawberry, or even a classic vanilla flavour, flavoured milk can be a delicious way to meet your calcium needs and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.
Dreaming of coconut-flavored everything? Your body might be seeking a tropical twist and a dose of healthy fats. Coconut milk, coconut water, or even a coconut-flavored dessert can add that exotic touch to your pregnancy palate.
Slushies are the ultimate thirst-quenchers. If your cravings are leading you to the frosty realm, your body might be screaming for hydration. It’s like your taste buds are saying, “Give me that icy sip to conquer the thirst!”
Hot Chip Hype
If you’re experiencing a heightened desire for salty foods, hot chips can be an appealing choice due to their salt content. This could be linked to changes in hormones or increased blood volume during pregnancy.
Ice Cream Avalanche
Ice cream is a calcium-rich treat. If your cravings are leading you to the frozen aisle, your body might be calling for a calcium celebration. It’s like your taste buds are saying, “Give me that creamy goodness for strong bones!”
Nutella is a sweet indulgence that combines the richness of chocolate with the creaminess of hazelnuts. Pregnancy can bring about changes in taste preferences, and a craving for Nutella might be your body’s way of indulging in a satisfying, sweet treat.
Tomatoes contain antioxidants, such as lycopene, which have various health benefits. If your body is drawn to tomatoes, it might be signalling a desire for these antioxidants to support your well-being during pregnancy.
What if I’m craving non-food items?
If you find yourself keen to consume something strange, like dirt or soap, you may have another pregnancy condition called Pica. This can be serious, so make sure you have a chat with your doctor or midwife.
Join the conversation
Wondering if your food craving is strange or normal? Take a look at what other Grapeviner mums yearned to eat during their pregnancy:
“Hash browns with lettuce as long as the lettuce had salt all over it.” – Abbey
“With my first, I craved lemons and limes! Ate them like apples.” – Amanda
“Eucalyptus. I really wanted to eat my Vicks so I had to go out and buy eucalyptus lollies.” – Terri
“Mini sweet gherkin pickles dipped in hot chocolate sauce meant for ice cream, could not get enough!” – Sherry
“Cheese and ice cubes.” – Delina
“Straight up white vinegar … all day every day, I was obsessed with it to the point I took it with me in travel mugs to sip on when I was out. I would go through two gallons of it a week and it was always on my shopping list.” – Corrina
Read next …
- Emotional Wave: Managing Mood Swings During Pregnancy
- A Guide to Surviving Food Aversions in Pregnancy
- The hardest part of first trimester has nothing to do with spew
About to have a baby?
Ready to welcome your little bundle of joy into the world? We totally get that the anticipation can feel like a roller coaster ride, complete with heart-fluttering excitement and a touch of nervousness. But hey, guess what? You’re not in this alone! We’re here to throw a reassuring arm around your shoulder.
Introducing our exclusive haven – the Mum’s Grapevine Pregnancy Groups. Think of them as your virtual squad of fellow Aussie mums-to-be who are gearing up for their own baby adventures.
You know that magical feeling of being due around the same time? Well, these groups are tailor-made for that! It’s like a cozy corner where you can swap stories, share tips, and just have a good ol’ chat about all things pregnancy. Join today!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about your specific needs and concerns.