One of the strangest parts of being pregnant is the random food cravings that can occur. Anyone that has been pregnant or knows someone who has been will recall the strange desires for foods at random times of the day or night that may not normally be eaten by that individual.
Not all food cravings during pregnancy are unhealthy. People often assume foods with a high fat and sugar content is what pregnant ladies will crave. Some women have reported an increase in fresh fruit or vegetables during this time, which is their body’s way of craving an increase in vitamins.
It is important to note that not all pregnancies are the same and not all pregnant women experience a food craving during this time. Some women many only experience this during a second or subsequent pregnancy.
A recent survey conducted in America of pregnant women or those that have completed their pregnancy asked what was their most common food craving. Here are the findings which you may find surprising.
- Ice – women advised they liked to chew on it. Also helpful with cooling during the warmer months.
- Chocolate – or any sweet lolly. Chocolate is often associated with happiness. An old wives tale suggested that if you crave chocolate or lollies you are carrying a girl.
- Spicy Foods – curries and peppers are common as they make the body sweat, which cools off the body. This is helpful when you are already hot and unable to find a way to cool down.
- Pickles – Women who crave pickles could be low in sodium. Some prefer the crunch or the vinegar. At least they are low in calories and cheap.
- Potato Chips – Similar to pickles they have been linked to sodium. These are however high in fat and calories therefore if a crunch is what is desired try low fat pop corn instead.
- Fresh Fruit – A surprising food to the list however their bodies are wanting an increase in vitamin C. A good outcome as it will lead to less weight increase and will help baby in its growth. Watermelon and grapes the most popular fruits, perhaps due to their water content.
- Lemon – It is not unusual to see pregnant women adding lemon to water or eating raw lemon. This is due to a craving for sour foods. Taste buds change during pregnancy and the body likes to be “shocked with” super sour or spicy foods.
- Ice cream – this is popular as it is sweet, creamy and cools you off.Try low fat yoghurt as an alternative.
- Soft Drink – Very common during the first trimester to assist with morning sickness. The carbonation settles the stomach. Try and avoid caffeinated soft drinks as they should be avoided and reach for a lemonade instead.
- Coffee - Doctors advise to avoid caffeine during pregnancy however it is common for women who were already coffee drinkers before conceiving to crave coffee or an increase. Coffee makes you more alert and is thought to decrease headaches.
As I am pregnant with my second child currently I can confirm that I have experienced very different food cravings both times. The first time I was eating fresh fruit as much as possible however it was also summer and I think it was partly to cool me down. This time around I suffered morning sickness and reached for the soft drink straight away.
Article written by Amanda mother of two kids and owner of Baby Presents. Baby Presents web store found at www.babypresents.com.au has a range of baby gifts suitable from Baby Shower to First Birthday.