What Are the Common Food Cravings During Pregnancy?

Nandini Muralidharan

Created by Nandini Muralidharan
Updated on Feb 28, 2020

What Are the Common Food Cravings During Pregnancy
Reviewed by Expert panel

It's 10 PM, and suddenly all you ever want is to eat a large tub full of caramel popcorn. With chocolate sauce. And some grated cheese. Sounds nauseating? Or delicious? Food cravings are known to hit at least 50% of pregnant women. Popular media has taken to exaggerating these for the purpose of entertainment and comic relief. But ask any pregnant woman, and these cravings are no joke! They're very real, and they can be just as bothersome as amusing, depending on the craving.

What Are Some Common Food Cravings That Pregnant Women Have?

Pregnancy cravings are linked to either hormonal fluctuations, or nutritional needs, and some hit without a reason. Emotional factors can also contribute to pregnancy cravings. Here are some common cravings, and possible reasons why they hit.

  • Spicy Food: This is one of the most common cravings during pregnancy, even if you aren't a big fan of spicy food otherwise. This could be because spicy food makes you sweat, and as a result, cools you down. Tip to indulge: Go easy on the chilies and salsa, else you could give yourself heartburn
  • Ice cream: Doing an emergency midnight drive to buy a tub of Chocolate Almond Delight? Again, your craving for ice cream can be linked to your body's need for calcium. Tip to indulge: Try substituting ice cream with low-fat yogurt, or a homemade milkshake with berries and cream
  • Oranges, and other fruits: Wow! This sounds like a good craving to have, doesn't it? Your body might be telling you that it needs more Vitamin C. Or it could just be a need for variety in your diet. Tip to indulge: Indulge freely, but just keep in mind that too much can cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up
  • Lemon: It isn't unusual if you suddenly want to just suck the juice from that lemon you see lying in your fridge. This could be simply to give your taste buds a change from your regular diet. Tip to indulge: Add a dash of lemon in your poha, or even dal, for extra flavor! [Why Don't Try: Poha Recipes for You & whole Family]
  • Comfort food: If you suddenly find that you want to have mom's dal makhani with naan, or the same ice cream flavor that you had when you were in college, it's most likely nothing but a need for comfort food, and not any particular nutritional requirement. Tip to indulge: As long as it's in moderation, go ahead and indulge your favorite food. Meet mom for lunch, and have some fun gossip, too!
  • Non-food items: Many pregnant women say that they crave to eat lots of ice, chalk, or clay. This craving for non-food items is called pica. Doctors usually link it to a deficiency in iron or zinc, although it hasn't been proved. Note: Please take this up with your doctor if such a craving hits, as it could adversely affect your health


While nothing has been proved about why cravings hit when they do, they are often attributed to hormonal changes, pregnancy-time nutrition & emotional needs. Eat a balanced diet taking care of your body's nutritional requirements, and stay stress-free. Give in to your cravings in moderation! Have a happy pregnancy!

What are the most bizarre cravings that you have had during pregnancy? Share your anecdotes with us in the comments section!

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Nov 22, 2019

I am 36 weeks pregnant and i have cravings for cloves and fennel seeds... i chew around 6-10 cloves per day and fennel seeds after every breakfast lunch ,snacks and dinner... i dont know if u am doing right but i actually feel satisfied and happy when my craving gets fulfilled... i am totally unknown if it is affecting my baby... i have been having these craving as i started my 3rd trimester days ...

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| Sep 21, 2019

I hv snd trimester in btween i hv feel jawpain

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| Sep 21, 2019

What is Ovel

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| Feb 16, 2019

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| Feb 19, 2018

I remember my cravings for khatti methi aam goli ,and I could have it any time of the day. these cravings are difficult to control howverer if substituted with healthier options or indulged in wisely, these can be managed easily.

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