Pregnancy cravings

Sweet or salty, spicy or sour – you might develop an intense craving for certain tastes during your pregnancy. Or maybe for an odd combination of foods. Carrot and ketchup, anyone? Here’s a look at why cravings arise and how you can safely indulge in them.


Cravings are common during pregnancy, and they’re often also quite surprising. Something you’d never dreamt of eating before can become the one thing you can’t get enough of. The reasons behind your cravings are not completely clear, but it’s generally considered that if your body wants it, it can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet. With the exception of coal, dirt and chalk, of course!

Find out more about the sorts of cravings you might experience and how to manage them.

Many mums-to-be experience strong cravings for particular foods when pregnant. These craving can often be simply down to your pregnancy hormones, or your body could be prompting you to indulge in something which contains the vitamins or nutrients you’re currently missing. If you’re craving salty olives, for example, it might be that your body wants you to up your sodium intake. Even if you’ve never fancied eating beetroot or lemon slices before, it can be surprising what you crave when pregnant.

Common cravings

  • Sweet, sugary treats
  • Dairy products
  • Salty snacks
  • Sour citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons
  • Hot, spicy foods

Non-food cravings

‘Pica’ is the term used to refer to a craving that’s non-food based, such as coal, ice, earth or chalk. No-one quite knows why you may experience it, but some suggest that it’s due to a lack of iron or calcium in your body. Others believe it’s your body’s way of trying to ease nausea. Either way, pica cravings should never be indulged.

Sticking to a balanced diet

Pregnancy cravings don’t last forever, and as your pregnancy continues you may find they become less intense. Trying to enjoy other foods when all you can think about is cheese and gherkins can be tricky, but try to stick to a range of different foods at mealtimes to ensure your diet remains balanced and fit your cravings in around main meals.

To ask a question about cravings or your pregnancy nutrition, contact our Careline team by calling 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.

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