Even if you haven’t been pregnant – or around an expectant mom – you’ll know how strong cravings can be during this time. So many partners have rushed to the store in the dead of night for that one must-have snack! But not all expectant mothers want traditional dishes and flavors. Often, they’ll invent bizarre combinations of food – or sometimes crave inedible objects as part of their daily diet. Though why would anyone want to eat a chocolate-dipped burrito, soap or a bowl of dirt? Well, it turns out that science can explain many of these off-the-wall cravings.
40. Shaved ice… Or just plain ice
One mother-to-be on CafeMom recalled looking out of the window during her wintertime pregnancy and dreaming of eating the snow. Rather than doing that, she reached for sweetened shaved ice or plain ice to sate her cravings. According to the Mayo Clinic, experts say that chewing ice – whether you’re pregnant or not – can be a sign of anemia. It’s not clear why, but they suspect that it increases alertness, which counteracts the tiredness and weakness that comes with the condition.
39. Soup with a side of… Doritos
On a cold day, you might crave a bowl of soup. But one Buzzfeed Community user who was a pregnant parent-to-be had a very specific soup-and-side combination that they ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That meal was, “Doritos Nacho Cheese chips dipped in canned clam chowder soup.” Mmm.
38. Gravy on everything
More than one pregnant woman has admitted to a gestational obsession with gravy. One Reddit user said they “put a lot on chicken or biscuits until I realized it wasn’t enough, and then [I] would just drink it from the cup.” A BuzzFeed commenter apparently took things a step further – pouring the meaty sauce atop strawberries and cantaloupe!
37. Cheese in literally all forms
Lots of expecting mothers crave cheese – even Kim Kardashian. According to Marie Claire, the star told fans in a Q&A session that she wanted “mostly cheese, chili cheese fries, everything with cheese.” Other matriarchs on Reddit agreed, although they chowed down on “bowls of feta” or, perhaps strangest of all, “the cheese packet in a Kraft mac and cheese box.” Regardless of the form in which it’s desired, a need for cheese while pregnant means that the mom-to-be needs calcium.
36. Onions on everything
One BuzzFeed Community member who “hated onions” found they couldn’t stop thinking about the vegetables – or trying to put them on any type of food! It actually turns out that this is pretty common. Rumor has it that Angelina Jolie had a non-stop hankering for onion rings, which she’d dip in mustard.
35. Twinkies with a side of… Ranch?
One BuzzFeed Community member said they often ate cream-filled Twinkies pastries – but not before dipping the puffy cylinders into ranch dressing. In general, women want more sweets while with child because their hormones run amok and spike that feeling that they need sugar. As for the ranch on top? Well, science can’t explain that.
34. Eggs over easy sound sweet
You might be thinking that an eggs-over-easy craving doesn’t sound that bad. Well, it gets a little iffy when you hear what this 12-week-pregnant person paired them with. They wrote via Reddit, “The only things I’ve really wanted was runny eggs with Chips Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies.”
33. Candy wrapped in bacon
There’s no moderation when it comes to a person’s feelings toward bacon. Many of us will do whatever we can to incorporate it into every meal! Therefore, we might find this pregnant person’s recipe worth a try. The Redditor said their craving was for “Snickers wrapped in bacon.”
32. Sauerkraut on fruit
One mom-to-be couldn’t help but pile sauerkraut onto everything she ate “from fruit to mashed potatoes to peanut butter toast.” She’s not the only one to have a thing for fermented cabbage, though. Actress Mila Kunis revealed on a 2014 episode of The Ellen Show that she ate “sauerkraut all day long” while expecting her first child Wyatt. It makes sense – science says that women crave stronger flavors while pregnant, since their taste buds can dull in strength as their hormones fluctuate.
31. Asian-breakfast food fusion
You’re in the mood for Chinese… but you also kind of want breakfast for dinner. What can you do? If you’re culinarily curious, you can always combine the two – it comes approved by at least one expectant mom. She shared on Reddit that her strangest craving “was veggie lo mein on waffles with syrup!”
30. Chocolatey cheese
Here’s a sweet-and-savory combination to ponder from a woman’s 1998 pregnancy. The lady wrote on Reddit that she “craved cheese puffs dipped in chocolate icing.” Would you be brave enough to try this one?
29. Not all cravings work out
One mom-to-be shared her deepest, darkest craving via Reddit – as well as what happened when she actually tried it. First, she wrote, “Y’all I really want a pepperoni and tuna sandwich. I feel so weird wanting this. Tuna and pepperoni pizza sounds good, too.” Then, she actually sampled the combination and commented, “Update: do not put tuna on pepperoni pizza.” So, it must not have gone too well!
28. No cough… But still need the lozenge
We’ve all had moments where we need a cough drop. But how often do we crave the lozenges? Turns out, pregnancy might make you want to snack on the medicated candies! One woman “would eat them by the box,” according to a loved one who reported the strange craving to Reddit.
27. Squeezy cheese on a powdered donut
Actress Mindy Kaling appeared on The Ellen Show and told the host how much she craved jelly doughnuts during her pregnancy. Though she’s not the only one who has had a hankering for the circular confections. Others have reported weirder donut-inclusive flavor combinations. One BuzzFeed Community member topped a powdered disc with squeezy cheese and reported, “It did not end well.”
26. Oreos, hot coffee… And mustard
Cookies and a cup of joe? That doesn’t sound too weird, right? Well, it is when you consider the added topping that came with the sandwich cookies. A Redditor wrote that their “ex’s craving was Oreo and mustard, with a nice hot cup of coffee.” We’ll have to pass on this one!
25. Frigid air
Not all pregnancy cravings are for actual food, you know. One Redditor said that their friend couldn’t get enough of “the cold air in her freezer.” It was also a hankering that kept her “up in the middle of the night to do it.” Craving cold things like ice has its links to anemia, although there isn’t solid research to link freezer air to the same deficiency.
24. Sweet-and-sour Kool Aid
Did you know that some pregnancy must-haves can be generational? As one Redditor wrote, “My mom put salt in Kool Aid packets when she was pregnant with me. It makes it super sour and yummy! I’m pregnant now and that’s one of my biggest cravings.” Awww.
23. Thirty-six candy bars… And dog treats?
One pregnant person in the BuzzFeed Community harbored a serious sweet tooth. They shared that they had “an entire case of 36 full-size Mr. Goodbars, which I ate in one sitting.” To balance out all of that sugar, though, they had a savory treat – quite literally. They admitted to chowing down on dog biscuits, too. Scientists have an explanation for the chocolate craving, at least. They say that pregnancy opens women want to eat it more because they think of it as forbidden until they’re expecting, at which point they feel they can eat whatever they want.
22. Corn straight out of the can
One pregnant mom shared with BuzzFeed that she “only wanted [canned corn] uncooked, straight from the can, with a spoon. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’d go through at least two cans a day…” Interestingly, there is actually a scientific explanation for this craving and other random must-have eats. They could be the body’s way of telling you that you need more calories, so try a more substantial snack before digging into the pantry for a can full of corn.
21. An Elf-inspired feast
Anyone who loves holiday movies will know Elf and the titular character’s affinity for sweets. He loads up a plate of spaghetti with candy and marshmallows and covers that with maple syrup. Well, one woman told Buzzfeed via Facebook that she had a positive pregnancy test two days after watching the film and thinking his concoction “looked amazing.”
20. Going ham with the ice cream
Imagine a giant bowl of vanilla ice cream. What would you put on top? If you’re pregnant, you might respond with pulled pork. And you wouldn’t be alone: at least one mom-to-be in the BuzzFeed Community said that she did this “for weeks.”
19. Spaghetti sandwiches – with a unique sauce on top
A scoop full of spaghetti slathered between two slices of bread doesn’t sound that weird – especially considering some of the other combinations on this list. Though one pregnant person prepped their pasta without tomato sauce and instead mixed the noodles with mayo and garlic powder. That beige concoction went into the sandwich, which made it all the more carb-filled and delicious – at least, to the woman eating it.
18. Backyard greens
Get ready: the cravings are going to start to get even weirder from here on out. One Redditor revealed that their girlfriend’s mother “lived on a farm,” and being surrounded by green fields inspired a strange addition to her diet. Every morning, she’d go outside, grab a patch of grass and eat it. The Redditor continued, “The only thing that stopped her from doing this further was her getting sick from it.” See? Very strange.
17. A gallon of milk every single day
As a kid, your parents probably encouraged you to drink your milk – it’s an important part of a child’s diet, after all. One pregnant lady reverted to this behavior… and then some. The woman shared via Reddit that she “drank a gallon a day.” Even more shocking was the fact that she was lactose-intolerant. Luckily, the “craving immediately went away” as soon as her baby arrived.
16. Pickles… With a twist
When we think of pregnant women’s cravings, pickles might be the most iconic snack-of-choice – even Halle Berry admitted to needing the vinegar-soaked spears while pregnant with her daughter Nahla in 2007. But some ladies put a spin on this gestational snack classic. A BuzzFeed Community member said they carved out the middle of their pickle to create a boat for… grape jelly. They wrote, “It was spectacular! The tang, the vinegar, the sweet, the crunch. Now, however, it sounds disgusting.”
15. A bubbly burger
Now, we’re all up for creative burger toppings, but this pregnancy craving has to be a no from us. One mom shared with BuzzFeed via Facebook, “I desperately wanted to put Palmolive dish soap… on my cheeseburger one day.” Before you let queasiness set in, though, know that she didn’t end up doing it! Though she did write, “Oh man, it sounded amazing.” Errr…
14. Scent of a street
Try and ask your mom what her cravings were when she was pregnant with you – it might come as a surprise. This Redditor must have had a shock when they found out that their “mother went crazy for the smell of freshly laid tar.” The matriarch apparently never dug in and ate it, but she would “pull the car over so she could get a nice whiff.”
13. Souped-up peanut butter sandwiches
Peanut butter makes its way into many a pregnant woman’s sandwich. Just ask Hilary Duff, who told Delish in 2018 that she whipped up a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich and that craving proved “so, so good.” Other ladies went a wackier route – one shared via Reddit that she “ate a lot of tomato soup and peanut butter sandwiches… which were dipped into the soup.” Interesting.
12. Shots of vinegar
Natalie Portman couldn’t get enough salt-and-vinegar chips while pregnant. That seems a bit more normal than, say, the mom-to-be who told Reddit that she dreamt of “taking shots” of straight-up vinegar. The craving for the acidic liquid has a handful of scientific explanations, too. According to Moms.com, the product helps quell nausea, and it piques changing taste buds – ones that, say, lose sensitivity and need a good kick.
11. A good bath… For the tastebuds
We’ve all had a shower gel that smells delicious – but only a pregnant woman would dream of eating it. One expecting Redditor admitted, “I have this body wash that smells so amazing that my brain fires off messages like, ‘This would taste yummy.’ I have to restrain myself.”
10. Dessert pizza
Sweet toppings on a pizza? That’s nothing new, of course. But a savory pizza crowned with a layer of frosting? Now, that’s a revolutionary snack created by one mom-to-be. She told BuzzFeed, “I wanted pizza dipped in icing. No idea why on Earth, but it was amazing while pregnant.”
9. Surf or turf
As we’ve said before, a pregnancy craving doesn’t always inspire an expecting mom to eat food. Some find themselves fighting the urge to eat sand or dirt while they have a bun in the oven. Though Moms.com claims that science can explain this strange tendency. It’s usually a sign that the pregnant person is low on iron, so they look to a nutrient-rich substance – such as soil – to fulfill that need.
8. Soaking it all in
Many a mom-to-be has found herself with a sponge-centric fascination. One wrote on a Netmums forum, “I’m 32 weeks pregnant and I’m craving bath sponges! Not eating them, but sucking cold water out of them!” It’s normal to have such a hankering, but it should be discussed with a doctor. After all, they can help pinpoint the underlying cause or deficiency stoking such a craving.
7. Donut touch my pad Thai
Here’s another breakfast-Asian fusion that a pioneering pregnant woman invented. The lady shared her recipe to Reddit and explained that during her first pregnancy, she’d have bits of “Krispy Kreme donuts mixed into pad Thai.” Her review of the resulting plate? “So disgusting and delicious.” It sounds almost crazy enough to work…
6. A burrito with a twist, of course
It would be normal for a person to crave a giant burrito whether or not they were pregnant. What’s not so common is dreaming of the tortilla roll-up slathered in everyone’s favorite hazelnut spread. A BuzzFeed Community member explained, “When I was pregnant and lived in Germany, Nutella spread on burritos had to be the strangest thing I craved.”
5. A perfect match
One Redditor shared the very bizarre craving that her aunt had while pregnant. Apparently, she “would strike all the matches in a matchbox, lick the part where the matches were struck and then break it off and chew it.” Even more surprisingly, this isn’t an uncommon thing to want to eat. And it’s a sign that there could be a deficiency in a person’s diet, so it’s best to discuss the issue with a doctor.
4. A face-puckering spoonful
One pregnant woman shared via Reddit that she’d “buy containers of lemon juice and eat it by the tablespoonful” – only occasionally adding sugar to the tart droplets. This type of intense craving could be down to the fact that some women’s taste buds lose sensitivity when they’re with child, Moms.com notes. As such, they seek out stronger flavors like lemons straight-up.
3. Another – and perhaps more offensive – type of citrus
Orange juice makes for a refreshing complement to your breakfast spread, so long as you haven’t recently brushed your teeth. Otherwise, the minty flavor can combine with the citrus flavor in a way that no one likes… except one pregnant woman who found herself craving OJ, but only when she had the taste of mint in her mouth post-brushing.
2. TUMS without reason
Most people take TUMS and other chewable antacids that serve to neutralize heartburn as it happens – but pregnant women aren’t most people. One mom-to-be couldn’t get enough of the mint-flavored tablets. She shared via Reddit, “The texture and flavor is just divine for some reason.”
1. Childhood favorites – and the sweet reason why
For one mom, it was SpaghettiOs. For another, it was Fruit Loops, which the woman said she hadn’t eaten for more than a decade. Pregnant ladies who find themselves reverting to their childhood favorites could be doing so because they’re emotionally nesting. They’re bonding with themselves – the youngest version, specifically – before they welcome a little one of their own.