Healthy Meals To Satisfy Popular Pregnancy Cravings

October 2, 2023

Most pregnant women (50% to 90%!) experience some sort of craving. It might be mild like simple sweet cravings, or it may be odd food combinations like pickles and ice cream. While it’s common, we don’t know the exact reason for the cravings. According to Very Well Family, cravings could be due to hormonal changes the body goes through and shifting nutritional needs in order to support the growth of your baby. 

Let’s explore some of the most common pregnancy cravings and some healthy recipes to make in order to satisfy them! 

What Are Common Pregnancy Cravings? 

There are a ton of different things pregnant women crave, but some of the most common include:

  • Spicy foods — like curry, or you may want to add extra chili to your normal meals. 
  • Sweet flavors — like chocolate, fruit, and sweets. 
  • Salty foods — you may be wanting fries or potato chips at every meal. 
  • Sour flavors — such as citrus or vinegar-y delights like pickles, capers, or sauerkraut
  • Ice! This may seem like a weird one, but it’s fairly common. However, it could be linked to anemia, “…a condition where your body isn’t making the red blood cells it needs to carry oxygen. While a craving for ice chips is harmless enough, it could mean that you’re deficient in a certain nutrient or mineral, such as iron, so speak with your doctor about it,” explains What To Expect. You can up your iron intake by adding more beef, chia seeds, chickpeas and beans, potatoes, quinoa, and spinach to your diet.

How Early In Pregnancy Do You Get Cravings? 

Anytime! There isn’t a specific time during pregnancy when cravings begin or end. 

Food aversions and cravings can sometimes coincide as a result of a heightened sense of smell in the first trimester. This is when your hormones really begin to ramp up so you’ll likely see your eating habits change. 

According to The Bump, “…generally speaking, pregnancy cravings tend to peak during the second trimester before dropping off in the third.”

Are Pregnancy Cravings What The Baby Wants? 

No, there isn’t any scientific evidence that proves that cravings are related to the baby’s needs. Remember, your body will prioritize nutrients for the growing baby. This is why pregnancy can increase the risk of osteoporosis. “Pregnant women who do not consume sufficient amounts of calcium are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life,” says the American Pregnancy Association

If you’re craving dairy (milk, ice cream, yogurt) it *may* be your body’s way of telling you that you need extra calcium

Pregnancy nutrition is about supporting your baby’s development as well as your own health. Creating a meal plan that includes the best foods for pregnancy goes a long way in maintaining your own well-being, too.

What to Eat While Pregnant Guide

The Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

Get the Guide

Trying to figure out which foods are safe to eat during pregnancy? From fruits and vegetables to dairy and grains, this one-sheet guide lists out the most nutrient-rich foods to eat while pregnant. We suggest printing it for your fridge and saving it to your digital camera roll for easy reference. Dig in!

A peek inside:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Dairy 
  • Meat 
  • Herbs
  • Grains
  • Seafood
  • Seeds

Luckily, there are ways to satisfy your pregnancy cravings that also ensure you get the nutrients you and your baby need!

What To Make If You Have A Sweet Craving

Get That Milk Flowin’ Spiced Banana Oat Chia Muffins

The problem with eating too much sugar during pregnancy is that it may increase the chance of gestational diabetes. “Gestational diabetes that’s not carefully managed can lead to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause problems for you and your baby, including an increased likelihood of needing a surgery to deliver (C-section),” says Mayo Clinic

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan, Diet, and Recipes

What to Eat When You Have Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Get the Guide

If you’re experiencing elevated blood sugar during your pregnancy, we’ve got you covered. From what gestational diabetes is to recommendations for foods to eat and avoid, this in-depth guide covers everything you need to know for handling gestational diabetes and keeping you and your baby as healthy as can be.

A peek inside:

  • The most common questions about gestational diabetes—asked and answered
  • Why gestational diabetes occurs
  • How many meals a day you should be eating
  • The best ways to balance starches and a list of non-starchy vegetables
  • The best fats and proteins that we recommend for a gestational diabetes diet
  • Ways to limit your carb intake (and why you should!)
  • Examples of low carb-friendly snacks

These muffins get sweetness from honey and bananas. Bananas are a fantastic fruit to include in your pregnancy diet in meals as well as a snack. They’re high in magnesium which is an essential vitamin for regulating blood sugar and preventing constipation

Get the full recipe here

Tip: These muffins are freezer-friendly! So, make a big batch so you can have them on hand when your sweet tooth kicks in. 


What To Make If You Have A Spicy Craving

Busy Mama’s Tandoori Chicken

Spicy foods are completely safe for your growing baby, so feel free to increase the heat level in your food! Start with this tandoori chicken recipe. 

Chicken is a healthy source of lean protein to include in your pregnancy meal plan. Not only is it rich in protein, but also zinc, an essential mineral responsible for healthy immune functioning.

This recipe also calls for ginger, a root vegetable associated with reducing nausea – so, this tandoori chicken is a great choice for the first trimester! 

Get the full recipe here

What to Eat to Alleviate Morning Sickness

Foods to Fight Nausea

Get the Guide

From how many meals to eat to which foods to skip, this guide’s got proven tips, helpful recommendations, and mama-approved suggestions to help ease your nausea when “morning sickness” strikes.

A peek inside:

  • The best way to start your day off to avoid nausea 
  • Recommendations for ways to split up your meals 
  • Tricks for staying hydrated
  • Foods to skip and ingredients to indulge in to fight off nausea 
  • Mama-approved suggestions that help with morning sickness and make life easier


What To Make If You Have A Salty Craving

Got That Golden Glow Cod

Low-mercury fish – like the cod that this recipe calls for – is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. “Long-chain omega-3 can help to prevent heart disease. It is also important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, because it can help a baby’s nervous system to develop,” explains the NHS

The veggies in this dish – potatoes and asparagus – will also give you the fiber that your body needs. Getting enough fiber is an essential part of regulating blood sugar and maintaining healthy digestive habits. 

Get the full recipe here


What To Make If You Have A Sour Craving

Craveable Chicken Piccata with Capers and Caramelized Lemons

You’ll get your sour craving satisfied through the puckery lemons and briny capers that this recipe requires. 

Besides the sour flavor, lemons are also a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin plays an important role in tissue repair, immune function, and antioxidant protection; plus, it will help your body absorb the iron found in the parsley

Get the full recipe here

You don’t need to ignore your pregnancy cravings. We have tons of recipes that will help satisfy whatever craving you have in a healthy way. To help you on your pregnancy journey, subscribe to Pregnant and Hungry. You’ll gain unlimited access to hundreds of pregnancy-safe recipes and a dashboard that allows you to save your favorites, filter by pregnancy ailments or dietary restrictions, and create comprehensive grocery lists.

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Kendra Aronson

Hi Mama, I’m Kendra!

Founder of Pregnant and Hungry, and a mama on a mission to provide other mamas with delicious, nutritious, and easy recipes for pregnancy and motherhood. If that’s what you’re craving, make sure to dig into the blog or learn more about the Pregnant and Hungry subscription.
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Our recipes are developed under the caring guidance of an RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) in addition to a Licensed Midwife in good standing with the California Medical Board who’s also a Certified Professional Midwife as granted by the North American Registry of Midwives and a professional Lactation Consultant as certified by the IBCLC (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners). While we refer to trusted sources from peer-reviewed medical journals to information from highly regarded worldwide health institutions, this website is not intended to replace medical advice. Consult your personal midwife, doctor, or nutritionist with health questions related to your pregnancy and postpartum journey.

I'm so happy you're here, Mama!


Before getting pregnant with my daughter, I spent a ton of time scouring the internet for easy, pregnancy-safe recipes and nutrition advice tailored to my taste preferences, unique dietary needs, and anticipated ailments—only to realize that no such resource existed. I knew I wasn’t the only one who could benefit from this information, so I set out to create this site from scratch for all of us mamas-to-be!

Today, Pregnant and Hungry is not only the sole searchable collection of pregnancy-friendly recipes on the internet, but our website is packed full of helpful resources and free information for any mama who finds herself asking the same questions I was: what do I need to know about nutrition and pregnancy, and where can I find the answers and recipes?

If you’re looking for free resources, dig into the blog, and if you want unlimited access to hundreds of recipes, check out the Pregnant and Hungry subscription. 

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Pregnancy Eating Resources

Whether you’re looking for answers about what to eat when you’re pregnant, the best cures for pregnancy ailments (we’re talking about you, constipation, heartburn, and morning sickness!), or ways to handle trickier topics like asking for help with meals or handling gestational diabetes, we’ve put all of our best (and free!) resources in one place so you can find exactly what you’re searching for. You’ve got this, Mama!

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