Thoughts about food cravings

They say your taste buds change when you get pregnant. You hear all these stories about pregnant women craving strange foods or combinations of foods, or only being able to keep certain foods down. I’ve been extremely lucky – I haven’t gone off of anything, I haven’t had strange-combo cravings – pickles and peanut butter, watermelon and mayo – and I haven’t had any cravings for things that would normally be outside my usual diet – bread and butter pickles, rare steak, watermelon. My mom was very sick when pregnant with me, and saltine crackers and Pizza Hut macaroni salad were just about all she could eat for quite a while. By comparison I’ve been incredibly lucky. There was one day, very, very early on, when the thought of hot milk for a mug of hot chocolate very nearly turned my stomach, but I gripped the kitchen countertop and told the little person taking up residence in my uterus “No. I am not going to let you take hot chocolate away from me,” and things have been pretty low-key ever since. As I approached nine and ten weeks, and especially late in week 11 and early in 12, I noticed that if I didn’t eat something every couple of hours, I’d start to feel blah and weird, and my throat would get tight, and maybe that was this “morning sickness” people talk about. So I started to just snack on something every couple of hours, small meals and fruit or yogurt in between meals, and everything’s been peachy keen ever since.

So, no weird cravings, but I have noticed that there are certain flavors that are definitely more appealing and enjoyable to me. Of note: sour, savory, salty, spicy. Here’s a list of the things the Frog Princess has enjoyed so far, notice any commonalities?

  • Large spoonfuls of peanut butter
  • Lots of toast. Not because it’s bland, but because it’s a vehicle for yummy things like butter, jam, and peanut butter, and because I like that slightly burnt toast-y flavor.
  • Oatmeal made with skim milk, maple syrup, and peanut butter.
  • Hot sauce. Korean go ju chang sauce – I’ve been putting this on everything, mostly eggs, and mixing it with duck sauce for Chinese takeout. I’ve also started using sriracha on pizza and mixed with ketchup for fries, and Frank’s Red Hot on taco soup or casseroles, more frequently (read: at all).
  • Lemon juice. Lots and lots of it, mixed with room temperature tap water, or in hot water with a glop of honey.
  • Pineapple (also relieves headaches naturally, if eaten on an empty stomach; a pregnant lady’s best friend come week 10)
  • Patak’s Major Grey chutney (a mild mango and ginger chutney) – good on an egg sandwich, or mixed with goat cheese, or on an egg sandwich with goat cheese.
  • Tart berry sauces or jams: cranberry, lingonberry, beach plum.
  • My mouth is watering uncontrollably at the mere thought of Indian food: palak paneer, paneer tandoori, muttar paneer, keema muttar, aloo chat, mango chutney, onion chutney, masala chai. I did a homemade chicken tikka one night that set my mouth on fire, and it was perfect.
  • That spicy mayo you get in sushi restaurants. Can’t resist it.
  • B&M Original baked beans covered in ketchup. The ketchup MUST be Heinz. This is normally something I love, but since I found out I was pregnant I’ve loved it even more.
  • Saltines. I love them anyway, but I love them more now. Salty, carby, happy.

I also find myself reverting to the foods I enjoyed when I was little:

  • Baked chicken fingers with mayo-mustard dipping sauce
  • Graham crackers in milk
  • Baked beans & (kosher) hot dogs (the first meal I ate after getting a positive test result)
  • PB & J on oatmeal bread toast

Does being pregnant make you crave the comforts of childhood, or is it your palate preparing for life with a two year old? It’s hard to tell.

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