Peanut butter and pickles on pumpernickel bread. Yep, you’re pregnant, and you’ve got some pretty interesting cravings. Even though your friends may roll their eyes or shake their heads when you order a not-so-normal pizza with potato chips on it, pregnancy cravings are real — and completely common. If you’re feeling like some sort of food freak, don’t. Oddball food cravings are another part of being preggo. So, go ahead and nosh on that massive steak smothered in hot sauce. But, take a break to learn why you’re experiencing this symptom that comes along with being an almost-mommy.

Pregnant woman enjoying of eating chocolate

1. So Salty: Popcorn, peanuts, chips and French fries the only things on your mind? Ever since that baby bump popped out, you’ve been all about the salty stuff. So, does craving salty foods mean you’re lacking in sodium? Probably not, so maybe be careful how much sodium you’re taking in. And while some say that craving these types of foods means that you’re having a boy, don’t run out and start buying everything in blue just yet; there’s no science to back this up.

2. Sweet Treats: Forget about pizza, burgers and fries — you’re completely craving chocolate and gummy bears with whipped cream on top. If salty cravings mean that you’re having a boy, then sweet must equal a girl, right? Or, so the old wives tale goes. The truth is, again, there’s no science behind this gender prediction test. If there was, you’d see a lot more girls than boys. According to a study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, sweet foods are craved more during pregnancy than other types (with chocolate topping the list!).

3. Crazy Combos: A girl can change her mind, right? You’re feeling rather emotional right now, and can’t seem to make up your mind. The culinary result of your indecision is a super-strange food combo. Sometimes you can’t make up your mind when it comes to sweet, salty or anything else. A combo lets you put all of your cravings together into one weirdly magnificent mix. Yep, that means your need for cheese puffs with a drizzle of dark chocolate isn’t completely crazy.

pregnant woman and friend

4. Meat, Meat and More Meat: You can’t get enough steak, and a double hamburger is sounding pretty awesome right about now. As long as you stick to lean meats, the extra iron is actually helping you. During pregnancy, you need double the amount of iron as your non-preggo friends, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While you can get this through supplements, adding iron-rich food sources isn’t such a bad idea.

5. Chalk: Yep, craving chalk is real. It’s not healthy, but it can happen during pregnancy. Craving non-food substances is called pica, and is most common in childhood. But it can also happen during pregnancy. Even though it’s rare, some pregnant women do feel the need to eat this totally inedible item. Other non-food cravings that fall under the pica umbrella include clay, dirt and sand. It’s thought that pregnant women develop pica due to nutritional deficiencies, but there’s no definitive cause. If you experience these cravings, call your doctor immediately. Eating non-food items is never healthy — especially during pregnancy.

What’s your strangest pregnancy food craving? Share your top pick and tweet us @BritandCo !

(Photos via Getty)