Craving salt while pregnant? The strong desire to snack on French fries, pretzels, and potato chips could mean you’re having a boy.
Old wives’ tales have been around since the dawn of civilization. These (unscientific) beliefs are passed down from generation to generation with many relating to gender predictions. If you’re trying to predict the sex of your baby, you may have come across the old wives’ tale that states certain food cravings correlate to specific genders.
Longing for something sweet? You’re probably having a girl. Craving a treat that’s salty? You have a boy on the way. Of course, old wives’ tales can’t really determine what gender your baby will be – but it is still fun to guess.
What the Experts Say
“Food cravings, which are known to occur in early pregnancy and sometimes persist throughout pregnancy, have notoriously been used to predict the sex of a baby. For example, if you crave salty foods, it’s a boy. The only craving a pregnant woman should be concerned about is a sudden hankering for chalk, dirt, or paint chips. Such cravings are indicative of a disease called pica, and a pregnant woman suffering from them should talk to a doctor immediately.”
Silvio Aladjem, 10,000 Babies: My Life in the Delivery Room
“Old wives, not surprisingly, have their share of theories about pregnancy food cravings. If you crave sweets, you’re having a girl. If you crave meats or cheeses, you’re having a boy. If you crave something during pregnancy and don’t get it, the baby will have a birthmark in the shape of the craving.”
Heidi Murkoff, What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting
“If you are craving salty foods it could be because your body needs more sodium as your blood volume increases. If you are craving fruit, your body might need more vitamin C.”
Daniel Chavez, Pregnancy: All You Need to Know About Pregnancy Nutrition
“Strange food cravings mean you’re having a boy. There’s not much evidence to support this one, although one study did find that women who are carrying boys have bigger appetites.”
Linda Geddes, Bumpology: The Myth-Busting Pregnancy Book
“Pregnant women tend to experience food cravings during the early part of pregnancy because their bodies are attempting to adjust to the pregnancy hormones. Besides food cravings, most pregnant women find that there’s at least one previously loved item of food that they can no longer tolerate.”
Chris Illuminati, The New Dad Dictionary: Everything He Really Needs to Know
When Pregnancy Cravings Start
Most women do not discover they are pregnant until they are four to seven weeks pregnant, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This is also around the time that some women start to experience food cravings. “For most women, cravings start in the first trimester, peak during the second trimester, and then start to decline in the third,” says Healthline.
What Causes Food Cravings
Despite the old wives’ tales, food cravings are not determined by your baby’s gender, but rather various changes that occur during pregnancy. While no one knows for sure what triggers a certain craving, most experts relate different types of cravings to a woman’s unique nutritional needs and hormonal changes. For example, some experts believe that craving large amounts of ice is linked to a mineral deficiency.
Food Cravings When Having a Boy
Most pregnant women experience food cravings at some point in pregnancy. However, cravings for a specific type of food have been used as a means to decipher a baby’s sex. Old wives’ tales state than women who crave salty, sour, spicy, or protein-rich foods are likely to have a boy. While there’s no scientific proof to back up these claims, many women have found them to be true.
If you’re having a baby, you may crave:
- Potato chips
- French fries
Pregnancy cravings can be unexpected. You may crave more of your favorite foods or you could start craving bizarre food combinations like banana slices on toast. Most cravings are harmless and will soon pass as you progress in your pregnancy.
While your cravings may not give you an accurate answer about whether you’ll have a boy or girl, you can have fun trying to predict your baby’s gender.