Julie Wilkes from Hull has just opened the first of what she hopes will soon be a nationwide chain of fast food shops that cater for the cravings of expectant mothers. The name to look out for will be 'Café Neuf'.
Researchers say that pregnancy cravings are much more common among modern women than previous generations, Of those surveyed, three-quarters experienced a craving, compared to just 30% five decades ago (which makes you wonder what the survey asked 50 years ago!)
Julie, a 38 year-old mother of four, told In Seine News;
"Being no stranger to pregnancy, I remember having strange cravings myself and with each baby, it was different. The cravings only lasted nine months and as soon as the baby was born I went back to normal. When I was carrying Jack, it was coal; Jill it was Matches; Rupert it was Fried eggs with Mint Sauce and with Jessica it was inhaling deodorant."
"I could see that there was a niche in the market to help the ladies and decided to begin a café that serves the most unusual foods you've heard of from about 2pm in the afternoon until 2am in the morning. I specifically chose those hours because I can remember being sick every morning and then having these cravings even in the early morning when you would sneak down and raid the fridge or the cleaning cupboard"
"I really hope to create a fantastic meeting place where mums-to-be can socialise and compare notes. I shall be playing the soothing 'whale music' and there will be midwives on hand to discuss and potential problems and allay any fears the girls have!"
" Sure there will be a few teething problems as this venture gets under way for instance I shall have to import the coal from Venezuela or Columbia and where am I going to get Camel's hooves from in downtown Hull at 1am on a Friday night?"
"Here is a sample menu:
Coal (Venezuelan or Columbian)
Tuna & Marmalade Sandwich
Camel hoof with chocolate sauce
Avocado & Horseradish Toasty
Box Crayola Wax Crayons (assorted colours!)
'Humber Bridge Butty' (a selection of curry, beetroot, marmite, doughnuts and pickled eggs between Hovis Classic brown bread)]
Dr Joan Lumpp, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, said the reasons for pregnancy cravings were not clear.
"These cravings are not usually anything to worry about as long as they are not excessive, and you manage to eat a varied and nutritious diet overall. It is an Urban myth that if you eat coal, you'll have a black baby; or mustard, you'll have a yellow baby; or if you eat chocolate you'll give birth to a child with a dark or milky complexion. It is extremely common to find foods that you normally enjoy taste different or that you don't feel like eating them at all or; the foods that you would usually never touch could suddenly become objects of desire. Also at this strange time non-foods are OK - anything goes really, except perhaps...."