By Monica Williams

Understanding Period Cravings

As tween girls embark on their puberty journey, they experience a whirlwind of changes, including hormonal fluctuations during menstruation. One aspect of these changes that often surprises them is the impact they can have on appetite and food cravings. In this blog, we'll explore why these changes occur and how to navigate them with a balanced approach to nutrition.

Hormonal Changes and Appetite:

During the menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations, particularly changes in estrogen and progesterone levels, can influence appetite and food preferences. While every girl's experience is unique, many notice distinct shifts in their cravings and hunger levels throughout their cycle.

Phase 1: Menstruation (Days 1-5)

During the initial days of menstruation, hormone levels drop, which can lead to feelings of fatigue and low energy. Many girls may experience cravings for foods rich in iron and nutrients to replenish lost stores. Foods like leafy greens, red meat, beans, and fortified cereals can help combat fatigue and support overall well-being during this phase.

Phase 2: Follicular Phase (Days 6-14)

As the menstrual cycle progresses, estrogen levels begin to rise, which can boost mood and energy levels. Girls may find themselves craving lighter, refreshing foods like fruits, vegetables, and salads. Incorporating a variety of colorful fruits and veggies into meals can provide essential vitamins and minerals while satisfying cravings for freshness.

Phase 3: Ovulation (Day 14)

Ovulation marks the midpoint of the menstrual cycle, where estrogen levels peak. Some girls may experience an increase in appetite and cravings for indulgent or high-calorie foods. While it's okay to enjoy treats, balancing them with nutrient-dense options like lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can help maintain stable energy levels.

Phase 4: Luteal Phase (Days 15-28)

During the luteal phase, progesterone levels rise, which can lead to changes in mood and appetite. Many girls experience cravings for comfort foods like chocolate, sweets, and carbohydrates. While it's natural to indulge in cravings occasionally, opting for healthier alternatives like dark chocolate, whole grains, and fruits can help satisfy cravings without compromising nutrition.


Understanding how hormonal changes during menstruation can impact appetite and food cravings is essential for tween girls and their caregivers. By tuning into their bodies and prioritizing balanced nutrition, girls can navigate these changes with confidence and support their overall health and well-being during this transformative time.