Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.
It is not unusual for some people to crave ice chips while others don't. So, why do people crave ice chips and eat them often?
Ice Chips: Definition
Ice chips are much different from ice cubes. Ice chips are small pieces of ice. They are small enough to melt quickly in your mouth. They are also hard enough to be crunched with your teeth.
Doctors might recommend ice chips before surgery, or before an invasive medical procedure. Physicians may recommend ice chips for cancer patients to prevent mouth sores after chemotherapy.
Craving is defined as an intense desire to have something, usually something to eat or drink. Usually, a craving has nothing to do with being hungry at all.
Wanting to eat some now and then is not a craving. So, when does intensely desiring something becomes a craving? If you’ve been craving and compulsively eating or wanting to eat something for more than a month, then it is a craving. If you just can't wait to eat or drink something, then it is a craving.
Pregnant women are known to beg their husbands to get up in the middle of the night to go to the store to purchase odd food or beverages that are not in the house. Know that everyone who craves ice chips is not necessarily pregnant. They just like something cold and refreshing in their mouth to suck on even if their mouth is not sore.
About Ice Chips Cravings
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some possible reasons to crave ice even though it has no nutritional value. If you crave ice chips on a regular basis without being sick, pregnant, before or after surgery, then it might be a sign of iron deficiency anemia
People with iron deficiency anemia don’t have enough iron in their body that is necessary to build healthy red blood cells. Without iron, the red blood cells can’t supply the oxygen that the body needs. Studies conclude that ice chips help people when they are anemic.
A second reason the clinic gives is that craving and chewing ice might be a sign of stress and emotional problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or a developmental disorder.
If craving ice chips concerns you, let your primary physician know. The actual cause of your intense desire to chew ice chips on a regular basis can be determined by a simple blood test. If you need to take an iron supplement, your cravings for chipped ice will disappear almost immediately.
Adverse Effects of Eating Ice Chips
There are no obvious adverse problems associated with chewing or sucking on ice chips. However, problems might arise if you chew on ice cubes since they are much bigger. Chewing ice cubes can lead to dental problems, including enamel loss, broken teeth or tooth decay.
Ice has no calories, but a person does burn calories while chewing ice chips. When you are sick, sucking or chewing ice chips can relieve dry mouth and nausea.
Some people just like the freshness in their mouth from ice chips, and they eat them for that reason.
Ways to Make Your Own Ice Chips
1. Purchase an Ice Chips Maker from Amazon
The small ice cube combo is a space saver. It fits into any crowded freezer. Simply fill the container with water and put it in the freezer. It comes with a lid to keep the ice clean and free from odors. After the water freezes, the ice can easily be removed by squeezing the flexible silicone ice tray bucket.
Ice chips are great for eating or put into glasses for cocktails and other beverages. The container can be used at parties. It is portable enough to be taken to work and put in the refrigerator in the break room. The combo costs less than $20. It is worth investing the small amount to keep from buying cups of ice chips from convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, Wawa, or Sonics.
The ice cube maker pictured above is white. The item comes in three other colors: pink, blue, and green. Choose one in your favorite color or one that matches your kitchen.
2. Use an Aluminum Pan
Make ice chips in about 30-45 minutes. Start by pouring water into a flat aluminum tray or on a cookie sheet. Put the tray in the freezer. When the water freezes, take the tray out and twist it or give it a little shake. Either way, the solid block of ice will break up into small chips.
3. Use a Blender or Food Processor
Put some ice cubes from your freezer into a blender or food processor. You could eat some then and store the rest until you want them later.
4. Smash Ice Cubes
Put some ice cubes in a paper bag or wrapped them in a towel. Smash them with a rubber mallet or a hammer.
The Bottom Line
There is nothing damaging about eating or sucking on ice chips once in a while. If you are concerned about your habit of eating ice chips, you should consult your primary physician about a simple blood test that may help you find out the cause of your cravings. If you do have anemia, you can get started on treatment.
On the other hand, if you just want to be refreshed by grabbing a cup of ice chips on a hot summer day, then go for it. Just keep ice in your freezer so it will be available when you want to eat ice chips after making them using one of the four ways mentioned above.