Evolution has programmed us to like high-energy foods so we could store the extra energy in our bodies for times when food was hard to find. This once-helpful survival mechanism doesn’t fit so well with modern life, and has become a health problem for many people.
Food and drinks that are high in sugar and fat are often in the form of snacks we turn to for comfort, when we want a treat or when we’re in a hurry and not really thinking about what we’re snacking on. Your snacking habits might change during pregnancy as energy levels and daily routines change.
Looking at why and when we snack can help us to make healthier choices around snacking.
Take a few moments to think about how you feel before you grab a snack and what time of day you tend to eat snack foods.
Jot down a few notes and see if you can spot a link.
Do you notice a trend?
How do you feel before you grab a snack?
What time in the day do you snack more?
Now you have some thoughts about why and when you snack – here are some ideas for favourite healthy swaps to get you started:
- Popcorn (without sugar or salt)
- Rice cakes (unsalted)
- Sticks of veg (cucumber, carrot etc.) with hummus
- Fresh fruit
- Tinned fruit
- Small sticks of hard cheese
Cakes and biscuits:
- Fruit or plain scone
- Fruit bread
- English muffin or bagel with thin spread of jam
What ideas do you have for next time you’re buying or grabbing a snack?
It can be a challenge to make changes to snacking habits - but it’s all worth it – eating well in pregnancy supports the growth and development of your baby and gives them a great start in life.