Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat?

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat?

A piece of chocolate in the evening on the couch,

tiramisu for dessert, and ice cream on hot summer days. You loved sweets before you were pregnant, but now that you're pregnant you love them even more. Because: food cravings. And of course, it takes a lot of self-control not to give in to these sweet cravings. But, now that you're pregnant, a lot changes in the food department. All to protect the baby, but also yourself during pregnancy. When you're at the supermarket staring at the shelves, you probably ask yourself often enough which of these sweet treats you can safely eat during your pregnancy, and which you'll have to give a miss for nine months. We have selected 6 beloved sweets and found out whether you can eat them or not during your pregnancy. Bon appétit!

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat? - Chocolate

#1 Chocolate

This probably sounds like music to your ears: you don't have to completely skip chocolate during your pregnancy. Not completely, at least. Eating too much chocolate can have negative consequences. Chocolate contains caffeine. If you consume too much caffeine, you may experience symptoms such as headaches and restlessness. In addition, it can interfere with the growth of the embryo, which in turn can lead to low birth weight. An excess of caffeine can also increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.

In addition, chocolate also contains a lot of sugar and fat (no surprise there), which is not good for you. You may also be wondering what chocolate is best to eat during your pregnancy. Dark chocolate is the best option, as it contains the most 'healthy' substances. Think dopamine, endorphins, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, there is also a 'but' to this, as dark chocolate is the chocolate type with the highest amount of caffeine. So, when eating dark chocolate make sure you don't get too much caffeine (or none at all) through other food products. So: don't leave chocolate out completely, but do eat it in moderation. Perhaps it's an idea to eat a small piece of chocolate every now and then when you're swooning over a romantic comedy?

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat?

#2 Tiramisu

Thinking about serving tiramisu as dessert for that one dinner? You may, provided you serve a tiramisu that is alcohol-free and not made from raw egg. Everyone knows that during pregnancy you need to refrain from alcohol for a while, and of course, this is no different for alcohol in tiramisu. In fact, alcohol during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a baby with too low a birth weight, brain damage, and congenital facial abnormalities. Even a little alcohol can be fatal, so definitely hold off on those wines and cocktails.

Raw eggs during pregnancy can also be dangerous because they can contain the listeria bacteria. This increases the risk of miscarriage or premature birth. In addition to the listeria bacteria, raw eggs can also contain the salmonella bacteria, which can lead to fever and diarrhea. Dehydration from diarrhea and high fever pose dangers to your baby. In general, the tiramisu you can buy in the supermarket does not contain raw eggs, but a pasteurized egg. This has been heated, and therefore contains no bacteria. Always check the packaging of tiramisu to make sure. Tiramisu also contains mascarpone, which is safe to eat during pregnancy. The milk in mascarpone is pasteurized.

Coffee is another ingredient of tiramisu. Again, a side note should be added, as too much caffeine can be dangerous. Doctors recommend drinking a maximum of 2 cups of coffee per day when you are pregnant. Usually, tiramisu for 4 to 6 people contains 1 to 2 cups of coffee. So, converted to one serving of tiramisu, it means that you are always safe with this amount of caffeine.

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat? - Cheesecake

#3 Cheesecake

Fancy a piece of cheesecake? Good news, because you can safely eat that during your pregnancy, provided the cheesecake is baked. In addition, the cheesecake should also not contain raw eggs, and no cheese made from raw milk. Raw eggs can carry the listeria bacteria and the salmonella bacteria. Of course, you want to avoid this because of the negative effects on your baby, as explained above.

In addition, some cheeses are made from raw milk, which again can carry bacteria, including listeria bacteria. Reassuring to know is that cheesecake is usually made from cream cheese, which is a type of cheese that you can safely eat during your pregnancy. The cream cheese used for cheesecake is also pasteurized. After the heating of the cheese, all possible bacteria are killed. So, feel free to enjoy a delicious piece of cheesecake!

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat? - Licorice

#4 Licorice

Chances are, as a resident of the Netherlands, you love licorice and eat it regularly. In this case, there is good and bad news: you can continue to eat licorice during your pregnancy, but with a maximum of 2 to 3 licorice per day. So don't stock up on bags of licorice at the supermarket. Postpone the licorice sampling until after your pregnancy.

Did you suffer from low blood pressure in the first half of your pregnancy, and therefore also from dizziness and fatigue? Then you might be tempted to reach for the bag of licorice. This is certainly allowed, but with a maximum of 3 licorice drops per day. Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Then leave licorice alone, because unfortunately it only makes it worse. High blood pressure can lead to preeclampsia, which you also want to avoid. 

Moreover, the placenta contains enzymes that protect the unborn baby from an excess of stress hormones. When you eat too much licorice, this protection is reduced. This brings your baby in contact with large amounts of stress hormones, which is dangerous. So be careful!

Snacking during pregnancy: what are you allowed to eat? - Ice Cream

#5 Ice Cream

In need of some refreshment on a hot day? As a pregnant woman, you may also enjoy delicious ice cream. Scoop ice cream, soft ice cream, water ice, and sorbet, you can eat it all safely during your pregnancy. Oh yes, it goes without saying that you should temporarily skip ice cream with alcohol, such as limoncello ice cream.

Especially eating soft ice cream during pregnancy is more often questioned. It could cause a food infection, but this has never been scientifically proven. Of course, hygiene is very important when making and serving ice cream. In the Netherlands, you generally don't have to worry so much about it. Still in doubt? Then skip that soft ice cream anyway.


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