Chinese New Year Snacks Guide for Pregnant Moms

Chinese New Year (CNY) is a time for indulgence in all the tasty treats and addictive goodies. For an expecting mommy, moderation is key. This is because over-indulgence on CNY snacks can lead to health risks like pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and/or bacteria infection. Some form of self-control, no matter how yummy the snack is, is required.

1.Be Selective with CNY goodies

CNY goodies are hard to resist because they are so tasty and addictive. For pregnant mama, this can be hard, especially when a particular craving kicks in. Try to selective with your intake of CNY goodies like Bak kwa (dry pork) and Hae bee hiam (spicy prawn rolls). The former is high in fat, sugar and sodium while the latter is deep fried. Deep fried lotus chips and Chinese peanut puffs are also no-nos on the expecting mother’s snack list. Eat in moderation and be mindful that these foods might cause discomfort to your body and your unborn baby.

2. Pineapple Tarts

The pastry of pineapple tarts is made from a thick mixture of butter and sugar, both of which are heartburn-inducing. Pineapple has high acidity which can also cause tummy discomforts.

3. Avoid Soft Drinks

After all that munching, it is soothing to wash down with cold soft drinks. Sodas contain lots of refined sugar. Some even contain caffeine which can increase the risk of miscarriage or resulting in the birth of a baby with low birth weight. Instead of sodas, drink water or go for soft drinks with “no added sugar” or “less sugar” on the labels.

3. Opt for Healthy Yusheng

Lohei with Yusheng is a traditional Chinese New Year practice. These days, yusheng can come with many different variations. Raw salmon (fish) is a typical ingredient together with raw vegetables that form the salad. Eating raw fish, especially smoked fish, increases the risk of botulism (a food-borne disease caused by Clostridium botulinum) and paralyses muscles, among other symptoms. Skip this dish after the toss, or leave out the raw fish altogether.

4. Chinese Sausages

Chinese sausages are yummy to eat, but can cause heartburn. These sweetened elongated bundles of pork joy have a high level of fat content. Eat it in moderation and you should be fine.

5. Deep Fried Salmon Skin

Deep fried anything is a no-no on expecting mother’s diet list. This is even more so for the deep fried salmon skin owing to its crispy texture. One bite and this snack can easily be addictive. But beware of the indigestion this snack can caused from all the oils. Same caution goes for fried spring rolls or egg rolls.
Enjoy your Chinese New Year and the CNY treats! Remember moderation is key. Here are some tips to help you:
Drink lots of water. If you need something with gas, try sparkling water. Alternatively, opt for unsweetened beverages like green tea or oolong tea.
Chew slowly. By doing this, you take more time to eat, which prevents you from overeating the yummy goodies. AND, you get to savor every mouthful of your favorite treats.
Opt for healthier options. This Chinese New Year, reach out for healthier treats like fresh fruits and seeds and nuts like pistachios or sunflower seeds. You just might avoid indigestion.
Happy New Year! Gongxi Facai!!