In the early weeks of pregnancy, food dominates. You eat because you are so hungry, you eat to feel less sick and you eat because every part of your body is willing you to do so.
While in some jobs this is manageable because it is perfectly fine to munch on a snack whenever you feel the urge, for your ordinary full-on, day-in-the-classroom teacher, that simply isn’t an option.
It's not just the 30-odd prying eyes, but also that there is usually a strict no-eating policy in the classroom.
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So what’s the answer? Well, snacking little and often in the breaks between lessons can be just enough to get you through as long as you pick the right snack.
Here are five snacks I believe every pregnant teacher needs in their snack drawer (with the caveat that all should be eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced and healthy diet).
1. Breakfast biscuits
Bananas have multiple benefits but for convenience and avoidance of rotten bananas being found at the back of your drawer, breakfast biscuits made from rolled oats are the way forward. They will help keep you feeling fuller for longer and enable you to make it from lesson to lesson (or maybe even to break time).
Crackers and bite-size savoury snacks are always good for a much-needed "stodge" hit. Popular choices include Mini Cheddars (a carb and cheese hit is the dream, after all) and often anything a bit salty (which you might find yourself craving if you have restless legs or are prone to cramp).
3. Ginger biscuits
If sickness or nausea is a problem, then ginger is thought to help digestion – some women swear by it. Crystallised ginger is quite harsh and can be an acquired taste, but ginger biscuits might do the trick and are more convenient to quietly nibble on.
4. Dried apricots
Give them a chance – they are an often over-looked source of vitamins. In their handy, bite-sized form, these are a good "on-the-go" snack and can provide a much-needed sweet hit and energy boost as they are also slow burning and rich in fibre. For this reason, along with their high iron content, dried apricots can also be good for helping with tiredness (which can strike at any time of the day). Dried fruits are, however, quite high in sugar, so do be mindful of eating them by the bucket-load.
5. Boiled sweets
Particularly effective for suppressing that queasy feeling, boiled sweets can offer the perfect in-class snack if you are struggling during lessons. Peppermint is thought to be another remedy for nausea and sucking on a peppermint sweet or chewing gum might just provide some relief if the uneasy feeling of sickness is forever lurking in your mind (or at least it will provide a distraction).
Claire Babington is a teacher in the south of England
For more information on what to eat during pregnancy, the NHS website has lots of advice and guidance.