4. Habit: Dousing your pancakes with syrup
Upgrade: Top them with berries and honey
Instead of drowning that stack in pancake syrup, microwave frozen berries with a touch of honey, suggests Melinda Johnson, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and dietitian in Chandler, Arizona. You’ll cut down on your sugar consumption, plus add fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C to your morning meal.
5. Habit: Snacking on chips and crackers
Upgrade: Dress up veggies
Craving a salty treat? Instead of reaching for chips or crackers, add an extra serving of produce in your day by munching on veggies. “Edamame is high in folate, fiber and protein, and it’s a satisfying snack,” says Richter. She recommends stashing a pack of frozen edamame at home or in the office.
You can also bake up a healthier version of the potato chip with kale, another folate-rich vegetable. Simply tear this dark leafy green into bite-size pieces, coat with olive oil and salt, and bake at 350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Habit: Spreading mayo on your sandwich
Upgrade: Try avocado
Avocado adds creaminess to your sandwich—for a fraction of the artery-clogging saturated fat. In fact, this green fruit is packed with healthy monounsaturated fat, which is important for your baby’s brain development. Plus, you’ll also get a dose of fiber and potassium.
7. Habit: Dipping veggies in ranch dressing
Upgrade: Pair them with hummus
Crunching crudités with dip is one of the healthiest snacks around. But to bump up the nutrient factor, swap the ranch dip for hummus, suggests Johnson. Unlike that bottle dressing, this creamy chickpea-based spread contains protein and fiber, which will help keep you fuller for longer.