15 Healthy Snacks For Pregnant Women
A diet with the right amount of nutrients and vitamins is always recommended, but even more so when you’re pregnant.
Knowing and understanding what food you can eat while pregnant and what kind of foods can keep you and your baby healthy is crucial, and while it may be easy to prepare healthy pregnancy-friendly meals, it can be difficult knowing exactly what you can snack on in between.
Snacking on the right food in between meals not only staves off hunger but can also help you to meet the ideal amount of calories to consume in a day.
Junk food is never a good option, but is a particularly bad idea when you’re pregnant. Yes, they taste good and satisfy a craving but in the long run they’re not good for you or your growing baby.
Below you’ll find 15 healthy snacks to enjoy during pregnancy from simple fruits to toasts to more elaborate snacks. Healthy snacks don’t need to be bland, the snacks below prove they can be tasty too!
You’ll also find some snacks you should avoid to keep you and your baby healthy. So let’s get into it!
An apple is one of the best snacks you can enjoy while pregnant. Apples can easily be tucked in your bag and enjoyed on the go, and are a great quick snack when you’re busy.
However, you should always remember to wash and peel the skin before eating them as the skin may have pesticides that can cause problems for you or your baby.
Apples are an excellent source of fiber which is something pregnant women need a lot of! Apples are also a terrific source of vitamins and critical antioxidants.
Yogurt is a great pregnancy snack as it is packed with good bacteria, which can be beneficial in your first trimester if you’re experiencing morning sickness.
The probiotics help to maintain a strong immune system, and the calcium found in yogurt also helps to strengthen the bones! Yogurt also contains iodine which supports the growth of your baby throughout your pregnancy.
Dry Whole Grain Toast With A Choice Of Topping
Whole Grain toast is a super simple snack that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a number of toppings like avocados, tomatoes, strawberries, or eggs. With these toppings you can really load up on the nutrients!
The Vitamin B found in Whole Grain Toast can also help to reduce nausea that is common in pregnancy.
Scrambled Or Boiled Eggs
Eggs are another excellent source of iodine, protein and iron and if you’re cutting down on your meat while during the pregnancy. Eggs can be a good substitute. Getting the right amount of iron is important during pregnancy as it not only helps to ward off anemia but provides your baby with the right amount of oxygen.
Eggs are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D and protein for your baby. However, eggs need to be thoroughly cooked or boiled to kill all bacteria before eating.
Cheese Sandwich With Whole-Wheat Bread
Foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, beans and lentils help to control your sugar levels during your second trimester. During the second trimester, the body becomes more resistant to insulin. Whole-wheat bread and cheese sandwiches also provide a great amount of calcium, fibre and are highly nutritious.
However, always use safe cheese and dairy products in your sandwich to prevent infection. Safe cheeses are considered soft and blue-veined cheeses.
Fruit Salad With Yogurt
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and other essential vitamins and should definitely be regular snacks during pregnancy. A bowl of mixed fruits like mango, apple, pear, pomegranate and banana with yogurt ensures you get a good combination of all the essential vitamins.
It also tastes delicious! The vitamin C found in fresh fruits also aids in the development of the placenta. Plus, yogurt is easy on your stomach.
A mix of vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, radishes and sweet corn stir-fried in some coconut or olive oil with some mild spices like turmeric and salt makes for a delicious, nutritious snack, especially in your second or third trimester. Green vegetables are packed with fiber and iron.
Plus, regularly enjoying green salad reduces constipation – a common problem during pregnancy. The good fats found in the oil isn’t just nutritious for you but your baby too, aiding in the development and growth of your baby’s brain.
Homemade Trail Mix
There are many recipes for trail mix out there and most of them offer a delicious mix of nutrients that are essential during pregnancy such as calcium, vitamin D, and the mineral magnesium which helps to build teeth and bones.
Depending on their age, most pregnant women need about 300mg of magnesium daily.
Pumpkin seeds have this amount of magnesium in just a quarter cup and can be incorporated into trail mix. Other great sources for magnesium are cooked spinach, black beans, and Brazil nuts.
Mashed Avocado On Crackers
Suffering from leg cramps? Avocado to the rescue! Leg cramps can be caused by a lack of potassium which can cause the muscles to become tense.
Avocado is bursting with potassium, and even half of the creamy, tasty fruit contains a whopping 345 mg of potassium. Half an avocado also contains nearly 5g of fiber and 114 calories.
It is recommended for pregnant women to eat 4,7000 mg of potassium everyday, which sounds like a lot but as most fruits and vegetables contain some potassium, eating the recommended amount of this super mineral is achievable.
Combine avocado with crackers and you’re also getting a hit of fiber too. Whole-grain, low-sodium crackers or rye crisp is recommended.
Tortilla With Hummus And Tomatoes
Tortilla with hummus and tomatoes is a great snack to have in the stretch between lunch and dinner. It also couldn’t be simpler to prepare.
You just need a whole-grain tortilla or pita and load it with halved cherry tomatoes and hummus. Tomatoes have just 25 calories per cup and are packed with beta-carotene that promotes a healthy immune system.
Hummus meanwhile has just over 100 calories per ¼ cup while having 3 g of protein, 2 g of fiber, and nearly 1 mg of iron.
Toaster Waffle With Almond Butter And Pear
If you have a sweet tooth, this snack is for you! After all, who says you can’t indulge your sweet tooth while pregnant? You can make a frozen waffle extra nutritious by slathering it in natural almond butter with no added sugar.
Almond butter has 3 g of protein and over 1.5 g of fiber in each 98-calorie teaspoon. For a little more natural sweetness, top with pear or apple slices that also give you an extra fiber boost.
Melon With Lime
Watermelon is 92% water, so snacking on it is a great way to stay hydrated during pregnancy as well as satisfying a craving for something sweeter.
Each cup of diced watermelon has 170 mg of potassium, and you can even make homemade watermelon juice by blending with fresh lime or lemon juice and straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Then just sit back and enjoy!
Baked Potato With Beans
To make baked potato with beans, preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the potato and use a fork to prick it all over.
Cover the potato in vegetable oil and then bake. Cover the tray with foil and place the potato on it. Cook for between 1 ¼ hours and 1 ½ hours. The skin will be golden brown and crisp, and should give a little when squeezed.
As for the baked beans, heat them over a low heat in a saucepan for 3-5 minutes until hot. Don’t forget to keep stirring, and make sure not to boil them! Cut the potato in half and top with baked beans. Sprinkle some cheese on top for extra nutrition and enjoy!
Salad With Coconut Or Olive Oil Dressing
Making this nutritious, delicious salad couldn’t be easier. Just combine cucumber, tomatoes and sweet corn with salt. Add lemon juice, pour olive oil or coconut oil over the top and garnish with lettuce.
Another easy, nutritious snack, to make a green smoothie, put cucumber, mango, pineapple and kale into a high-speed blender. Add coconut water and blend until you get a silky smoothie. You can add more coconut water, cucumber or pineapple if needed.
What Kind Of Snacks Can Be Harmful For Pregnant Women?
As we have seen, the best pregnancy snacks are rich in nutrients, give you energy (pregnancy is tiring, after all!), and provide the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need. It’s definitely worth seeking out healthy, wholesome options instead of reaching for the processed snack foods.
But a lot of these healthy pregnancy snacks are so easy to prepare that there’s no need for junk food! Processed snack foods often have low nutritional value while being high in calories.
Not only will they not nourish you or your baby, they can also lead to unhealthy pregnancy weight gain, and even gestational diabetes. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but try your best to limit your consumption of the below foods:
- Cookies, cakes, or sugary baked goods.
- Ice cream.
- Potato chips.
- Soda, sweetened tea, or sugary drinks
- Sugary coffee drinks.
You should also stay clear of the usual foods that are off-limits during pregnancy. These include alcohol, deli meat, raw fish, unpasteurized cheeses or juice (i.e. most soft cheeses), undercooked eggs, and undercooked meat.
Snacks can be a great way to incorporate all the extra nutrients your body needs when pregnant into your diet, as well as boosting your energy throughout the day.
The key to eating healthy snacks when pregnant is to avoid processed options as much as possible, and enjoy everything in moderation.
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