5 Healthy and Delicious Pregnancy Snacks

Pregnant woman on floor eating apple.
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Pregnancy is a time when you may think about your nutrition more than before. In previous years, women were told that they were eating for two. This led to many women consuming way too many calories, not to mention lots of junk food, putting a strain on their health and that of their babies.

How Much Extra to Eat While You're Pregnant

Now research has shown that pregnant moms need about one extra snack per day to help grow a healthy baby.

That works out to about 300 extra calories per day. The hard part is deciding how you're going to spend those calories every day. Obviously, you could eat a candy bar or you could choose snacks that pack a nutritional punch. Having a healthy pregnancy snack is a great way to gain just the right amount of weight for you and your baby.

The Best Snacks for Pregnant Women

Protein is a great choice for a healthy pregnancy snack because it's the building block of every cell. It also helps many moms when they're feeling fatigued or even nauseated. Some moms go for fiber to help decrease some of the more common but uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy like constipation. There are plenty of healthy and filling ways to spend the extra calories, such as:

  1. Crackers and cheese: This is a great way to get both protein and fiber. Eat a few slices of cheese with some nice whole grain crackers or try all kinds of different crackers, including some of the newer versions of old favorites that have less fat.
  1. Nuts: A bag full of nuts is always handy to have around and it doesn't require preparation or refrigeration. Nuts are great protein powerhouses.
  2. Fresh fruit: Every morning you can grab an extra piece of fruit for your desk. An apple, banana, or orange requires very little thought or preparation. You can also go with fruit cups, which are available almost everywhere in the grab and go sections of stores.
  1. Hard-boiled eggs: These are compact snacks to carry with you, but they do require a fridge. If you like hard-boiled eggs, they can be an easy way to increase your protein. Some moms also swear by their ability to quell morning sickness.
  2. Dips and sticks: Traditional carrot sticks and celery are great, as is broccoli and other veggies with dips. Try bean dips, hummus, and other fun sauces on your vegetables.

Consider Talking to a Nutritionist

In the end, talking to your midwife or doctor about your weight gain is a great start, but you should also consider talking to someone who has extensive nutrition training to help you ensure that you and your baby are getting the right mix of nutrients every day. This conversation is even more important if you are a vegetarian, particularly if you're new to the practice, to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your baby needs. 

Sources:

Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines; Rasmussen KM, Yaktine AL, editors. Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009. doi: 10.17226/12584.

Medline Plus. Pregnancy and Nutrition. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Updated October 19, 2017.

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