The Top 12 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks to Try
Food aversions, nausea, bizarre cravings, low blood sugar — most pregnant women experience all of these at some point. As a result, following a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy isn't always easy.
What's more, eating big meals can make pregnancy symptoms like constipation and bloating worse. This is where healthy pregnancy snacks can be a huge savior for moms-to-be.
A combination of smaller meals and snacks throughout the day helps provide the calories you need to support your growing baby. And, eating regularly makes it less likely that you'll suffer from dizziness due to low blood sugar or low blood pressure.
Of course, these snacks should be as nutrient-dense as possible to ensure optimum health for you and your baby. That means selecting foods with plenty of iron, protein, fiber, and vitamins.
Read on to find out some of the best healthy snacks for pregnant women.
1. Poached Egg on Whole Grain Toast
Not only are eggs a great breakfast option, but they're perfect for eating as healthy snacks while pregnant.
Eggs contain vitamin D, which boosts immunity and helps your body absorb calcium. As such, getting plenty of this vitamin supports your baby's immune system, teeth, and bones. Egg yolks also contain choline, a crucial nutrient which helps support your baby's developing brain.
Top a slice of whole grain toast with a well-cooked poached egg for a satisfying snack full of fiber, protein, whole grains and vitamins. Or, if you're looking for a snack you can take to work, hard-boiled eggs and whole grain crackers are a good, portable alternative.
2. Kefir and Strawberry Smoothie
To make this smoothie, blend kefir, strawberries and a splash of pineapple juice. Kefir has the consistency of drinking yogurt, but as it's lower in sugar, mixing it with strawberries and a little juice will counteract the tart taste.
Kefir is also low in calories and high in protein, and it contains friendly probiotic bacteria, which is said to promote heart health and good digestion. And the strawberries in your smoothie provide you with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and more.
3. Veggie Wrap
For a quick and nutritious pregnancy snack, take a whole grain tortilla and spread a thin layer of hummus in the center. Place slices of red pepper and cucumber on top of the hummus, and then add a sprinkle of grated low-fat cheddar for a satisfyingly crunchy yet creamy combination.
Of course, this wrap doesn't just taste great. By opting for a whole grain tortilla, you'll benefit from more fiber, while the hummus also provides fiber as well as healthy fats. Peppers and cucumber are low in calories as well as being a great source of vitamins A and C and beta carotene. And the cheese provides protein and calcium.
4. Dark Chocolate and Raspberries
If you've got a craving for chocolate, we have good news. Chocolate with a high cacao content of at least 70 percent packs in more antioxidants for good health from the inside out. It's also lower in sugar than milk chocolate.
For a decadent yet healthy snack, combine a handful of raspberries with a couple of squares of dark chocolate. This provides a boost of filling fiber as well as vitamin C and even more antioxidants.
If you're looking for a more filling snack or a tasty breakfast option, fresh raspberries and a little dark chocolate also make great toppings for a delicious and nutritious bowl of oatmeal.
5. Multigrain Pretzels with Almond Butter
With around 100 calories per ounce, which is about a handful, multigrain pretzels make a great alternative to chips, but they still provide that satisfying crunch.
For added protein, add some almond butter to your pretzels. Almonds and almond butter are good choices during pregnancy as almonds contain calcium, iron, and fiber, as well as monounsaturated fat.
6. Yogurt Parfait
Ice cream cravings are common during pregnancy, but too much of the good stuff isn't a great idea for you or your baby.
For a cooling and creamy snack that's also healthy, combine half a cup of frozen raspberries, half a cup of rolled oats, and yogurt. Mash up the raspberries with your spoon and mix everything together.
The rolled oats and raspberries provide vitamins and fiber while the yogurt is a far better source of calcium and protein than ice cream. Low-fat plain Greek yogurt is a good choice as it has more protein than regular yogurt. Or you could try a high-protein low-fat yogurt, but watch out for added sugar if it's flavored.
7. Homemade Trail Mix
With a combination of sweet and savory, trail mix makes a tasty snack that's also bursting with goodness if you make your own.
Try half a cup of pumpkin or sunflower seeds, half a cup of raw almonds, half a cup of dark chocolate chips, and half a cup of dried cherries for four servings. Or, you could swap the raw almonds for cashews or walnuts if you prefer, while dried mango or apricot could replace the dried cherries.
With these trail mix varieties, you'll benefit from vitamin D, calcium, iron, fiber, zinc, copper, and magnesium, making them great options for pregnancy snacks.
8. Whole Grain Crackers with Guacamole
The best snacks for pregnancy are healthy, delicious, and nutritious. And this combination of whole grain crackers and homemade guacamole ticks all the boxes.
Making the guacamole yourself means you can control the sodium content. And it's also super easy to do. Simply mash an avocado with lime juice then add some cilantro and chopped red onion.
This is a perfect pregnancy snack as avocado is full of potassium, which can help prevent the painful leg cramps that are common during pregnancy. It's also rich in healthy fats to support your baby's development. And both avocado and whole grain crackers are high in fiber to keep you feeling full and help curb hunger pangs.
9. Milkful Nursing Bars from Nourisher
We're slightly biased, but Milkful Nursing Bars are a great snack for pregnancy as they're full of the nutrients your body needs throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Milkful Nursing Bars contain rolled oats, seeds, and nuts to provide your body with healthy fats, iron, B-vitamins, calcium, and fiber. They're also all-natural and contain plenty of protein to keep your body strong and support your baby's growth.
What's more, Milkful Nursing Bars don't contain common allergens such as wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs. As such, they're a great choice for moms-to-be with intolerances or dietary restrictions.
And, as a bar, they're handy to keep in your bag for those days when you feel low on energy. But, as these delicious recipes show, they're also great for topping with fruit or mixing into shakes, smoothies, and parfaits.
10. Sliced Veggies with Hummus
If you feel like some crunch, sliced veggies make one of the best healthy snacks for pregnant women. Slice up red, yellow, and green peppers, carrots, and cucumber into thin strips and dip them into a 3-tbsp. serving of hummus.
The veggies are packed with vitamins A and C, and their high water content is a great way to ward off pregnancy water retention. And, as hummus is a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, this snack will help keep you satisfied between meals.
11. Banana with Peanut Butter
Like avocado, bananas are a great source of potassium. They also pack in magnesium, carbohydrates, and vitamins to help boost your mood, reduce stress, and encourage muscle relaxation. As such, bananas make one of the easiest healthy snacks for pregnant women.
But, by mixing sliced banana with a little peanut butter, you'll also benefit from healthy fats and filling protein. As a result, you'll keep your energy levels up and curb hunger for longer.
12. Turkey Lettuce Wrap
For this healthy pregnancy snack, take two ounces of thin, sodium-reduced turkey and a thin slice of provolone cheese and wrap them in a large romaine lettuce leaf.
This wrap is protein-rich and provides calcium and added vitamins for a tasty, nutritious snack that is quick and easy to make. Turkey is also high in tryptophan, an anxiety-reducing amino acid. This helps relieve stress and relax you, which is ideal if you're anxious or struggling to sleep during pregnancy.
Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
As this list of healthy pregnancy snacks shows, there are plenty of nutritious options that can satisfy your taste buds while also supporting your health and your baby's health.
And, not only does smart snacking ensure optimum health during pregnancy, but it also helps prepare you for the challenges ahead, including breastfeeding and motherhood.