From food aversions to crazy cravings, finding healthy pregnancy snacks is important but not always easy. The key is to make sure you eat nourishing, whole foods most of the time. But when cravings call, it can be easy to stray from the plan.
So here are some easy tips to help feed your cravings and your baby, too! Aka, the best pregnancy snacks around.
Healthy pregnancy snacks and meals
What foods help with nausea during pregnancy, you ask? Well, a lot of people reach for sugar or anything sweet. Sure there are times to reach for those gummy bears, but most of the time reaching for fresh, sugary alternatives will help you feel better faster.
Fruits and veggies in many different forms help meet cravings head-on and lessen symptoms too. Refreshing, hydrating, sweet, and rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber - they’re a great pregnancy snack.
Want something sweet and creamy?
- A smoothie is officially the easiest and tastiest way to get in your fruits and veggies. Mix 1 cup coconut water (electrolytes!), ½ cup each frozen cauliflower and spinach, ½ banana, ½ cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp chia, flax or hemp seeds, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 svg collagen peptides or vanilla protein powder, and cinnamon. Blend and enjoy.
- Reach for the whole fruit instead and get all the flavor and fiber with half the sugar.
Looking for that sweet gummy texture?
- Don’t forget about dried fruit. I call it nature’s candy - sweet, chewy, and refreshing. Mango, dates, prunes (especially if you’re feeling constipated - thanks, pregnancy!) and apples are some of my favorites!
Carbs, carbs, carbs
These are the staple food group for so many of my pregnant clients and when done right they can be a great source of energy. Upgrade those saltines, bagels, and pretzels to 100% whole wheat, whole grain, unprocessed carbohydrates, and enjoy a bounty of b-vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Craving a big NYC bagel?
- Enjoy yours scooped out or reach for a whole-wheat English muffin or sourdough toast instead. Top it just the way you like (nut butter, cream cheese, avocado, butter, or cheese). It’ll be just as satisfying but healthier.
Looking for something salty?
- How about some organic potato or tortilla chips, rice cakes, almond flour crackers, roasted chickpeas, salted nuts/seeds, olives or whole wheat crackers? Same crunch, just elevated. And if you’re feeling a bit extra, try kale chips or seaweed!
By the end of the day making a full dinner may seem daunting especially during your first and last trimesters. In order to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition and honoring your desire to keep things simple try some of these tasty and easy options.
Craving something creamy, cold, and filling?
- Fill up on Greek yogurt - rich in protein and calcium, and yummy topped with nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and granola, personalize it to meet your cravings.
Want something warm and hearty?
- Whip up some oatmeal - whole grains, gluten-free and a great way to mix in healthy ingredients. Swirl in fresh fruit, nut butter, raisins, chia seeds, cinnamon or banana. Topping ideas are endless.
Craving a warm savory and low carb dinner?
- Eggs are such an easy option that most people already have stocked in their fridge! Rich in vitamin D and choline for fetal brain and bone development eggs are quick no matter how you like them (scrambled, poached, hard-boiled). Serve them on toast or over sauteed greens and you have a high protein, low effort meal!
Snacks on snacks on snacks
Hunger tends to increase during pregnancy and sometimes it sneaks up on you. If you’re craving healthy snacks for pregnancy, try to keep them balanced and portioned to help you manage blood sugar levels while maintaining your energy levels.
Have a long day ahead of you?
- Make and take your own trail-mix! Mix whole-grain cereal, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate chips, and dried fruit in a container. Separate into snack bags to take on-the-go or buy already prepared versions from the store (just avoid the ones with M&Ms or peanut butter cups please!) These can live in your bag or car for long periods of time without spoiling.
On the run and need fast sustainable energy?
- Snack Bars - There are so many on the market this one is my favorite, but my general recommendations include looking for bars with less than 11g of sugar, at least 3g of fiber, 5g of protein, and no artificial sweeteners.
Looking for something salty that will hold you over for a while?
- Jerky - high in protein and low in sugar this snack can keep you going for hours! These come in so many varieties even vegan versions.
Pregnancy is such an exciting time. Have fun with your food and listen to your body. Mix up your pregnancy snacks, try something new, give into cravings, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Remember every woman’s experience is different so be sure to focus on what you want and need.
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