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Proper nutrition is important when you are pregnant.
When you reach for something to eat to curb your hunger between meals, you may not have the same options that you had before.
This is because added sugars and excess sodium needs to be taken out of your diet while you’re pregnant.
To choose healthy pregnancy snacks, start by choosing balanced snacks, go for fresh ingredients, avoid processed food, and eat foods high in vitamins and minerals.
Finding Sweet Snacks
Fruits are great snacks.
They can satiate a sweet craving while providing healthy fiber.
Fruits like apples, pears, grapes, bananas, berries, and melon can be mixed with many other things to create a good snack.
Women who aren’t pregnant typically need 50-60g of protein each day, while most pregnant women need 75-100g each day.
Pair apples or pears with nut butters and eat fruit with low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to add some protein to your snack.
Dairy is important when you are pregnant because it contains calcium that helps your baby as it grows.
You should shoot for three servings of low-fat, low-sugar dairy per day.
Yogurt is a tasty way to get your dairy each day.
Try quality greek yogurts, such as vanilla Dannon Oikos Triple Greek Nonfat Yogurt or Maia Low-fat Greek Yogurt, as greek yogurt contains around 15 g of protein per serving.
You can put fruit in it to give it a sweeter flavor.
Regular yogurt is also good. If you buy flavored yogurt, make sure to check the sugar content.
Try to stick with yogurt without large amounts of added sugar.
Smoothies are a delicious snack that can give you a serving of fruit and dairy.
Start with a dairy base, like milk or yogurt, then add fruit.
You can also add greens for an extra nutritional boost, or some protein powder or peanut butter for protein.
Don’t use fruit juice as the base.
It has a lot of added sugar and extra calories.
Try frozen berries and bananas.
This makes a thicker smoothie that tastes like a frozen treat, like ice cream.
Only add peanut butter to your smoothies sometimes, and in small amounts.
Too much peanut butter can lead to weight gain and high cholesterol.
Eat nut butters.
Nut butters, like peanut, cashew, or almond, are good snacks when you’re pregnant because they provide protein and a healthy fat.
Eating one to two tablespoons with another item can help keep you full and give you a tasty snack.
Make sure to read the ingredients in the nut butters you buy, especially peanut butter.
Many peanut butters are filled with unhealthy additives, like sugar, sodium, and hydrogenated oil.
Choosing Savory Snacks
Go for healthy dips.
Dips can provide a tasty savory snack.
Make sure you are eating healthy dips instead of ones full of unhealthy additives.
For example, guacamole made with avocados and tomatoes is both delicious and healthy, when eaten in moderation.
Bean dips are full of protein.
If possible, make the dips from scratch.
Avocado, bean dip, or hummus can be made quickly and enjoyed for days.
When buying dips, make sure to read the label and check the nutritional information.
Snack on a sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are great for you when you’re pregnant.
They contain a lot of beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A in your body.
When pregnant, you need more vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes also contain fiber.
Bake a sweet potato, cut it open, and eat it.
Cover medallions in olive oil and bake them.
Make trail mix
Trail mix is an easy and healthy snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth and have a savory touch.
When choosing ingredients, go for unsalted nuts, dried fruit without added sugars or candy coating, and dark chocolate.
Try to eat about 1 serving as your snack.
The best way to get nutritious trail mix is to make your own.
Just buy the different nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips and mix together in a large bowl.
Store in an airtight container.
If you want to buy trail mix, read the ingredients.
Stay away from sugary mixes that contain milk chocolate pieces, marshmallows, yogurt covered fruit, or flavored candy pieces.
Make sure the dried fruit has no added sugars.
Some trail mixes claim to be healthy when they are full of sugar and sodium.
Hard cheeses are good snacks during pregnancy.
Cheese contains calcium, so you can eat it as one of your three servings each day.
Hard cheeses include cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, gouda, or Edam.
You can eat nuts along with your cheese for a protein boost.
You may also try whole grain crackers or fruit with your cheese.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women not eat soft cheeses, such as feta and brie, that do not state that they’re pasteurized.
These may contain bacteria that are harmful to your baby.
Pop some popcorn.
Popcorn provides fiber, which many women need while pregnant.
Plain popcorn can be a nutritious savory snack during your day.
Make sure to get popcorn without added flavors or ingredients, and remember to eat about 1 serving at a time and in moderation.
Go for plain rather than salted, butter, or other flavors.
Choose whole grains.
When you need a snack, try a whole grain snack.
Whole wheat chips can be paired with dips and cheeses for a snack.
A bowl of brown rice, quinoa, or oatmeal drizzled with a little bit of honey can tide you over until your meal.
You can even pair it with fruit or veggies.
Try whole grain bread with a piece of lean meat or nut butter.
Eat some protein.
Protein sources can make filling snacks when you’re pregnant.
Try scrambling a few eggs or making an omelet with some cheese.
Eat a piece of chicken or salmon, or try some tofu.
Limit your consumption of red meat while you are pregnant.
Putting Together Healthy Snacks
Avoid snacking on junk food. When you’re pregnant, limit or eliminate the amount of junk food that you eat.
This means limiting foods that have high amounts of saturated fat and sugars.
Instead, eat healthy snacks full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and other vitamins and nutrients.
For example, try to get rid of candy, cookies, chips, milk chocolate, baked goods, and sugary cereals.
Make snack combinations.
Choose two or three things you enjoy, and add a serving of each together.
This helps satiate your hunger and provide you with healthy calories.
For example, pair apples with peanut butter, hummus with carrot sticks, cucumbers, and whole grain crackers, cheese, fruit and nuts, or Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries and walnuts.
Each of these combinations has multiple food groups and enough calories to give you and your baby energy.
Choose snacks that cover multiple food groups.
When you are pregnant, your snacks should be as nutritious as your meals.
Try to have each snack fit in at least two food groups:
proteins, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and grains.
For example, you should combine protein and healthy fats, or complex carbohydrates and protein, or healthy fats and fiber.