By Wendy Colson RN, IBCLC, RLC
Looking for healthy pregnancy snacks? We’ve rounded up the top list of snacks for pregnant women for you to stay nourished through your motherhood journey!
Snacking can be a great way to fill in any nutritional gaps you may be missing during pregnancy due to increasing caloric needs and pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and food aversions which can make choosing nutrient dense foods challenging to say the least! Smaller pregnancy snacks can help you meet your increased nutritional needs throughout the day and help ward off low blood sugar (guaranteed to make you feel worse!)
What Makes A Good Pregnancy Snack?
Good pregnancy snacks should aim to include at least 2-3 nutrient groups such as:
- Protein (cheese, yogurts, nuts/nut butters, eggs and meats)
- Fat (avocado, nuts/nut butters, butter, cream cheese, olive oil and olives)
- Fiber (fruits and vegetables with the skin on, whole grains)
Including all of these together creates a combination of healthy snacks for pregnant women to help meet your growing nutrition needs and provides you with sustainable energy.
What Can I Snack On In the First Trimester?
First trimester is really survival mode if you are struggling with nausea and aversions. Always seek what is tolerable for you and avoid triggering smells and textures. You can experiment with:
- Blander items such as whole grain toast topped with melted cheese
- Rice cakes topped with sliced avocado
- Oatmeal (enjoy just as a bowl with protein powder mixed in or top with nut butter!)
- Try adding small amounts of protein such as whole nuts
- Sliced cheese and crackers
- Hard boiled eggs
- Bananas sprinkled with cinnamon and nut butter
- Sliced roasted sweet potatoes fries
- Chicken salad with crackers
- Smoked salmon on toast with cream cheese
- Peppermint teas and ginger can be soothing for any food aversions and nausea
Second trimester, you might be feeling more energized after a rough first trimester. Honor any cravings you missed out on due to any aversions. You’ll still want to aim for a good combination of protein, fat and fiber such as:
- Greek yogurt with berries, nuts and honey
- Hummus with pita bread and sliced cucumber
- Cottage cheese on toast
- Sliced fruit with brazil nuts
- Chia pudding topped with berries
- Corn tortilla chips, guacamole and sliced peppers
- Popcorn with nutritional yeast
- String cheese with dried fruit slices
- Energy bites (made with oatmeal, honey, nut butter and chocolate chips)
Third trimester, your calorie needs are around 500 additional calories a day so snacks may need to be higher in fat. Fat not only provides satiety but helps ease digestive discomfort in your already compacted tummy area. Try out:
- Nut based granola bars and fruit
- Toast with sliced avocado, tomato and cream cheese
- Smoothies blended with protein powder, nut butter, milk and greens such as spinach
- Full fat yogurt topped with high fiber cereal (or BOOBIE* Bark)
- Beef sticks and string cheese
- Edamame sprinkled with salt and rice crackers
- Whole grain muffins topped with nut butter or butter
What Are The Best Pregnancy Snacks to Buy?
You can find some great prepackaged pregnancy snack options to take with you on the go.
- Individual cheeses such as baby bell or tillamook cheeses
- Beef sticks such as Archer or Chomps
- Individually portioned trail mix or pistachios
- Portioned greek yogurt or cottage cheese
- Whole or dried fruit (apples, bananas or dried mango)
What Should I Eat at Night During Pregnancy?
Something rich in protein to help stimulate production of melatonin and promote optimal sleep such as:
- Roasted edamame or chickpeas
- High fiber cereal with milk and sliced nuts
- Greek yogurt sprinkled with berries
- Whole grain toast with almond butter and banana
- A warm chai latte or golden milk
The options are really endless when coming up with different snacking combinations- for the best snacks for pregnancy just be mindful to ensure that you’ve paired up your snack to keep both you and your baby nourished!