The Best Snacks for Pregnant Women
A healthy diet is important for everyone, but it’s even more so for pregnant women who are feeding for two—and nutrition matters, a lot. Not only does eating a nutrient dense diet keep mom well and strong during pregnancy, but also the snacks and foods she’s eating are there to fuel the child and ensure a healthy and proper development.
What’s more, the requirements for certain nutrients increase during pregnancy, so keeping healthy pregnancy snacks around and on the go can help pregnant women meet those needs. The main nutrients that call for larger quantities include folic acid, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, iron, vitamin C and protein—the latter coming from lean, clean sources like eggs, turkey breast, poultry, green vegetables, oats and fibrous grains, beans and lentils.
Luckily, there are several snacks for pregnant women that are healthy and delicious, plus affordable and easy to whip up at home or find at the grocery store. The best snacks will have an array of these nutrients and also taste great and boost satiety for longer.
These are the top healthy pregnancy snacks that will not only satisfy mom’s appetite and taste buds, but also nourish their little ones for a safe and easy delivery.
Kale Chips With Hummus or Guacamole
Kale is rich in folic acid (there are 230 micrograms in a one cup serving!), calcium, vitamin C and iron, plus it’s considered to be one of the higher protein green vegetables. And if you pair kale chips with a bit more protein, like hummus or guacamole, it’ll make for a well-rounded and healthy snack for pregnant mothers. Plus, both chickpeas and avocado have a rich supply of these essential vitamins and minerals.
You can make your own and season as you like or buy them from various brands at the store. Nutritional yeast will give them a cheesy flavor and texture, and it’s a good plant-based and vegan source of protein and folic acid, too. And include bell peppers, which have vitamin C plus antioxidants to promote heart health and the baby’s development.
Greek Yogurt with Fruit, Nuts, Oats and Seeds
Greek yogurt has probiotics, which are gut-friendly bacteria that affect digestion and the immune system. A cup of plain Greek yogurt with nutritious and flavorful toppings is the perfect healthy snack for pregnant women, as it’ll keep their immunity high and their growing baby safe and strong.
Plain will keep sugar and added sugar low, which is best, and then add some natural sweetness from fruit, such as berries, sliced banana or kiwi. Polish it off with crumbled oats, such as a crumbled Bobo’s bar, and nuts and seeds, like pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Walnuts also have omega 3 fats, which are great for the baby’s brain development, and healthy fats to keep mom fuller for longer.
Healthy Snack or Protein Bars
Sometimes there’s no time to create a snack at home or sit down to eat something at a table. Yet, pregnant women shouldn’t skip meals and snacks since they’re more at risk of nutrient deficiencies then. Having a few go to healthy snacks on hand that are portable, packaged and not perishable can make life a bit easier.
An oat or protein bar will have a good supply of nutrients as long as you pick ones that are healthy. Check the label for gram amounts, but also consider ingredients. Bars containing nuts, like Bobo’s Stuff’d Bars, which have peanut or almond butter inside an oats exterior, have calcium and iron, plus protein and fiber.
Cottage Cheese and Toppings
Swap Greek yogurt for cottage cheese to keep variety in the diet. Pregnant women will benefit from cottage cheese as a healthy snack since it’s packed with protein, calcium and folic acid. Plus, it’s versatile for both sweet and savory topping options. It’s also low in sugar naturally—just make sure to buy plain, not flavored, cottage cheese at the store.Crumble up a Bobo’s bar or bite along with diced fruit, like mango, and a serving of nuts, like almonds for a sweeter snack. Or pair the cottage cheese with a hard boiled egg, tomatoes and kale chips. Eggs are also among the best snacks for pregnant mothers, as they are rich in vitamin D, calcium, iron, protein and choline for cognitive health and brain development. Just make sure to eat the yolk, as that’s where the vitamin D and choline are.