Eating well during pregnancy can be challenging for so many reasons. Luckily, with some planning, you can survive the hunger-attack.
You might wonder, what are good snacks to eat while pregnant?
This list of easy pregnancy snacks on the go (homemade and store-bought options) will help you nourish your body with healthy alternatives, even when you don’t feel your best. Pack these snacks into your bag and you’ll be ready to go!
EASY PREGNANCY SNACKS ON THE GO
One of the hardest things for so many women to handle during pregnancy is figuring out how to optimize wellbeing with the increased demands on their body. For me, this was a reality in both my pregnancies when nausea stayed with me for nearly the entire duration of growing the babies. Food was often unappealing, but not eating made me feel even worse. These easy pregnancy snacks on the go were the foods that I chose over and over..
Personally I thought it helped me to eat many smaller meals and snacks throughout the day to avoid an empty stomach, which can make nausea worse.
What should a pregnant woman eat every day?
Now you might wonder what a pregnant woman should eat for a healthy baby? The answer to this may depend on which trimester that you’re in. Overall, aim for a balanced diet, with an appropriate blend of all the five food groups:
- vegetables and legumes
- breads and cereals
- milk, yoghurt and cheese
- meat, poultry, fish and alternatives
Eating a mix of these things will make sure you’ll get the right amount of whole grains, healthy fats, protein,vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and iron.
Aim to drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated and avoid constipation.
TIPS FOR PREGNANCY CRAVINGS
When a pregnancy craving strikes, I know how tempting it is to just eat that particular food or no food at all. So I’m not here to tell you to ignore your cravings but here are some tips on how to make sure that it’s not sweets all the time.
- You will probably find that you are more hungry than normal, but you don’t need to eat for two. It is more important to focus on the quality of the food you eat rather than the quantity.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes lean sources of protein, reduced-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. Eating healthy often means just changing the quantities of the foods you eat so that your diet is varied, rather than cutting out all your favorites
- Eat regularly to avoid drops in blood sugar that could trigger food cravings.
- Choose a whole grain version of a product for more fiber.
- Add a side salad or side of fruit to each meal.
- Think about why you might want that food. You might be hungry but pay attention to the underlying feelings, it’s also possible that you’re seeking comfort because you’re tired or anxious.
- When possible, try to add in healthy fat (such as avocado, nut butter, dairy, or eggs) to help give you more energy than just carbs.
- Keep your kitchen stocked. Have a variety of healthy options ready, like nuts, fresh fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, whole-grain crackers, nut butter, and hummus.
- Prep grab-and-go snacks ahead of time. Pick two or three snacks for the week, prepare a big batch and portion them out into individual servings that you can throw in your bag when you’re on the go or reach for when the cravings strike.
- Make sure to drink a lot of water.
- Include regular physical activity (as permitted by your doctor).
- Don’t feel bad if your cravings change from week to week—that is normal during pregnancy. It really helps to try to remember that you won’t have these cravings forever.
PREGNANCY SNACKS TO BUY
My favorite kind of healthy pregnancy snacks: those that don’t need any preparation.
I highly recommend keeping some healthy store-bought pregnancy snacks on hand to help you through each day and night—and to fuel you when you get hungry and are on the go. These are some of my favorites (that are also great to help you handle breastfeeding hunger too!).
A great way to have some vitamins. Depending on what type of fruit you go for, you may need a small container or you may not. How portable and how long your fruit lasts will depend on the fruit you choose. Cut fruit needs to be consumed asap. Some fruits will be best kept in a container to avoid getting squashed.
Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. These tasty bites are full of energy to get you through your darkest craving moments. Trailmix is an awesome option to keep in your bag in a larger container. It’s easy to bring on the go and you don’t have to worry about freshness.
3. Protein Bars
A great way to get some proteins and stay full for a long time. These come in so many different flavors.
Yoghurt is really filling, especially if you go for the thick and creamy natural Greek style yoghurt and add a bit of fruit and some nuts (or granola) to it. I also love drinkable protein yoghurts. Yogurt has protein and calcium, plus probiotics. Choosing plain over flavored options will save you the large amount of added sugar. Instead, add sweetness with fresh fruit like berries or fruit.
Eat it dry if you’re out and about and like it crunchy. Or make your own granola bars for something a bit different and a little healthier than store-bought. Dry granola is easy to carry around in a container and keeps for ages.
6. Chia crackers
Chia crackers is such a healthy and yummy snack you can have on the go that is really filling.
7. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are easy to carry around and tasty treats to snack on during the day. You can use a ziplock bag and they should keep fresh for about a day.
8. Air-popped popcorn
Popcorn is a fiber-rich whole grain. Look for air-popped options and add your own seasonings, like Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a handful of roasted sunflower seeds.
9. Cottage cheese
A cup of the low-fat kind serves up with lots of calcium along with protein. Like yogurt, you’re better off sticking with plain varieties and adding extra flavor yourself. Top with chopped fruit, add a sprinkle of honey or cinnamon, or season with salt and lemon juice and use as a dip for veggies.
Easy Pregnancy Snacks to Prepare in Advance
These snacks require a little bit of preparation in advance, but you can make them in batches to save time.
1. Overnight Oats or Chia Pudding
Overnight oats is one of my favorite breakfasts usually I make them with chia seeds and coconut milk. You can make them in almost any flavor you like. Rasberry, coconut, banana, avocado, peanut butter, chocolate etc. The possibilities are endless!
Overnight oats are also really filling and tasty and can help to boost lactation. You’ll need a small container or jar to keep your overnight oats in. They should also be kept cool and you’ll want to consume them during the day.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Runny eggs are one of the things you’ll want to avoid during pregnancy. But you can still eat eggs as long as they are hard-boiled eggs. Eggs are a great protein source and come in their own convenient packaging that keeps them fresh. However, you might need to add a container to keep them from being squashed in your bag. Cook up a big batch on the weekend and you’ll have a ready-made snack all week long.
3. Roasted chickpeas
They’re crunchy and savory like chips, only way more nutritious, thanks to loads of protein, fiber, and iron. Make your own by baking chickpeas with olive oil and your favorite seasonings until crispy, or buy them pre-made.
4. Fruit smoothie with milk
Simple combos like banana, almond butter and milk are quick and easy to mix when you’re on the go. When you’re up for more flavor, try frozen raspberries with cocoa powder, mango and pineapple and peanut butter.
5. Whole wheat peanut butter toast with a banana
A great tasty carb-protein combo to stay full for a longer time.
6. Frozen banana “ice cream” with chopped nuts
Mix a chopped, frozen banana in the food processor until smooth to make a creamy, naturally sweet ice cream that tastes just like the real thing. Top with walnuts and some fresh berries for a sundae-like treat.
7. Frozen grapes
When you’re looking for a sweet treat but aren’t actually all that hungry, this icy snack is awesome. Frozen grapes are refreshing and vitamin-packed, but since they don’t have any protein or fat, they’re not all that filling on their own.
Snacks to avoid during pregnancy
The best pregnancy snacks are nutrient-rich options that keep you energized while delivering essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals to you and your growing baby.
So it’s worth sticking with wholesome options that would be at home as part of a healthy meal, instead of conventional processed snack foods.
Those options are most often low in nutrients and high in empty calories and they can increase your risk for unhealthy pregnancy weight gain as well as gestational diabetes. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, you’ll want to limit your consumption of foods like:
- Cookies, cakes or sugary baked goods
- Ice cream and candy
- Potato chips
- Soda, sweetened tea or sweetened juices
- Sweetened coffee drinks
Snacking while pregnant is a great idea. It can help ease nausea and it’ll keep your energy levels up while helping you to grow a healthy baby.
I hope you found these easy pregnancy snacks helpful!
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