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Morning sickness during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester is such a common (and annoying) problem. Having some good pregnancy snacks for nausea was the one thing that made life easier for me when I felt sick.
If you’ve ever been suffering through ‘morning’ sickness, you’ll know that the name is a little confusing. It can occur at any time of the day or night. Or all day and all night.
In fact, up to 80% of pregnant women experience pregnancy nausea and vomiting in the first trimester.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent morning sickness, but changes in your diet could help.
In this post, we’re talking about snack ideas safe for the sick mom that don’t trigger pregnancy nausea.
What is Pregnancy Nausea or Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is very common during pregnancy. Symptoms can range from mild nausea—often brought on by certain foods—to frequent vomiting.
It can occur during any time of the day but it’s most common during the first trimester and tends to calm down after. However, some women experience nausea throughout their entire pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum). Mine stayed put until about 20 weeks in both my pregnancies but for most women it goes away earlier.
Scientists don’t know for sure why pregnancy nausea happens. It seems that pregnancy impacts the part of the brain that controls vomiting, which leads to nausea.
Another reason is that pregnancy is linked to increases in some hormones (such as estrogen) and your heightened sense of smell. Sensing rotten food saves the pregnant woman from eating something bad. But that sensitive nose can make a woman avoid perfectly safe food as well.
What Types of Food Are Good for Pregnancy Nausea?
So now you might wonder what food helps with pregnancy nausea?
Everyone is different and you should listen to your body and what is working for you. Here are some tips on the most common foods and snacks women turn to when they’re experiencing pregnancy nausea.
While eating may be the last thing you want to think about when your pregnancy nausea strikes, eating can help. Eating small meals, more often, and eating immediately before bed and immediately when you wake up can help ease nausea that’s caused by your stomach being empty.
Foods that help morning sickness are usually those that are:
- high in water content
- contain healthy fats
GOOD Pregnancy Snacks for Nausea
Here are some of the best pregnancy snacks for nausea you can try:
Keep in mind that everything should be eaten in moderation. While a bagel is safe for nausea, it’s still not the healthiest option and shouldn’t become a go-to snack. You should also avoid too much salt.
Vegetables and fruits for pregnancy nausea
Vegetables and fruits are healthy foods that can help fight nausea during pregnancy.
Beans are a great source of protein, iron, calcium and are high in fiber. And now have been found to reduce nausea. The high fiber content of the beans binds to the extra bile and removes it from the system, causing less pregnancy nausea.
There are a variety of different beans:
There are plenty beans to try.
Hummus is like a bean dip made from chickpeas and a great pregnancy snack for nausea. It is flavored with tahini, lemon squash, olive oil, and some salt. Buy the plain (no garlic!) variety and dip raw veggies or crackers in it.
Nausea from excessive hunger, low blood sugar, or pregnancy may respond well to the protein and fat in nuts.
Nuts are good to snack on because they can help you to eat smaller meals. Eating less but more often can be easier on the stomach and help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Some healthy nuts to choose from:
There are many options, try choose an unsalted alternative.
A tasty Nut mix is also a great option if you prefer some variation.
Almonds are a great snack to reach for if you’re trying to keep your hunger levels in check. They’re full of protein, fiber, vitamin E and healthy fats.
Keep a ziplock bag filled with almonds with you throughout the day for a quick and healthy pick-me-up that can also keep nausea away.
Ginger is a well-known morning sickness remedy. You can put ginger in tea or hot water with lemon and honey (great for a cold too) or you can add it to oatmeal, salad dressing, marinades etc.
You can also take ginger supplements or shred fresh ginger into a stir fry with other vitamin-rich veggies, grains, and proteins.
This superfood provides immediate relief if your pregnancy nausea is really bad.
Other ginger favorites are:
- Crystallized ginger
- Ginger Snaps
- Ginger Chews
- Ginger Tea
- Ginger Drops with Vitamin B6
- Ginger Tummydrops
Lemons have a fresh scent and are loaded with good stuff. It’s considered by many women as the best fruit for morning sickness. The refreshing smell and taste can calm your stomach when pregnancy nausea hits.
Here are some tips on how to use lemons for pregnancy nausea:
- Simply cut a lemon and sniff the aroma. This is especially helpful if you’re reacting to a smell in your environment.
- Keep a tissue with a few drops of lemon essential oil in a ziploc bag in your purse and smell the aroma as a nausea relief on the go. You can also keep some fresh slices in a ziploc bag and squeeze them on a tissue when you need to.
- Squeeze lemon juice into a glass of water or in your tea.
- Use lemon juice in your salad dressing
- Get lemon flavored drops to suck on
Lemon is without doubt the best fruit for morning sickness in my opinion.
Noshing on a banana can help keep the nausea at bay. Bananas are also full of vitamin B6, which can also help keep nausea in check.
If your nausea is accompanied by dehydration, or if you have been vomiting, bananas can help restore potassium, which is often depleted as a result of diarrhea and vomiting.
A bowl of Greek yogurt with sliced bananas and almonds for breakfast or a mid-day snack is great for pregnancy nausea. Bananas are also easy and portable to grab on the go.
Watermelon has high water content (92 percent) and contains fruit sugars that can help alleviate morning sickness and dehydration.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your fluid intake, eating watermelon is a good way to help you to get and keep fluids down.
I found that grapefruit was amazing for my morning sickness. The sweet-sour taste of the grapefruit can help calm waves of pregnancy nausea while the fiber content of the fruit can help settle the stomach. As an added bonus, it contains loads of important nutrients and is very hydrating.
Pickles are another salty snack that can be good for pregnancy nausea.
You can also drink pickle juice which is rich in nutrients and packed with electrolytes that restores the salt balance in your body as well as helps with digestion.
Olives are salty and can help to prevent nausea during pregnancy. Olives contain anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and catechins which are antioxidants known to inhibit nausea and gas. They are also full of healthy fats.
You can snack on olives as is or incorporate them into other foods like pizza, salad, or pasta dishes. You can also make a tapenade for pasta.
Starchy plain foods
Rice Potatoes and Noodles
Bland, colorless, and odorless foods are often more easily tolerated, as they don’t trigger nausea as strongly flavored foods do.
Potatoes can be prepared in various forms. Baked potatoes, potato salad or mashed potatoes are great alternatives for pregnancy nausea.
Whole Grain Bread
If your tummy is really out of whack, try eating dry toast.
The vitamins found in the whole grain varieties will give you and your baby a much needed nutrient boost, while the gentleness of toasted bread should help your digestive system settle back into a normal routine. Bread, and toast help absorb gastric acid and settle a queasy stomach.
Complex carbohydrates can be the solution to help settle pregnancy nausea for a lot of women. Cereals are easy to find in the store, and even easier to prepare, a can go a long way in making you feel better, faster.
Cereals are less likely to trigger smell or taste aversions during pregnancy. There are many types to choose from, so choose one that’s fortified with vitamins and minerals, low in sugar, and high in fiber.
If cow milk makes you nauseous, try other non-dairy types, such as soy, almond, cashew, or rice milk.
Often when you can’t keep anything else down, crackers like saltine crackers can work as a remedy.
Keep some kind of crackers on your nightstand and eat a few before you get out of bed in the morning. If you’re hungry, your morning sickness might become worse.
Other starch rich snacks for pregnancy nausea
Other options similar to saltine crackers for pregnancy nausea that you can keep on your nightstand include:
Dairy for Pregnancy Nausea
Greek Yogurt is packed with vitamins and full of probiotic power to boost your immune system and keep your stomach happy.
Greek yogurt contains a ton of good nutrients, including B vitamins and potassium. This is another easy-to-prepare snack to reach for when you need to eat as soon as possible, but can’t spend too much time thinking about what to get.
Cheese is another great dairy option, it’s filling, contains loads of calcium and other valuable nutrients and is usually wonderful for a sick belly.
Although you should avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert, chevre, and any soft, blue-veined cheeses due to the danger of listeria for your unborn baby.
Cheeses like sharp cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and especially cottage cheese are great alternatives for pregnancy nausea.
Cutting up cheese is easy and grab on the go; if you buy cheese sticks, you don’t even have to cut it up.
Combine one of these cheeses with a fruit, and you’ve got an amazing pregnancy snack for nausea.
Other Snacks for Pregnancy Nausea
This is another one of those foods that is bland and doesn’t demand a great effort from your tummy. You can fry it on the stove, boil it, devil it and it’s really easy to eat.
Eggs contain more than 12 vitamins and minerals and lots of essential proteins for pregnancy. Eggs are also filled with choline and omega-3 fats that are vital for your body and your growing baby.
When you’re too tired to cook a full meal, hard-boiled or scrambled eggs are just the easy way to go. Hard-boiled eggs are not only easy to make ahead, but are also extremely portable
Choosing high-protein snack foods might help reduce morning sickness in some cases.
Low-fat, high-protein snacks are likely to settle better than protein foods that include large amounts of fat. This is why protein bars can work great against morning sickness. You can choose from different flavors depending on what you are craving.
Personally, I found herbal tea so helpful when my morning sickness was really bad and I absolutely didn’t want to eat anything.
Herbal tea is not caffeinated and in pregnancy-safe herbal teas you get a ton of antioxidants, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and also people with lactose sensitivities can drink it as a source of calcium.
Water with Fruits Infused
Keeping hydrated is really important if you’re experiencing morning sickness. Even if you can’t eat, try drinking a glass of water. Adding fruits can be a healthy and nausea-safe way to flavor it.
Smoothies can be a good way to get nutrients into your body without forcing yourself through a meal. You can use dairy-free alternatives if milk is an aversion. You can also try mix in greens for nutrients and protein powder or peanut butter for protein.
Homemade Popsicles with Fruit and Juices
Consider making your own popsicles with juices or real fruits. A recipe for anti-nausea pops I used and loved a lot included strawberries, bananas, blueberries, apple juice or coconut water, vanilla greek yogurt, honey and freshly grated ginger.
Use this popsicle mold and just freeze your mix.
Related article: Easy Pregnancy Snacks For Busy Moms On The Go
I hope you learned a few things about morning sickness and what to eat when nothing sounds good. I personally found these foods that fight nausea during pregnancy really helpful. What are your favorite pregnancy snacks for nausea?