Try these 9 healthy pregnancy snacks to keep you and your baby satisfied on the go.
Kefir is a fermented beverage made from milk. It's loaded with probiotics and calcium for your growing baby's bones. Plus, it contains very little lactose, so even people with lactose intolerance will probably tolerate kefir well. For a flavorful twist, try this key lime kefir smoothie:
- 6-8 ounces plain kefir
- Juice of one lime
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Blend until smooth.
2. Avocado Toast
Who doesn't love rich, creamy avocado spread on toast? Avocado is a good source of essential fatty acids which is important for mom and baby.
- Toast 1 slice of your favorite whole-grain bread.
- Slice a medium avocado in half.
- Remove the stone from the avocado.
- Scoop half the flesh from the avocado with a spoon. (For an extra kick, place it in a small bowl and mix in lemon juice or salsa to your taste.)
- Spread the avocado on your warm toast.
3. Roast Chickpeas
These will satisfy your crunchy cravings, and they're full of fiber and protein. To make them at home:
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Drain a 12-ounce can of chickpeas packed in water.
- Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Season with cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, or any other spices you prefer.
- Store these in an air-tight container for a great, portable snack.
4. Parmesan Popcorn
In addition to the fiber naturally found in popcorn, you can get an added boost of calcium for your baby's bones when you make this gourmet treat:
- 1 freshly popped snack-sized bag of plain microwave popcorn
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl while the popcorn is still hot and enjoy.
5. Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Rich, filling and full of vitamin E as well as Niacin, these energy bites will satisfy your sweet tooth as well as your hunger:
- 1 cup uncooked oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/8 cup toasted coconut, if desired
- Combine all ingredients. Chill, then roll into 1-inch balls and serve.
High in fiber and protein, a cup of raw edamame provides just 127 calories. Depending on your preferences, it can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried or microwaved and ready in minutes. To pan-fry edamame:
- Heat a small amount of oil over high heat in a skillet.
- Add fresh or frozen edamame.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Allow edamame to cook (without stirring) until slightly charred, then turn over and char the opposite side of the edamame pods.
- Sprinkle with iodized salt or crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Serve warm.
Grab a whole-wheat tortilla and some of your favorite cheese, and you've got a satisfying, portable snack that provides fiber, B vitamins and calcium. You can even top with lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes or peppers to get a serving a veggies or leafy greens that will provide folate.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place a 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla in the skillet.
- Cover the tortilla with shredded cheese.
- Heat until cheese melts.
- Fold in half and enjoy!
8. Mini Veggie Pizzas
Whole-wheat English muffins, a little pizza sauce, mozzarella and leftover chopped veggies. Stick them under the broiler for the best flavor, or microwave for about a minute if you're really crunched for time. These mini pizzas are a good source of vitamin C and calcium. To make mini pizzas:
- 1 whole-grain English muffin, split in half
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce, divided
- Mozzarella cheese
- Chopped vegetables
- Layer sauce, cheese and vegetables on top of English muffin halves. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to brown.
9. Yogurt Parfait
For a super-quick snack, grab an individual carton of protein-rich Greek yogurt. If you have a few extra minutes, make a parfait:
- 6-8-ounce carton Greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh fruit, chopped or sliced
- 1/4 cup granola
- Layer yogurt and fruit in a small dessert dish. Top with granola and enjoy!
And remember you don’t need to completely deny your cravings. Having a little dark chocolate can be ok. Select dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa for the greatest health benefits. As a good rule of thumb, use moderation in your choice of foods.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and are watching how much sugar you eat, try a Glucerna® shake or snack bar. They taste great, are high in protein, and have a unique blend of slow-release carbohydrates to help manage blood sugar.
What's the key to easily building healthy pregnancy snacks? Combine a high-fiber fruit or vegetable with another food that's high in protein or heart-healthy fat. Soon, you'll be snacking like a pro, and you and your baby will both benefit.