Smart snacks worth craving
- Snacks can add important nutrients to your daily diet, and count toward recommendations from the four food groups.
- Nutritious, frequent snacking can replace larger meals if nausea is a problem.
- Healthy on-the-go snacks include fresh fruits, yogurt, nuts and cheese.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that snacks count as part of your daily intake of calories. But snacks are an important part of your pregnancy diet, and can make a big impact on your daily nutrient intake.
They can also be especially important if you’ve been dealing with nausea or haven’t had much of an appetite. Having smaller portions of food throughout the day can help maintain your energy levels and give you the nutrition you need.
Food on the go
Moms-to-be are busy people! So when you’re on the move, planning ahead helps ensure you have snacks you need for the day. Whether you’re toting food to the office or to the playground with your other children, having convenient snacks is important. Some best bets include:
- Fresh fruit of any kind. Whole fruit over fruit juice is preferable because of its fiber content.
- Single-serving containers of yogurt.
- Roasted nuts and seeds of all types. Watch sodium intake by limiting salted nuts.
- Small baggie of air-popped popcorn made at home.
- Dried fruits of all types.
- Individual sticks of string cheese.
- Nut-seed-fruit bars; check ingredient labels and choose those without any added sugars.
Good to know
You may find that you feel your best when you eat mini-meals or snacks throughout the day instead of three set meals. What matters is making sure you get the recommended number of servings from the food groups each day.
Snacks with staying power
If you’re looking to make the best of your snacks, check out these ideas to get you started:
: Dairy-based smoothies are a way to get Calcium into your diet.
- Use fresh fruit for added vitamins, minerals and fiber (frozen banana creates a creamy texture).
- Green smoothies using kale, spinach or cilantro combined with apples or kiwi for a touch of sweetness can provide tons of nutrition.
- Drink them as a quick breakfast, snack or when you are running out the door with no time to stop and eat.
Fruit parfaits: Keep assorted cut-up fruit in the fridge ready to go for plain snacking, or for creating parfaits
- Top fruit with your favorite Greek-style yogurt, then with a trail mix or your own homemade blend of dried fruits, seeds and nuts.
Veggie quesadillas: Made with whatever leftover veggies you have on hand, these can add fiber and needed vitamins and minerals to your diet.
- Add veggies to a whole-wheat tortilla, sprinkle with a bit of shredded cheese, fold in half and pan sauté or microwave until cheese melts.
- Make it breakfast by adding a scrambled egg!
Muffins and quick breads: Sneak in fiber and vitamins when making at home by using whole-wheat flour and adding shredded zucchini, carrots, apples or pumpkin.
- Add chopped nuts for more protein and Iron.
- Bake in mini-muffin tins or small loaf pans so a little bit goes a long way.
- Consider substituting applesauce for the oil in your recipe to reduce fat.