Eating well during pregnancy can be SO daunting for so many reasons, but this list of healthy pregnancy snacks will help you nourish your body even when you don’t feel great.
Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
One of the hardest things for so many women to handle during pregnancy is figuring out how to feel their best with the increased demands on their body. For me, this was particularly true in my most recent third pregnancy when nausea stayed with me for nearly the duration of growing the baby. Food wasn’t always appealing, but not eating made me feel worse. These healthy pregnancy snacks were the foods that I turned to again and again.
What foods are good for pregnancy?
The answer to this may depend on which trimester that you’re in and which symptoms in particular are causing you trouble, if any! Just like when you’re not expecting, we want to eat a range of healthy foods during pregnancy including whole grains, healthy fats, lots of protein, lots of produce, and fiber. It’s important to eat all of these foods throughout the day, especially protein and fat, to help us to avoid the hunger-nausea that so many experience, but it can be a challenge when so many foods are unappealing.
Healthy Snacks for the First Trimester
During the first trimester of pregnancy, eating well can seem like climbing a mountain, what with all of the morning sickness! Here are some of my favorite bland snacks for the first trimester. And while I know that carbs are often the only thing that’s appealing, adding in a little protein and/or fat can help you feel a little better between meals.
- Whole grain cereal with nondairy milk (banana optional!)
- Whole grain toast with scrambled eggs
- Whole grain toast with nut butter
- Whole grain crackers with nut butter
- Plainer flavors of Larabar like Cashew Cookie or Apple Pie
- Dry whole grain cereal (like Kashi Heart to Heart)
- Bean and cheese burritos
- Bagel and cream cheese
- Pasta with butter and Parmesan
- Avocado toast
- Simple granola bars
How to Choose Healthy Snacks for Pregnancy Cravings
I know that often times when a pregnancy craving strikes, you really just need to eat that food or no food at all! So I’m not going to tell you to ignore your cravings (ha! Like you could anyway!), but here are some suggestions on how to make sure that it’s not all French fries, all the time.
- Add a side salad or side of fruit to fried foods.
- Choose a whole grain version of a food for more fiber.
- Indulge in the food you really want, but pay attention while eating it so you can stop when you’re full and eat as much as you really need.
- Think about why you might want that food. I know that I often wanted Pad Thai just because it sounded better than anything else, but it’s also possible that you’re seeking comfort because you’re tired or anxious. Just pay attention to potential underlying feelings so you can deal with them too.
- When possible, try to add in a healthy fat (such as avocado, nut butter, dairy, or eggs) to help give you more energy than just carbs.
Pregnancy Snacks to Buy
I highly recommend keeping some healthy store-bought pregnancy snacks on hand to help you through—and to fuel you when you get starving and are out and about. These are some of my favorites (that I plan to use to help cope with breastfeeding hunger too!).
- Kind Protein Bars (I love the Dark Chocolate flavor)
- RX Bar Vanilla Almond Butter packets
- PB&J Larabars
- Kashi Heart to Heart cereal (pair with salted almonds for more protein)
- Mesa Sunrise cereal
- Peanut Butter Pretzels
- Beanitos Nacho Cheese Chips
- Whole grain bagels or pita bread with nut butter or cream cheese
- Cheese sticks
- Drinkable yogurt or kefir
- Whole milk yogurt (the fat will help you stay fuller a little longer) with some granola
- Pretzels and nut butter
- Roasted chickpeas
Healthy Snacks to Avoid Heartburn
If you’re like me and are experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, know that I feel your pain! I’d never had this in my life and I was so unprepared for how unappealing it made so many foods. I learned that not only are foods I expected to be acidic (coffee, citrus, tomatoes, and more) culprits, but foods including bananas, dairy, oats, and bread could make this flare up. Here are some snacks I turned to during the second and third trimesters to help me avoid too much heartburn.
- Simple Blueberry Smoothies
- Whole grain crackers and nut butter
- Pesto pasta
- Hard-cooked eggs
- Bland hummus with carrot sticks or cucumber slices