Eating healthy during pregnancy is so important– it gives you the energy you need and helps your baby grow and thrive.
During your pregnancy you’re likely to be pretty hungry, and I know from my personal experience, I was constantly snacking to keep my energy up and nausea away!
Here’s a giant list of healthy pregnancy snacks to have on hand during your pregnancy.
Healthy pregnancy snacks should contain
It’s wise to try and eat as healthy as possible throughout your entire pregnancy.
During your first trimester you won’t need to consume more calories than normal, but as you progress to your second and third trimester you’ll need an additional 300 calories.
Because frequent, small meals keeps queasiness at bay and energy going strong, it’s best to consume 6 small meals per day.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, here’s how to fill up your plate with good pregnancy foods designed to keep you full and provide the nutrients you and your baby require:
- Fruits: 2-4 servings per day
- Veggies: 4 servings per day
- Grains: 6-11 servings per day
- Dairy: 4 servings per day
Healthy pregnancy snacks
Why you need it: Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which helps to grow your baby’s tissues and cells.
How to eat it: Sprinkle a little cinnamon and enjoy. You can also try chopping up the sweet potato into 1 inch squares, tossing with a little olive oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and roasting in the oven. These can be made ahead of time and heat up nicely the next day.
Why you need it: Blueberries are one of best pregnancy snacks you can eat. Antioxidants are vital in protecting the health of your cells, and blueberries contain an abundance of them. Blueberries also have large quantities of vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium.
How to eat it: Toss ½ a cup of blueberries in a smoothie, place on top of greek yogurt or just eat them by themselves.
Related: lemon water for morning sickness and other natural nausea remedies
Why you need it: Protein or energy balls are an easy pregnancy snack that provide a great source of energy and nutrition. You’ll be ravenous while pregnant, and having protein balls on hand ensures you select a healthy snack over an unhealthy one.
How to eat it: To make protein balls that pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, follow this recipe:
- 1.5 cups oats (not instant, choose old fashioned or steel cut)
- 2 tbls chia seeds
- Small handful of dark chocolate chips (dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants)
- ½ cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
- ⅓ cup local honey
- ⅓ cup organic coconut flakes
Mix everything together, form into small balls and place in refrigerator on wax paper to chill. After chilled, enjoy! Make sure to store energy balls in the refrigerator.
Why you need it: Bananas are chocked full of fiber and potassium and also contain tryptophan. Tryptophan helps your brain produce serotonin–ensuring you get a good night’s rest when you eat bananas as a part of a balanced diet.
How to eat it: One of the best grab-and-go pregnancy snacks, bananas are great on their own. If you’re not a banana lover, try adding them in smoothies, or in greek yogurt with some granola and honey. You can also try one of my favorites– bananas sliced over peanut butter on whole wheat toast, yum!
Why you need it: Avocados are fabulous to eat during pregnancy. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with tons of vital nutrients like potassium and folate. Folate is so important during pregnancy, and especially during early pregnancy as it helps to prevent against neural tube defects.
How to eat it: Spread avocados on toast, place some tuna and a little olive oil directly onto an avocado, or even add it to your smoothie.
Why you need it: Smoothies are the easiest (and tastiest) way to eat all of those dark leafy greens, which contribute to baby’s brain development and strong bone growth.
How to eat it: In a blender combine the following:
- ½ cup kale
- ½ cup spinach
- ½ banana
- Handful of frozen mango and pineapple
- ½ tsp chia seeds
- 1 tbls greek yogurt
- Water to thin it out to desired consistency
Related: What to do after you find out you’re pregnant
Why you need it: Oats are known for their fiber, magnesium and zinc benefits– which are all very beneficial for both mom and baby. Oats are considered a lactogenic food source are also beneficial to breastfeeding mothers, as they are thought to help increase milk supply.
How to eat it: Don’t be tempted to grab the instant oats, as those are loaded in sugar. You want traditional, steel cut or old fashioned oats. Bake oats into protein balls, make overnight oats, add to greek yogurt with granola.
Hard boiled eggs
Why you need it: Hard boiled eggs are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamin A and vitamin B.
How to eat it: Bring water to a boil and add eggs. Boil for 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator. Boiled eggs that have their shell on can last in your fridge for up to one week, so go ahead and boil a batch so you can have a health snack on hand when a craving hits. Dipping eggs in hummus or guacamole dip makes them less egg-y and more palatable if you have issues getting them down!
Why you need it: Did you know hummus is made from chickpeas? Hummus is a superfood, packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants.
How to eat it: Smear hummus over toast, or use it as a dip for carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, or even hard boiled eggs. Be advised: Look for hummus with minimal ingredients and preservatives. Your best bet is organic hummus or making your own. If you see anything on the label like soybean oil, or potassium sorbate– run!
Why you need it: Loaded with calcium, folate, vitamin C and antioxidants, broccoli is an excellent snack for pregnancy.
How to eat it: Since broccoli is at the top of not too many people’s list of foods they love, you’ll find it more palatable with a dip. Broccoli and hummus is wonderful, and you can also try dipping it in a much healthier version of “ranch” like Primal Kitchen’s ranch dip.
Why you need it: Edamame is another pregnancy super food that contains folate. Edamame is also rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants.
How to eat it: Eat as a snack, but watch the salt intake!
Why you need it: Oranges are full of vitamin C, fiber, and folate.
How to eat them: Orange slices are a great snack for on the go. I’ve also combined oranges with peanut butter and have not been disappointed with the combo!
Why you need it: Almonds contain vitamin E, magnesium, and are a great source of protein. Walnuts are loaded with omega 3s, magnesium and folate.
How to eat them: Skip the inferior peanut, and instead opt for nuts like almonds and walnuts. Look for raw almonds or walnuts and make sure to flip the bag over and scan the ingredient list. You don’t want to see soybean or canola oil on the list of ingredients!
Why you need it: Greek yogurt packs a punch in the nutritional department. Full of calcium, protein, calcium and probiotics, greek yogurt is a healthy pregnancy snack that will keep you feeling full.
How to eat it: Look for organic greek yogurt with low amounts of sugar. Opt for unsweetened greek yogurt and sweeten with local honey. Add some seasonal berries, coconut flakes, chia seeds and granola for a healthy treat!
Why you need it: Carrots contain vitamin A–which will help your with the development of your baby’s eyes, skin, teeth and bones. Carrots also contain antioxidants
How to eat it: Pair carrots with hummus for a very nutritional snack that is filling, thanks to the protein found in hummus. You can also try dipping carrots into a healthy ranch dip (I suggest Primal Kitchen’s ranch)
Why you need it: Chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber and help you stay fuller, longer.
How to eat it: I’m not a fan of chickpeas, but roasted chickpeas are amazing! Follow this recipe for roasted chickpeas and have a snack that satisfies those salty cravings.
Additional healthy pregnancy snacks
- Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and bananas
- Apples and peanut butter
- Bell pepper slices and healthy ranch dip
- Banana muffins
- Celery slices with peanut butter
- Homemade trail mix- sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chips, walnuts, almonds, dried cranberries
- Apple with cheese slices
- Cottage cheese and Mandarin oranges
Pregnancy snacks to buy
- Cliff bars
- Kind bar
- Late July brand of Tortilla chips
- Individual guacamole cups
- Single serve cottage cheese and greek yogurt
- Sargento balanced breaks
- Justin’s almond butter with pretzels
- Organic hard boiled eggs
- Frozen fruit
Healthy snacks for pregnancy cravings
If you’re like me, your sweet tooth will be out in full force during your pregnancy, and rather than reach for sugary sweets with little nutritional value, be sure to store these in your fridge or pantry instead.
Craving sugar? Try 4-5 prunes and see if those satisfy your desire for something sweet.
Banana ice cream
Place one frozen banana in a blender or food processor, add a splash of milk and a teaspoon of peanut butter and blend. This is so good and even satisfied my toughest sweet tooth!
Whole wheat wrap with with peanut butter, banana, honey
Here’s a sweet snack that’s filling, too!
Cherries dipped in chocolate hummus
This is one of my favorite sweet treats, pregnant or not!
Medjool dates (found in produce department)
Not only are medjool dates sweet, but they’re also so healthy, containing fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium.
There’s something about freezing blueberries that makes them super sweet, especially on a hot day!
Halo Top ice cream
If you just can’t get ice cream out of your mind, try Halo Top brand ice cream first. Yes, there’s still a lot of sugar in this, (it is ice cream, after all) but nutritionally, it’s much better for you compared to traditional ice cream.
Yasso frozen yogurt greek bars
Again, another item that does contain more sugar than you want to consume for a typical snack, but if you’ve got a craving, this is much better than the alternatives.
Late July brand tortilla chips and salsa
I love Late July brand chips because they don’t contain a lot of the processed ingredients that you typically see in other snack items. This is the perfect snack if you’re craving salty, junk food.
Pistachios are so healthy for you and a little salty, so they’re the perfect snack if you’re craving salty things. Just don’t eat too many of these– a handful is a typical serving size.
For the healthiest, chemical free option, buy organic kernels and pop the popcorn on your stove using olive or coconut oil. Add a dash of salt once finished, but don’t over do it!
Pointers for choosing healthy pregnancy snacks at the store
During my first pregnancy I started really examining the labels on items I’d pick up at the grocery store. You would not believe the amount of foods that look healthy, but actually aren’t.
What to look for when you’re buying fruits and veggies
Try to buy organic, if you can. I’m totally aware that organic produce and fruit is sometimes outragous, so do what fits in your budget. Organic or not, wash fruits and veggies before you eat them. I like to rinse my non organic fruit and veggies with 1 part vinegar, 4 parts water to help get them cleaner.
What to avoid when you’re buying packaged items
It’s a good idea to scan labels if you’re searching for healthy packaged items. In general you don’t want to see items high fructose corn syrup, phosphate, soybean oil or mono or diglycerides, partially hydrogenized soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, etc. Basically, if you don’t recognize it or can’t pronounce it, it’s not healthy.
Watch out for added sugars, too. Don’t buy canned fruit with syrup, either. When buying dairy, full fat, organic is much better than low fat or reduced fat dairy.
Have a healthy pregnancy snack idea that I missed? Comment below and share it!
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