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Quick and Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

A hungry woman is an angry woman, even more so when she is pregnant. Pregnancy is one of the few times snacking in between breakfast, lunch and dinner is highly encouraged. A pregnant lady’s appetite is somewhat similar to the appetite of a growing child because instead of eating three meals a day, you feel your stomach growling every few hours. As tempting as it may be to grab a bar of chocolate or a bag of potato chips, it is very important to practice a healthy snacking habit because at the end of the day a healthy mummy results in a healthy baby.

As we all know, most healthy food require quite a number of ingredients and a long prep time which means spending too much money in the grocery store and too much time standing in the kitchen, where it is nothing but hot and stuffy. None of you moms-to-be want that, right?

That is why we have come up with a list of 15 ideas of healthy snacks that require little or no prep time. These snacks will fill you up and provide your growing baby with the nutrients needed in all three stages of your pregnancy.

What Snacks Can I Enjoy in My First Trimester?

In your first trimester, which ranges from four to thirteen weeks you do not have to stock up on the calories but it is important to eat a fair amount of folate-rich foods. What are folates you might ask? Folates are the natural form of folic acid found in some food. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 is most needed in your first trimester because it helps prevent birth defects of the spinal cord and the brain which occur at a very early stage of development, sometimes even before one knows she is pregnant. However, fortified food like wheat flour and cereals have folic acid added to them and is best avoided during your pregnancy.

Below are five snacks rich in folate and are super easy to make:-

  • Spinach and beetroot salad
  • Sauteed asparagus with yogurt dip
  • Sliced oranges
  • Dark chocolate covered almonds
  • Steamed corn seasoned with salt

Vitamin A also contributes to the development of your baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, bones, circulatory system, respiratory system and central nervous system. However, be sure to consume the right amount of vitamin A because too much may be harmful to you and your baby. The average intake of vitamin A a day during pregnancy should be about 100mcg. Vitamin A from animal foods is called retinol and is found in cheese and eggs. Liver contains retinol as well but is best to avoid as it has levels that are too high and is not considered to be safe during your pregnancy.

What Nutrients Should I Focus On in My Second Trimester?

In your second trimester, ranging from fourteen to twenty-seven weeks be sure to get as much calcium in your body as possible because this is when your baby’s teeth and bones are starting to develop. For this stage of your pregnancy, it is best to consume food rich in vitamin D as it helps your body absorb and use calcium. On top of that, vitamin D also reduces your risk of high blood pressure, so that is basically a plus point for you. Dairy product contains the most amount of calcium so the best options would be yoghurt and milk but if you happen to be lactose intolerant, fear not! Just substitute dairy products with soy based products.

Here are five snacks packed with Vitamin D:-

  • A bowl of yoghurt topped with fruit of your choice
  • Sardines on toast
  • A can of tuna & crackers
  • Scrambled eggs on toast
  • A bowl of oatmeal topped with berries

Another supplement that contributes to the development of bones is magnesium. Besides that, sufficient intake of magnesium results in your body working efficiently because it has the effect of converting consumed food into energy that helps regulate your body temperature. Some snacks you could consider eating for a balanced intake of magnesium would be a baked potato or pumpkin seeds.

Am I Allowed To Eat Extra in My Final Trimester?

In your third and final trimester, ranging from twenty-eight weeks onwards it is crucial that you have sufficient energy. An energy booster would be vitamin C and thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. This is when you need to stock up on an additional 200 calories daily, so eat away ladies! Vitamin C plays an important role all through your pregnancy. It helps in protecting cells against damage and keeping your immune system in good shape among many other things.

It is a known fact that fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C, so try implementing tomatoes into salads, fruits in your bowl of oatmeal and make more fruit smoothies. However, most of us destroy the nutrients in vegetables by overcooking them. So, it is best to eat them raw or lightly steamed. For a balanced source of thiamine, the best foods would be beans and brown rice. You might also start feeling a little constipated during your last trimester so it is extremely important to consume at least 1.5 litres of fluid each day.

These are some snacks rich in vitamin C:-

  • Bean salad with your favourite dressing
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Grilled vegetables – tomatoes, broccoli, carrots
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Sweet potato fries

So ladies, no more grabbing unhealthy snacks out of the refrigerator and feeling guilty about it. These 15 quick and healthy snacks will help you cope with your pregnancy cravings.

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