I am going to be totally honest with you, my pregnancy diet has been not great. During the first trimester it was a constant battle to find anything that sounded even remotely edible, and now as I near the end of the second trimester, I’m realizing how much my body seems to want sweets. I could literally eat cinnamon rolls every day and be the happiest pregnant woman in the world.
But as I saw this pattern of excess sugar, insufficient protein and calcium emerging, I decided I had to do better for me and for the baby. I am not normally a terrible eater, I’m great with fruits and veggies and I’m right on track with my weight gain, but the diet change has been a little tough. I’m finding that coming up with snack ideas is the toughest and probably most important part of staying on track.
As the baby slowly takes over more of my insides, my meals are getting smaller and snacks are becoming more important. I have to work hard to get my protein, fruits/veggies, calcium, and yes, carbs in each day. So when I started coming up with snacks I had a few criteria. They had to be at least somewhat portable, they had to taste good and they had to hit at least 2 dietary groups to count.
After several weeks of trying, these are my top 10 favorite pregnancy snacks.
MULTIGRAIN CRACKERS AND CHEESE
This is one of my favorites. It’s quick, easy, portable and depending upon the types of cheese and crackers you buy, it’ll get you some healthy carbs, lots of fiber and help you with protein and calcium. Plus, it’s just plain delicious.
I have to confess, I was never a smoothie person before pregnancy. But my love of fruit has gotten even greater with this baby. My normal smoothies are made of orange juice, greek yogurt and frozen fruit. My favorite combination is OJ, yogurt, frozen mango and a few frozen strawberries. Warning, if you add too many frozen berries, you’re going to have a seed overload. Play around with fruits, juices and yogurts you like, you won’t be sorry.
APPLES AND PEANUT BUTTER
This is a classic snack that I have loved for years. But now it’s a great way to get an extra serving of fruit and a serving of protein. If you’re not a peanut butter fan, there are all kinds of other nut butters out there. And don’t forget Nutella. You can splurge a little from time to time.
WHOLE WHEAT BAGELS AND CREAM CHEESE
Much like the crackers and cheese, these yummy snacks will get you fiber, protein and calcium in a delicious bite. You can definitely add some fruit on top if you don’t like plain cream cheese (like me) or if you just need a little sweetness in your snacks (also like me).
CARROTS AND HUMMUS
This is another great, portable snack. If you’re willing to pay for prepackaged baby carrots, it couldn’t be easier. Just a package of carrots and a small container of hummus, whatever flavor you like. The roasted pepper hummus has been a favorite of mine during pregnancy. The carrots give you a dose of veggies and the hummus gets you a dose of protein. And it’s delicious.
This is a great take with you snack, and you have so much control if you make your own (but store bought are often good too). My favorite is dried fruits, usually raisins and apricots, granola, and nuts, typically cashews, peanuts and almonds. You can toss a few m&ms in if you want the sweetness. Make a big batch and divide into baggies for a daily hit of fruits, fiber and protein.
WHOLE WHEAT ENGLISH MUFFIN OR WAFFLE AND PEANUT BUTTER
This is another easy one to take with you and it doesn’t take much time to prepare. Most grocery stores will have whole wheat english muffins in the bread aisle or look through the frozen waffle selection to find the whole wheat ones. This snack will net you some good carbs and some protein.
COTTAGE CHEESE WITH FRUIT
I’m not typically a big cottage cheese fan, but since I am very much not a fan of milk, I have had to search high and low to get my calcium in each day. Most grocery stores sell little prepackaged cottage cheese or yogurt and fruit, but you can easily make your own if you want. This is a great calcium, protein and fruit source. My mom also recommends cottage cheese with tomatoes, but that is something I’ll just never be able to stomach.
EDAMAME AND OJ
I am a huge edamame fan and it just happens to be an easy, delicious source of protein. Edamame can be found pre-cooked in some refrigerator sections and frozen in most grocery stores. It’s good with a light sprinkle of sea salt, but it’s certainly not required. I like to pair it with calcium fortified orange juice for the sweetness and to get my calcium kick. And because the baby goes totally nuts whenever I drink orange juice and that makes me way happy.
CEREAL AND MILK
Obviously you need to choose your cereal carefully since Lucky Charms are hardly a good source of good carbohydrates, but there are others out there, check your labels, that get you fiber, whole grains and other nutrients. I eat mine with soy milk because milk and I are not friends, but you can choose the milk of your choice for your calcium boost.