Five Easy Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

Whatever the state of your diet before conception, pregnancy is the perfect time to switch to healthier foods. A healthy, balanced diet packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables will help to make sure you have all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Eating the right foods can also help to reduce fatigue, prevent dizziness, limit nausea, and help you to enjoy that famous pregnancy glow.

If you’re used to grabbing snacks from the vending machine at work, chances are you tend to snack on empty calories. Fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate are often high in calories but contain little goodness in terms of nutrition. Pregnancy is the ideal time to ditch the empty calories, and focus instead on consuming nutritious and delicious food. By the end of the pregnancy, you should be eating an extra 200 calories a day. It’s not many extra calories, so you need to make sure all the calories you consume are as nutrient-packed as possible.

So what kind of healthy foods make the ideal pregnancy snacks to help you through the day? Consider these healthy pregnancy snacks.

1. Fresh fruit – this might sound obvious, but fresh fruit is a great snack for during pregnancy. Whether you choose to buy individual fruits each day, or a packaged mixed fruit variety tub to eat as a snack. A bowl of grapes, blueberries or strawberries can be the perfect mid-morning snack to fill you up while providing lots of vitamins and nutrients for your developing baby.

2. Nuts and seeds – if you like to graze throughout the day, having a jar of mixed nuts and seeds on your desk may be the perfect answer. Nuts and seeds are high in fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, iron, and essential fatty acids. If you or the father has a nut allergy, you should speak to your healthcare provider before eating nuts during pregnancy.

3. Salad – green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are a great way to add folate to your diet. Try and include food in different colours to your salad, because this is a great way to ensure you include a mix of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Beetroot, sweet corn, carrot, radish, tomatoes and avocado all taste great in salad. Throw some mixed nuts and seeds on top for added goodness, and enjoy.

4. Cereal – some women find eating breakfast a chore during bouts of morning sickness, and end up skipping cereal altogether. Cereal is often fortified with lots of vitamins and nutrients. If you can’t handle it in the morning, try to eat it as a snack later in the day. Choosing a high fibre cereal will also reduce your chances of experiencing constipation and haemorrhoids during the pregnancy. Dairy or fortified soya milk on top of the cereal can help you to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet, too.

5. Wholegrain toast – switching to whole grains may help you to avoid constipation during pregnancy, and can increase your protein and iron consumption. Toast is a great afternoon snack, and can help to keep hunger at bay. Try spreading peanut butter, avocado or hummus on top for a healthy snack.

What snacks have you been enjoying this pregnancy?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Quick Snacks For the Busy New Mom

When you’re caring for a newborn – or even chasing after a toddler – maternal nutrition may be the last thing on your mind. But taking care of yourself needs to be a priority so you can in turn care for your family. Good nutrition can help moderate some of the fatigue new moms feel, and can help you keep up with the demands of being a mom.

Instead of three meals a day, try for five or six smaller meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar steady and your energy up. This will also keep you from getting overly hungry and binge eating whatever you can get your hands on!

Make every food count nutrient-wise. The most filling meals and snacks will be a combination of a protein, a carbohydrate and a fat. Choose fresh foods with little processing, if possible.

Keep your cupboards and refrigerator stocked with foods that you can grab and go (bonus points if you can eat them one-handed while holding a baby in the other arm). Consider these convenient, yet healthy, choices:

  • Yogurt: The probiotics in yogurt will improve your gut health, and the protein will fill you up. Opt for low fat and organic without added sugar, if you can. Pre-made smoothies are a great convenience food to invest in for the early days at home with a newborn.
  • Fruits, such as bananas, apples, pears, grapes: Keep a bowl of cleaned fruit within reach on your table. Having it in sight makes it more likely you’ll grab a piece when you’re feeling hungry. The fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will provide you with a nutritional boost.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts are nutritional powerhouses, full of healthy fats, protein and heart-healthy minerals. Add some dried fruit and seeds for trail mix goodness. Breastfeeding mothers whose children have a high risk of developing an allergy, may want to discuss with their healthcare provider about eliminating foods such as dairy, nuts, eggs, and fish from their diet. However, so far there is no clear evidence that a breastfeeding mother’s diet will have any effect on whether her baby develops an allergy.
  • Vegetables like baby carrots or celery sticks: Just like fruits, the added vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables will keep you healthy and the fiber will keep you feeling full. Having pre-cut choices in the crisper will make it more likely for you to grab a handful when you’re hungry.
  • Cheese sticks / string cheese: Cheese makes a fantastic snack, and the ease of prepackaged cheese sticks or string cheese make them a likely choice for a busy mom. A part-skim mozzarella stick contains protein and calcium while limiting calories – grab some whole-grain crackers to go along and you’ve got a complete snack.
  • Granola bars / whole grain cereal bars: While these easy snacks come in an amazing variety of choices, be sure to choose brands with less sugar and more fiber. Protein bars also make a good choice for moms who are having difficulty fitting in meals.

In addition, keep water by your side throughout the day, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and more. Make sure you’re drinking about eight 8-ounces glasses of water each day to feel your best – more if you’re breastfeeding.

What are your favorite snacks to have on hand?

Written by Michelle, childbirth educator, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.