If you’re like most women, your appetite has increased, yet you can’t fit in the same size meals as you used to before you became pregnant – so now you’re finding that you need to snack a lot more frequently….But you are struggling for snack ideas?
In this blog we’re going to discuss what to look for in a nutritious snack and I’m going to give you 10 nutritious and practical snacks that my clients love.
Firstly, eating nourishing snacks is a good idea during pregnancy. They:
- Help distribute your glucose levels more evenly to reduce the risk, or help control, gestational diabetes
- Enable you to have smaller meals, which is better for reflux
- Help to keep your energy levels up when you’re exhausted, and
- Help to keep morning sickness at bay.
But it’s important to ensure that you’re snacks are nourishing, and that you’re not just filling up on chocolate biscuits and potato chips.
OK, so what are my top suggestions?
Let’s whiz through them….
- A glass of milk – so simple that it’s often over-looked, but many women don’t meet their calcium requirements during pregnancy – especially when they decrease their coffee intake.
- Handful of nuts – Nuts are a common allergy for baby’s, and the latest research shows that including allergens regularly in our diet during pregnancy helps to build up our baby’s immune defence system…so I recommend including a small handful of mixed nuts in your diet most days.
- Celery sticks filled with peanut butter – The allergens found in peanuts are different to those found in other types of nuts, so it’s important that you include some peanuts as well as mixed nuts. Celery sticks filled with peanut butter is a delicious way to help prevent your bub from peanut anaphylaxis – but try not to be too heavy handed with the peanut butter as it is high in calories!
- Fruit smoothie – this is another great way to boost your dairy intake during pregnancy. Although, you may like to make it with soy milk as soy is a common allergen for babies, so it’s good to try to include some in our diet to strengthen our baby’s immune defence. Both soy milk and cow’s milk have a low GI, so smoothies are also great for keeping your blood glucose levels stable.
- Slice of toast – most women don’t need to increase their kilojoule intake much during pregnancy these days, but if you are going to add in some additional kilojoules during pregnancy, the recommended place to get them from is from cereals and grains. Cereals and grains are packed with important pregnancy nutrients like folate and niacin, and the wheat is great for your gut microbiome which will be shared with your baby and help to prevent him or her from future disease. I recommend taking a small tomato with you and just cutting it up to add on top.
- Wholegrain crackers – wholegrain crackers are another way to boost our intake of cereals and grains. Another great spread for pregnancy is avocado as it’s packed with good fats.
- Tin of sardines – Sardines are one of the richest sources of good omega 3 fats. Omega 3 is particularly important for the development of your baby’s brain, and research suggests that increasing omega 3 during pregnancy may actually have an impact on your baby’s learning ability for years to come. Try to choose low salt varieties, particularly if you have pre-eclampsia.
- Mug of vegetable soup – Packed with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, vegie soup makes a great pregnancy snack.
- Homemade popcorn – Give this one a go if you’re struggling with morning sickness….but it can also be a handy snack when on the run. Just make sure that you’re air popping it so that it’s not downed in fat or sugar.
- Corn on the cob – Corn makes a great snack for filling a gnawing stomach. It’s rich in nutrition, and can really hit the spot…particularly if you’re craving carbs.
Well, I hope you found something in there to inspire you! Remember that it’s best to eat every 3 to 5 hours during pregnancy, to help maintain your blood glucose levels.
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