A diet supplemented with healthy snacks during pregnancy is important for both mothers and their babies. Making the effort to prepare snacks that are healthy can be challenging. Just like young children, an expectant mother often finds healthy meals unappetizing or nauseating. Simple foods are usually much more appealing. Here are some healthy snacks that are nutritionally dense but simple enough for even an exhausted mom-to-be.
Dried fruits are healthy snacks that appeal to a woman’s sweet tooth, but are also packed with power! A study published in the Journal of Nutrition said that these tasty snacks are associated with a reduced risk of Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). Raisins were especially praised for preventing a woman’s water from breaking too early.
Dates are also especially healthy. According to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, consuming date fruit during the final weeks before the baby is due reduces the need for induction and augmentation of labor. These convenient snacks, the authors claimed, also lead to a more favorable delivery.
Oranges are high in folic acid which the CDC says is crucial during pregnancy. They are also healthy because of their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption and reduces risks of anemia. One navel orange also provides 60 mg of calcium! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests 1000 mg of calcium per day. According to the Cochrane Collaboration, getting enough calcium helps pregnant women prevent hypertensive disorders. Being 90% water, oranges can also count towards a woman’s healthy fluid intake.
Bananas are rich in potassium. They offer quick energy to fight off fatigue. They are also very comforting for women dealing with morning sickness. Keep this power food on hand to enjoy alone or sliced up on a bowl of cereal.
Kale is considered a super food. It’s loaded with 90 mg of calcium per cup! The thought of eating a plate of kale may not sound appetizing, but when cooked up with sea salt and olive oil, kale chips are a delicious, healthy treat!
The Incredible Egg
Meat is one source of protein that is often hard to stomach at this time. Eggs are a healthy alternative protein source. They are packed with amino acids like methionine which can help improve mood. Eggs also contain zinc which can help with stress. Hard boiling organic eggs in advance provides quick, nutritionally dense snacks.
More information about healthy snacks can be found at the USDA’s Choose My Plate website.