Pregnant women have a reputation for being hungry and for good reason. When you are pregnant you are not quite eating for two, but it takes a lot of energy to grow this little one. Hunger hits pregnant women hard and you may feel nauseous, tired, and shaky all at once.
Nutritious snacking can help you keep your energy up, provide needed nutrients, and even combat nausea during pregnancy.
Snacks are an important part of a balanced diet for a number of reasons. First, blood sugar typically dips several hours after eating, and small, frequent snacks smooth out those energy peaks and valleys, fight fatigue, and keep the metabolism humming. Second, having several snacks a day helps curb cravings and prevents hunger pangs. And third, snacking adds structure to a daily eating plan, providing a boost even when schedules are erratic.
Not all snacks are created equal, however. To maintain energy throughout the day, you want to choose intelligently. Limit “dessert snacks” like cookies, cake, and ice cream. They provide quick jolt but often leave you with a blood sugar crash soon after. Foods with a lot of sodium, saturated fat, sugar substitutes, and trans fats (that is, partially hydrogenated oils) should also be avoided because they don’t deliver much nutrition bang for your buck. Combine protein with a small amount of carbohydrate to balance hunger and keep blood sugar steady. For example:
- Whole grains grain crackers topped with cream cheese, cucumber, sliced cheese, and capers
- Organic avocado wrapped in thinly-sliced turkey
- Organic greek yogurt with berries, bananas, and granola
- Snack bars such as Chocolate Dipped Coconut LUNA Bar or Fruit and Nut Mojo Bars made with organic ingredients
If you are coping with morning sickness, trial and error will help you find tolerable foods. (Bland, starchy, and easy-to-digest snacks like crackers or pretzels work well). Stick with choices that won’t upset your stomach until you can expand your appetite.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Tara DelloIocano Theis, RD, Clif/LUNA Bar, and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Tara DelloIacono Thies, RD or Clif/LUNA Bar. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.