Healthy and Delicious Pregnancy Snacks

Pregnant woman eating peanut butter in kitchen
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Pregnancy is a time when you may think about your nutrition more than before. While your nutrient needs for most nutrients do not double, contrary to the old "Eating for two" adage", you do need more food and more nutrients while pregnant. Since taste preferences can change during pregnancy, it's helpful to have an assortment of snack ideas on hand.

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Pregnancy Food Cravings: Myth or Reality?

How Much Extra to Eat While You're Pregnant

There's no definitive answer to the question of how much more a person might need to eat during pregnancy since we each have individual energy needs.

General research has shown that pregnant people don't require much extra energy intake in the first trimester and roughly 350-450 calories more in the second and third trimesters. This would vary depending on whether someone was experiencing nausea at any point, how much food they typically require each day, and other factors.

Ideally, listening to your body's needs and eating when you feel hungry is recommended. In addition, your healthcare team will keep an eye on markers of health like blood pressure, your baby's size to monitor your overall health during pregnancy. 

Snacks can be a really handy way to increase the variety of nutrition that you get from the foods you choose each day.

The Best Snacks for Pregnant Women

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are all important during pregnancy, as well as when not pregnant. Balancing snacks with a combination of these nutrients can be a great way to get all three.

If you notice your meals typically contain more of one of the three, then snacks can utilize the other two to balance out the day. If you're feeling nauseated, ensuring your snacks contain protein might help. If you're experiencing constipation, foods that contain whole grains and other higher fiber foods can assist.

There are plenty of ways to make delicious, nutrient-rich snacks that don't take a ton of time.

  1. Crackers and cheese. This is a great way to get both protein and fiber. Eat a few slices of cheese with some nice whole-grain crackers, which come in a variety of textures and flavors.
  2. Nuts and/or seeds. A bag full of nuts and/or seeds is always handy to have around and it doesn't require preparation or refrigeration. Nuts are protein powerhouses and contain an assortment of unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Fresh fruit. Every morning you can grab an extra piece of fruit for your desk and stash a container of yogurt in the office fridge or an insulated lunch bag. An apple, banana, or orange requires very little thought or preparation and is a perfect companion to a cool, creamy yogurt. You can also go with fruit and yogurt parfait cups, which are available almost everywhere in the grab and go sections of stores.
  4. Hard-boiled eggs. These are compact snacks to carry with you, but they do require a fridge. If you like hard-boiled eggs, they can be an easy way to increase your protein. Some moms also swear by their ability to quell morning sickness.
  5. Dips and sticks. Traditional carrot sticks and celery are great, as is broccoli and other veggies with dips. Try bean dips, hummus, and other fun sauces on your vegetables.

Consider Talking to a Nutritionist

In the end, talking regularly with your provider about your health is imperative, but you should also consider talking to someone who has extensive nutrition training to help you ensure that you are meeting daily nutrient needs to support your health and your baby's.

This conversation is even more important if you are a vegetarian, particularly if you're new to the practice, to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your baby needs. 

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