Pregnancy is a time when you may think about your nutrition more than before. In previous years, we've told women that they were eating for two. This lead to many women consuming way too many calories, not to mention lots of junk food. This put a strain on their health and that of their babies.
Now research has shown that pregnant moms need about 1 extra snack per day to help grow a healthy baby. That works out to about 300 extra calories per day. The hard part is deciding how to spend those calories every day. Obviously they can be used to eat a candy bar or choose snacks that pack a nutritional punch.
Protein is a great choice for a snack because it is the building block for every cell. It also helps many moms when they are feeling fatigued or even nauseated. Some moms go for fiber to help decrease some of the more common but uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy like constipation. There are plenty of ways to spend the extra calories. Here are some of my favorite snack combinations:
- Crackers and cheese. This is a great way to get some protein and fiber. I loved being able to eat a few slices of cheese with some nice whole grain crackers. It was also fun to try lots of different crackers, even trying some of the newer version of old favorites that have less fat.
- Nuts. A bag full of nuts was always handy to have around and it did not require preparation or refrigeration. There were times in pregnancy I had specific cravings, like almonds or pecans, but usually I could eat almost any type of nut available. These are great protein powerhouses.
- Fresh fruit. Every morning you could grab an extra piece of fruit for your desk. An apple, banana or orange requires very little thought or preparation. I am fond of the mandarin oranges. Now you can find fruit cups almost every where in the grab and go sections of stores.
- Hard boiled eggs. These are compact snacks to carry with you, but do require a fridge. If you like these, they can be an easy way to increase your protein. Some moms I know also swear by their ability to quell morning sickness.
- Dips and sticks. Carrot sticks and celery are great. But today we often use broccoli and other veggies with dips. Try bean dips, humus and other fun sauces on your vegetables.