In honor of National Snack Food Month in February, The American Pregnancy Association wants to help expecting mothers make the healthiest choices possible when it comes to enjoying treats between meals. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to a baby’s growth and development. Women must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, protein sources and dairy products to get the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.
“Most days, we need a snack or two to make it through the day, and if we make nutritious choices, snacking can make a positive impact on our overall health,” says American Pregnancy Association President Lynn Handley. “Typically, mothers will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day to help with the development and growth of their child. To help expecting mothers make healthy choices, we made a list of our favorite snacks.”
The American Pregnancy Association recommends these healthy and delicious snacks that mothers can enjoy anytime:
Snacks packed with calcium
- At least 1,000 mg of calcium is needed daily to support a pregnancy. Calcium is essential for building healthy teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function.
- Consider trying Greek yogurt with granola, oats or mixed berries, cottage cheese (with any toppings, or as a salad dressing replacement), or cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and basil.
Fruits and veggies
- Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily, which is available in fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and honeydew, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussel sprouts.
- Consider trying apple slices, carrots, or celery dipped in peanut butter; cucumber (or any veggies) dipped in hummus or pepper slices to dip in guacamole.
- Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans contain the protein, B vitamins and iron needed in pregnancy. A developing baby needs plenty of protein, especially in the second and third trimesters. Iron helps to carry oxygen to the growing baby, and also carries oxygen to the mother’s muscles to help avoid symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression. The U.S. RDA recommends consuming about 27 mg per day.
- Consider trying hard-boiled eggs, mixed nuts or Safe Catch Elite tuna that is made for pregnant women and children. Safe Catch invented a new technology to become the only brand that tests every fish to a strict mercury limit.
Satisfy your sweet tooth
- A nutritious diet during pregnancy means avoiding fat and sugar, to help fight those sugar cravings the experts at Nightfood Ice Cream developed eight flavors of ice cream that are packed with protein plus prebiotic fiber, digestive enzymes, amino acids and a special mineral blend that includes magnesium and calcium.
- Each scoop provides glycine to help suppress acid reflux, prevent sugar spikes while being sleep-friendly. It has less sugar, fat and calories to satisfy your sweet tooth while maintaining a healthy diet.
“Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person. Your decision to incorporate delicious vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean protein and other food choices into your eating plan before and during pregnancy will give your baby a strong start in life. Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced diet can be one of the greatest gifts you give to your developing baby.”