Healthy Pregnancy Indian Snacks
Continuing our previous article 'Quick and Healthy Snacks During Pregnancy,' here are some Indian snacks, which are good for pregnant women.
Table of Contents
#Dhokla- Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
Low in calories and high in proteins and fiber, this staple Gujarati snack is one of the most popular and healthy Indian snacks during pregnancy. Made up of gram flour, Dhokla is indeed a fermented food with its fair share of probiotics, helping keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Having a low glycemic index, Dhokla releases glucose at a considerably sustainable rate, helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The benefits of eating Dhokla during pregnancy include:
- The fermentation of Gram flour (besan) provides good bacteria for your gut.
- Being high in probiotics, it helps prevent constipation.
- Helps you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.
- Keeps you full for longer, even without eating much.
- Besan presented in Dhokla ensures proper spinal cord and brain development in the baby.
- The antioxidant property makes it a great snack option for diabetic pregnant women.
- It contains vitamin B6 that is vital for your baby's brain and nervous system development.
- It contains carbohydrates that keep your energy levels up until your next meal.
Also Read: Pregnancy Nutrition Guide - What to Eat and What to Avoid?
Nutritional Value of Dhokla:
The nutrition facts of one piece of Dhokla (serving size: 58g) are as follows:
- Calories: 152
- Fat: 7.4g
- Cholesterol: 3.3mg
- Sodium: 310mg
- Potassium: 240mg
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Protein: 5.7g
- Vitamin A: 1%
- Vitamin C: 1%
- Calcium: 4%
- Iron: 7%
Simply put, Dhokla provides about 4% of your total daily calorie needs, which is 2,000 calories. You can also add ketchup, chutney, cheese, and boiled vegetables like corn, french beans, and carrots to increase the overall nutritional value of Dhokla.
Is Dhokla safe to eat during pregnancy?
Yes. Dhokla is safe to consume during pregnancy but eat it in moderation.
How much Dhokla should I eat during pregnancy?
You can consume one serving of dhokla (86g) occasionally to satisfy your pregnancy cravings.
Tips to make Dhokla healthier and tastier
Dhokla itself is a healthy snack, but you can make it even more delicious and nutritious. Follow the tips given below to make your Dhokla healthier:
- Use sugar in moderation as it can add to the extra fat content in the dish.
- Add Semolina, also known as Rava or Sooji, to make Dhokla rich in phosphorus and magnesium.
- Avoid consuming the dish with a high-calorie combination.
- Slice the dhokla from between, add some mint chutney, and put a slice of paneer in it. This will increase the protein content in Dhokla and make the dish even more flavored and satisfying.
- If you are getting bored with the traditional besan dhokla, try methi palak dhokla or moong dal dhokla. Both are more nutritious and equally yummy!
- If you have kept Dhokla in the refrigerator, steam it again before eating. Dhokla should be eaten at room temperature.
- Although you can refrigerate Dhokla for two to three days, you should consume it the same day during pregnancy.
Also Read: Healthy Pregnancy Snack- Smoothies
#Upma- Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
Made using broken wheat or whole wheat grits, Upma is a standard breakfast dish in South India and can be a healthy protein snack for pregnancy. It is a refined carbohydrate food that is rich in fiber, too.
Like Dhokla, Upma gets digested slowly and helps you curb hunger for a long time. The health benefits of upma during pregnancy include:
- Fortifies your immune system.
- Digests slowly and keeps you full for longer.
- An instant source of energy; keeps you energetic throughout the day.
- Prevent iron deficiency anemia.
- Good for your baby's nervous system and bone development.
- Ensures the efficient functioning of the kidneys.
- Low in cholesterol; good for your heart health.
- Helps to control Gestational Diabetes.
- Smoothens the bowel movement and prevents constipation.
Nutritional Value of Upma:
The nutritional elements found in one regular serving of Upma are:
- Calories: 192
- Carbohydrates: 30.7 g
- Proteins: 4 g
- Fats: 5.8 g
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
- Zinc: 0.5 mg
- Vitamin B3: 0.6 mg
- Iron: 0.7 mg
- Vitamin C: 2.9 mg
- Sodium: 8.2 mg
- Calcium: 14.5 mg
- Magnesium: 20 mg
- Phosphorus: 44.2 mg
- Vitamin A: 49.9 mg
- Potassium: 61 mg
- Folic Acid (vitamin B9): 27.4 mcg
Try iron-fortified semolina (suji) and add a variety of vegetables to make the Upma even more nutritious.
Major Variations of Upma
The different types of Upma you can consume during pregnancy are:
- Sooji or Rava upma
- Oats upma
- Rice upma
- Corn upma
- Whole wheat upma
- Kesari bhath
- Upma pesarattu
Is it safe to eat Upma during pregnancy?
Yes. Upma is absolutely fine to consume in pregnancy but in moderation.
How much Upma should I eat during pregnancy?
You can consume one regular serving of Upma occasionally during pregnancy.
Tips to make Upma healthier and tastier
- Add various types of nuts, like cashew nuts and groundnuts, to increase taste and nutritional benefits.
- Add fiber and mineral-rich vegetables to make your dish healthier.
- Stick to a maximum 1/2 cup quantity of semolina only. This amount is safe to consume during pregnancy.
- If you're a diabetic pregnant woman, switch to Oats Upma instead of Sooji to ensure proper blood sugar management.
- Avoid cooking in too much oil. Switch to diabetic-safe oils, if possible.
Also Read: Sprouts During Pregnancy – Benefits, nutritional value & More
#Idli- Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
Made with fermented rice, Idli is a popular pregnancy snack option due to being a great source of proteins and carbohydrates. It is very light on your stomach, digests quickly, and keeps your energy levels high for an extended period. Additionally, Idli is low on the calorie count and filling in nature. The health benefits of consuming Idli during pregnancy include:
- Digests quickly and prevents constipation.
- Helps maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.
- Keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.
- Helps control blood sugar levels.
- Prevents Iron deficiency anemia.
- Lowers down appetite; keeps you full for longer.
- Prevents carbs from depositing in the body.
Nutritional Value of Idli:
If the idli is made using common ingredients, lentils, and rice, then one idli contains:
- Calories: 35
- Carbohydrates: 7.2 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Iron: 0.2 mg
- Vitamin A: 0.8 mg
- Sodium: 1.1 mg
- Calcium: 4 mg
- Potassium: 30.8 mg
Consider adding cabbage, coriander and mint leaves, curry leaves, beans, finely grated carrots to increase the nutritional value of Idli. Finally, consume it with coconut (nariyal) chutney and lentil-rich sambhar to increase iron intake.
Is it safe to eat idli during pregnancy?
Yes. Idli is safe to eat during pregnancy. Prefer Sooji Idli as you can digest it easily.
How many idlis should I eat during pregnancy?
You can eat one regular serving of Idli occasionally while pregnant.
Tips to make Idli healthier and tastier
Try these tips to prepare a healthy idli dish at home:
- Try variations of the idli recipes to break the monotony.
- Eat in moderation if you're a diabetic pregnant woman.
- Add vegetables like peas and carrots to your recipe for extra fiber and essential nutrients.
- Add whole grains, nuts, and seeds to make Idlis more fiber-rich.
- Limit your chutney intake as too much spice can cause stomach discomfort and digestive issues.
- Avoid instant idli mix as it may contain fewer nutrients.
Also Read: Healthy Pregnancy Snack- Oatmeal
#Poha- Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
Also called beaten rice pilaf, Poha is a staple in most Indian kitchens and a healthy pregnancy snack. It is low in gluten and rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, iron, and fiber. The benefits of eating Poha during pregnancy include:
- Easy to digest; keeps your gut health in check
- Keep you energized with healthy carbohydrates
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Help you fight gestational anemia with iron
- Improves your brain health
- Good source of instant energy
- Promotes bone health
- Boosts immunity
- Good for the intestines
- Low in calories; prevent unnecessary weight gain
- Detoxify your body
Different Types of Poha
There are various types of Poha available, including:
- White Poha: Made from white rice.
- Red Poha: Comes from red rice.
- Brown Poha: Made from brown rice grains.
Nutritional Value of Poha:
One cup of poha is about 60 g and contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 207
- Fiber: 0.42 g
- Fat: 0.72 g
- Protein: 3.96 g
- Carbohydrate: 46.3 g
- Vitamin B1: 0.12 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.03 mg
- Vitamin B3: 2.4 mg
- Phosphorus: 142.8 mg
- Potassium: 92.4 mg
- Magnesium: 60.6 mg
- Sodium: 10.9 mg
- Iron: 2.67 mg
You can turn Poha into a nutritious mini-meal with various vegetables, such as onions, shredded carrots, boiled potatoes, roasted peanuts, beans, tomatoes, and so on. Finish the dish with a few drops of lemon for the taste and a dose of Vitamin C.
Also Read: Coconut Water in Pregnancy – Benefits, Side Effects & More
Is it safe to eat Poha during pregnancy?
Yes. Poha is healthy and safe for pregnant and even for breastfeeding moms. It gets digested quickly, which makes it ideal for women fighting nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
How much Poha should I eat during pregnancy?
One cup that contains about 60 g of Poha is safe to be consumed during pregnancy. You can eat it twice a week. Keep both variation and moderation in mind!
Easy to Prepare Poha Recipes for Pregnant Women
Here are some incredibly easy-to-prepare, quick, and yummy Poha recipes for moms-to-be:
1: Curd Poha
Try this easy-to-prepare Poha recipe when you need a quick snack.
- 1 cup Poha
- 1 cup curd
- 1/2 grated ginger
- 1/4th tablespoon green chili paste
- Salt to taste
How to prepare:
Add soaked Poha, ginger, salt, and green chili paste to curd. Mix all together, let it sit for 5 minutes, and enjoy.
2: Lemon Poha
Use this tangy dish for morning breakfast or evening snacks.
- 1 cup Poha
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon urad dal
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- One finely chopped green chili
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup cubed pieces of boiled potato
- Water, as required
- Salt to taste
How to prepare:
- Soak the poha for 15 minutes in water after washing them twice. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add tempering spices, potatoes, green chilies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and urad dal.
- Sauté until the potatoes turn golden brown.
- Add turmeric, poha, and salt to taste.
- Mix all the ingredients well.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Mix well and enjoy.
3: Sweet Poha
A healthy dessert that keeps you energetic throughout the day!
- 1 cup soaked poha
- One mashed banana
- 1 to 2 tablespoons roughly powdered roasted peanuts
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
- Nuts like almonds, pistachios, or cashews as preferred
How to prepare:
- Add all the ingredients to the soaked poha and mix them well.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy at room temperature.
Also Read: Best fruits to eat during pregnancy
How to choose and prepare the best Poha for pregnancy?
- Always choose brown or red poha made from the best quality organic rice.
- Make sure the poha you choose is sortex cleaned.
- Always buy poha packed in a transparent package so that you can judge its quality. Remember, Poha of good quality retains its taste and aroma for a long time.
- You can eat Poha any time of the day. However, the best time to have Poha is during breakfast.
- Rinse Poha in a colander or a strainer to remove the impurities. Soak for 10 minutes till it softens, and then use it for the recipe.