Healthy Pregnancy Snack- Fresh Fruits, Nature's Ready-Made Snack
“Strike a balance between healthy weight gain and nutritional intake. Try to keep in mind that you are not eating for two, you are eating carefully for one.” - Catherine Jones and Rose Hudson, authors of Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today’s Mothers-to-Be.
During pregnancy, your body works hard for the baby's growth and development. Both you and your unborn baby need a constant energy supply; hence munching on nutritious snacks between your meals becomes imperative.
According to a report, pregnant women need about 300 extra calories each day to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Related Article: Weight gain during pregnancy- detailed guide
The key to optimum weight gain during pregnancy is sticking to a well-balanced, nutritious diet that provides you the recommended calories. Here is a rough breakdown of calories by each trimester:
- First Trimester: No extra calories are required unless you are underweight!
- Second Trimester: The fetus is growing fast. Increase your calorie intake by 300 to 350 calories a day.
- Third Trimester: Increase your calorie intake up to 400-500 calories daily.
And if you're pregnant with twins or multiples, add about 250-300 calories daily to these counts for each baby.
Thus, eating a healthy and balanced diet is very important for a healthy pregnancy. Snacks play a vital role in a healthy eating plan, especially when eating frequently but in limited quantities.
For pregnant moms, it’s recommended to eat three regular meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and two to three snacks each day. This usually means eating one mid-morning snack followed by lunch and a mid-afternoon snack in the evening.
For some pregnancy symptoms like heartburn and nausea, it’s better to eat small but frequent meals.
Here are some delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make snack recipes to satisfy your cravings and keep your energy levels up during pregnancy.
20 Quick and Healthy Snacks During Pregnancy
Presented below are 20 quick, easy homemade snack recipes packed with a lot of essential nutrients for a pregnant woman. The best thing about these recipes is that they require less effort to get ready, and you can enjoy them anytime, anywhere, as they are easy to pack and carry.
- Fresh Seasonal Fruits
- Roasted Makhanas
- Chickpea Chaat/Chana chat
- Curd with Almonds
- Corn Chaat
- Carrot & cucumber sticks
- Roasted Chana/Peanuts
- Mix of Peanuts, Puffed Rice & Bengal Gram
- Masala Papad
- Sweet Potato Chaat/Chips
- Mixed Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruits
- Whole Wheat Sandwich
- Vegetable Cutlets/Tikkis
Fresh Seasonal Fruits
Rich in fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, fruits are among the most nutritious options to beat the pregnancy hunger pangs.
The best fruits to eat during pregnancy are:
- Apples, good source of Vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium
- Bananas, good source of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber
- Oranges, good source of folate, vitamin C, water
- Dried fruit, good source of fiber, energy
- Avocados, good source of fiber, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, E, K
- Berries, good source of Vitamin C, fiber
- Pears, good source of fiber, potassium, folate
- Mangoes, good source of Vitamins A and C
- Pomegranates, good source of Vitamin K, calcium, iron, fiber
Fruits to avoid during pregnancy:
According to a recent study, eating fruits during pregnancy positively affects a baby’s cognitive development. Other benefits of eating fruits during pregnancy include:
- Provides essential nutrients to help your baby grow properly
- Helps satisfy your sweet or sour cravings healthily
- Helps you combat pregnancy nausea
- Manages your blood sugar
- Prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, and anemia
- Keeps your body hydrated
- Helps relieve leg cramps
- Regulates your blood pressure
- Promotes a stronger immune system
Citrus fruits have higher levels of Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb dietary iron efficiently. The best citrus fruits to eat during pregnancy are:
- Indian gooseberry (amla)
How much fruit to eat during pregnancy?
Medical professionals usually recommend adding two to four servings of fruit to your diet every day.
In general, one serving of fruit equals:
- One cup of cut fresh, frozen, or canned fruit.
- 8 ounces of fruit juice.
- Half cup of pureed fruit.
- Half cup of dried fruit.
- A medium piece of the whole fruit that is equal to or larger than the size of a tennis ball.
Keep these serving sizes in mind to ensure you're not overeating fruits.
How to eat more fruits during pregnancy?
Keep a bowl full of fresh seasonal fruits ready on your dining table. Whenever hunger strikes between meals, eat the one you crave for.
Here are some ways you can add fruit to your diet:
Pre Breakfast Snack - Around 7 AM
- Dry fruits/crackers
Breakfast - Around 9 AM
- Cereal with berries, apricots, or raisins
- Grapefruit, oranges, melon, or other fruit
- Small (6-ounce) glass of juice
Lunch - Around 1 PM
- Fruit chaat/salad with lunch
- Piece of fruit sticks instead of chips
Evening Snacks - Around 5 PM
- Dried fruits, such as raisins, or dried apricots
- Fresh fruit, such as kiwi, apple, banana, etc
- Frozen fruits, such as peas, bananas, or grapes, on hotter days
Dinner - Around 8 PM
- Fruit with dinner
This is just an example! Adjust the quantities to make sure you don't eat more than the standard serving size.
Tips and precautions for eating fruits during pregnancy:
As a pregnant woman, you should be careful when eating fruits. Follow the tips and precautions below to keep yourself and your baby safe from foodborne diseases:
- Shop for fruits at stores and markets that keep them separate from raw foods such as seafood, meat, and poultry. The germs often found in raw food can make you sick.
- Avoid buying bruised or damaged fruits.
- If possible, eat fruits without peeling because peels are also a great source of fiber and nutrients.
- Wash fruits and cutting utensils thoroughly under clean, running water for a few minutes to remove germs and chemical traces.
- Avoid using soap or artificial detergents and bleach solutions to wash fruits. Instead, rub the outer surface with a small scrub brush to remove surface dirt.
- Cut off the damaged or bruised areas as they often contain bacteria. Throw away rotten fruits.
- If you have gestational diabetes, it’s recommended to avoid fruit juices and keep fruit serving small. Make sure to consult your doctor first.
- Make sure to store fresh fruits in the refrigerator away from the raw meat.
- Drink sterilized and processed fruit juices to stay away from harmful bacteria.
- Dry fruit or vegetables with a clean paper towel.
- Do not use Fruits as a staple food
- Do not squeeze the fruit to drink
- Eat fruits in moderation
- Don't eat fruits that are too cold
- Limit your salt intake while eating fruits
Consult your doctor about your pregnancy eating plan and to make sure what is right for you.