Eat This, Not That: Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

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Images via Flickr

Pregnancy cravings, you guys — they are intense, sudden, and very, very real. 

I don't think I've ever met a pregnant woman who hasn't had a craving at least once or twice during her pregnancy. The first time around, I craved ice cream, cake, cookies, and even a few healthful things like watermelon and grapes. This time, I'm all about meat and cheese, chicken wings, and spicy pizza. What a difference a pregnancy makes!

I believe when you're pregnant you should cater to some of those indulgences, but splurging too much can lead to high blood pressure and even complicate gestational diabetes.

Moderation and healthy pregnancy snacks are the keys to curbing your cravings.

Additionally, many typical cravings (especially potato chips, chocolate, and cookies) are relatively empty calories with very little nutritional value. For hungry pregnant women, this can mean overeating and excessive weight gain.

Moderation and healthy pregnancy snacks are the keys to curbing your cravings. For the days when you can't beat the craving for ice cream or cookies, here is my list of Eat This, Not That: Healthy pregnancy snacks.

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Image via Flickr/AnneCN

Milkshake 

Eat This:  Homemade Banana Fruit Smoothie — If you're craving creamy, cold and sweet, a homemade fruit smoothie is the way to go. Mix two or three strawberries, a half a banana, a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, a splash of milk and a few ice cubes. Blend well and enjoy a sweet treat with 165 calories, 6 grams of fat and 23 grams of sugar.

Not That: Banana Milkshake from Steak N Shake — Restaurants make it way too easy to add on a milkshake at the end of your meal, but it will cost you in sugar, fat, and calories.  A regular banana milkshake from Steak N Shake has 610 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 95 grams of sugar.

MORE: Living With Gestational Diabetes }

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Image via Flickr/whitneyinchicago

Chips and Dip

Eat This: Carrots and Hummus — Often, cravings from chips boil down to a craving for salt and a little crunch. Adding a dip (like French Onion) brings an additional flavor profile and some coolness to your snack. I personally love to curb my chip cravings with some fresh baby carrots and hummus (I'm partial to garlic hummus). Twelve baby carrots and two oz of hummus has about 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (with only 1 gram of saturated fat), and 1 gram of sugar. The high fiber and protein will keep your pregnant belly full until the next meal.

Not That: Ruffles Potato Chips and French Onion dip — Ruffles have ridges, but also lots of saturated fat and calories. Plus, adding creamy French Onion dip adds more empty calories and fat. Twelve Ruffles potato chips and 2 oz of French Onion dip will set you back 360 calories, 25 grams of fat (4 grams of saturated fat), and a whopping 260 grams of sodium. 

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Image via Flickr/enviziondotnet

Chocolate

Eat This: Chocolate Flavored Almonds — If you're not allergic, nuts are a great snack for pregnant women, providing protein to keep you full and give you energy. Roasted almonds come in almost any flavor you can imagine, but to curb a chocolate craving, snag a container of chocolate flavored almonds. A fourth of a cup has about 150 calories, only 1 gram of saturated fat, and only 1 gram of sugar. They are relatively low in sodium, too.

Not That: Hershey's Chocolate Bar — The smell of a fresh Hershey's chocolate bar is one of life's small pleasures, but how can you stop after you open it? Spoiler alert: you can't — and it will cost you. A full chocolate bar is 210 calories, has 8 grams of saturated fat and 25 grams of sugar. The protein count is only 3 grams, which means this snack won't stay with you. 

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Image via Flickr/Anne Piccolo

Cheesecake

Eat This: Greek Yogurt and Fresh Berries — Yogurt has been on the “super foods” list for a long time, but for a nutritional power play during pregnancy, try Greek yogurt instead. Flavored Greek yogurt, like Chobani Vanilla blended non-fat yogurt, can taste like a desert, especially when you add a fourth of a graham cracker crumbled and some fresh strawberries. The snack will give you about 180 calories, 20 g of sugar and 14 grams of protein. Who needs a slice of cheesecake when you can have this decadent desert? 

Not That: When a dessert has the words “cheese” and “cake” together, you probably know it's not going to be good for you. Here's where I ruin your day: A typical slice of New York style cheesecake has 400 calories, 12 grams of saturated fat, more than 500 grams of sodium and about 27 grams of sugar. 

What nutritional swaps do you make for your favorite indulgences? 

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What do you think?

Eat This, Not That: Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

Tell us what you think!

5 comments

  1. Casey says:

    This actually helps. Some of that food looks awesome. I am going to try that next time I am craving something sweet.

  2. Junell says:

    Having diabetes makes snacking extremely difficult, especially since I have to share with my 18 month old. I crave beef sticks.

  3. Lynna says:

    ah, i know i have a huge prob with eating stuff i crave…i just have to, sooooo yummy lol ‘n’ bad

  4. Jenny says:

    Al of these are simple and sound good, I’m hungry for chocolate covered almonds now!

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