Snacking Tips For Mommies-To-Be

You need extra calories to grow a healthy baby. Make the most of them with these simple recipes for nutritious small bites.

Pregnancy cravings

Your developing baby is constantly drawing nutrients from you, so it’s important to eat more than three times a day to keep your energy levels up. Make the most of those extra calories by choosing foods that are high in the essential nutrients you and your baby need, including folate, calcium, protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids -- and be sure to keep portion sizes in mind.

“Snacks should be mini-meals but not meal wreckers,” says Elizabeth Ward, R.D., author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy (Wiley). “The best snacks combine protein with carbs to keep you fuller longer.”

For example, instead of just grabbing a handful of pretzels, go with whole-wheat pretzels and add a glass of milk, says Ward. If you’re expecting twins, help yourself to a second glass. Ward suggests getting an extra 500 calories a day as soon as you know you’re having more than one baby, because most moms-to-be of twins will deliver before 40 weeks.

Take pleasure in those extra bites. Here are eight snacks that are easy to make, packed with pregnancy nutrients and delicious, too.

Pregnant woman drinking smoothieShamrock smoothie for moms-to-be

Banana, milk and lime sherbet combine for the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat.

Orange-blueberry lassi

In a blender, whip together 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice, 6 ounces low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or ginger) and 3 ice cubes. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

Cantaloupe creamsicles

Try this simple -- and yummy recipe -- from FitPregnancy. It's easy to make, and great for mom and babies.

Warm egg and spinach sandwich

Measure out 1⁄4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese and spread half over each side of a toasted whole wheat English muffin. Top 1 muffin slice with 1⁄2 cup baby spinach leaves and 1 thick tomato slice. Top the other with a scrambled egg, 1⁄2 ounce prepared pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. Assemble and enjoy.

KaleKale quesadillas

Sweet caramelized onions, kale and plenty of cheese on lovely whole wheat tortillas. Make them as a snack or add soup for a complete, nutritious meal.

Lite banana split

Cut 1 small, peeled banana lengthwise in half and place in a shallow dish. Arrange 1⁄2 cup scoop of nonfat strawberry frozen yogurt over the center of both halves and top with 1⁄2 cup sliced fresh strawberries, 2 tablespoons fat-free chocolate syrup and 1⁄2 ounce chopped roasted peanuts (about 14 whole nuts).

Snack mix

Try this snack mix with dark chocolate! Easy to make in big batches and store.

Grab-and-go energy mix

Combine 2 cups All-Bran Extra Fiber cereal with 2 cups fortified puffed wheat cereal, 1 cup mini whole-wheat pretzels, 1⁄3 cup dried cherries, 1⁄3 cup dried currants, 1 ⁄4 cup toasted chopped walnuts, 1⁄4 cup raw pumpkin seeds and 2 ounces cocoa nibs. Evenly divide mixture among 6 zip-top plastic bags. Makes 6 (1 ⁄2-cup) servings.

Vegan pumpkin buttons

A cup of cream cheese frosting will turn these wholesome toddler cookies into mini whoopie pies!

More healthy eating tips

Healthy pregnancy diet: The extra 300 calories
22 Healthy high-protein snacks
How to eat well during pregnancy

Tags: eating for two

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