Whether you call them snacks or mini meals, eating small bites throughout the day can be a healthy—and convenient—way to get your fill of essential nutrients, particularly during pregnancy.
When you’re dealing with stomach issues like nausea and food aversions in the early weeks of pregnancy, small bites are easier to stomach. Healthy snacks are also a good way to get nourishment later in pregnancy when you’re feeling stuffed and unable to eat another bite after just a few forkfuls.
Snacks are also an excellent form of nutritional insurance. While your calorie requirements increase during pregnancy (500 more per day by the third trimester), it’s more important than ever to use those extra calories to fill your body with key nutrients that support your baby’s development, especially protein, folate, calcium, vitamin D, DHA (omega-3 fatty acid), iodine, and iron.
Even if you don’t need to eat for two, you may find that you are more hungry now that you are pregnant. Make the most of your hunger pangs by snacking on nutrient-dense healthy snacks. Here are some healthy alternatives for you!
1. Fresh Seasonal Fruits
Place a bowl of fresh fruits on the table. Pick one when hunger strikes! Fruit, which is high in fibre (apple with skin, banana, pear) and nutrients, is one of the healthiest ways to satisfy hunger.
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which aids your body’s absorption of iron from food.
Pick fresh seasonal fruits as often as possible, and whenever possible, eat the fruit with the peel. The peel contains nutrients as well as fibre.
Try a tasty fruit salad or fruit chaat!
For a healthy energy boost, try oat or broken wheat (daliya) porridge. Because porridge digests more slowly than refined cereal, it releases energy over a longer period of time.
You can add chopped fresh fruit, a variety of nuts, or even sprouts and chopped vegetables if you prefer savoury dishes to your porridge.
Porridge contains soluble fibre, which is beneficial to the heart and prevents constipation.
Sprouts are a high-nutrient snack. They are also high in iron and fibre.
Sprouts can be eaten raw in salads or added to raita. Sprouts can also be used in parathas or soups.
4. Fresh smoothie
Blend together some mango (aam), ripe papaya (papita), pineapple (ananas), or a small banana (kela) and curd.
Your fruit smoothie is a delicious and refreshing drink full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and calcium.
Smoothies can also be made with any fruit of your choice, such as peach (adoo), strawberry, or pear (nashpati).
5. Channa or Chhole Salad
Chickpeas (chhole) are an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cucumber (kheera), tomatoes (tamatar), onions (pyaaz), chillies (hari mirch), broccoli (hari gobhi), capsicum (simla mirch), and coriander are all good additions to boiled chana (dhaniya). This will make a delicious and nutritious snack.
To make hummus, mash the boiled chickpeas with garlic and a few drops of olive oil and lime juice. Hummus is best served with whole wheat bread or carrot (gajar) and cucumber (kheera) sticks.
Happy snacking, ladies. Continue to snack on healthy foods despite your cravings for a healthy pregnancy. This will ensure your and your child’s health, as they rely on you to provide them with all the nutrients they need to develop into healthy babies. During your pregnancy, try not to give in to every junk food craving you have. A healthy child has a healthy diet. Ladies, bon appetit. For styling tips during pregnancy check out this blog.