When you're pregnant, you may have all kinds of cravings, but if you're hungry, it's important to snack smart. These 15 snack ideas will not only help you conquer your cravings, but they're also loaded with the nutrients you and your baby need.
Apples have lots of fiber, which can fight constipation and help lower cholesterol. All that fiber helps you feel full, but apples are still pretty low-cal. Eat your apples with cheese or peanut butter for extra calcium and protein.
14 Not so Bad for You Nachos
Craving some crunchy chips or nachos? They're not as bad as you might think! Use baked tortilla chips, a little cheese, and some salsa (usually low cal and fat free) to get your Tex-Mex fix. You can also easily make your own fresh salsa or mash up a little avocado and make guacamole. Avocado is packed with potassium, which can help ward off those pesky leg cramps some pregnant ladies complain about.
13 Easy Fruit Smoothie
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get your fill of fruits, and even sneak in some veggies, too! They can be a snack, a meal, or even dessert. Beware of store-bought or smoothie chain drinks, though. Some can be made with ice cream or fruit syrups rather than fresh fruit, juice, and yogurt, which really ups the calories and sugar.
12 Veggies and Hummus
If you have the urge to snack on something crunchy, reach for the fresh celery, carrots, and pepper strips. Snacking on fresh veggies will give you more vitamins and minerals than eating your veggies cooked. And, hummus is high in protein, which is especially important in your last trimester, when baby's brain is developing rapidly.
11 Watermelon Sundae
Mix up some watermelon, yogurt (or even a fresh fruit sorbet) berries, bananas, and almonds for a make-believe sundae. It might not have hot fudge and whipped cream, but it has watermelon, which is great for keeping you hydrated and fighting off nausea.
Ice pops are a great way to use up overripe fruit and they make a great after-dinner treat. These strawberry peach pops are a great way to pack in some folate, which is important for baby's developing nervous system.
9 Reach for Some Fruit
If you need something sweet, head for the produce section and load up on fruit. Mango is sweet and packed with vitamin C. Oranges, pineapples, and papaya are a great way of adding folic acid. Bananas, kiwi, and peaches have lots of potassium. You really can't go wrong with fruit.
8 Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are super easy to prepare, and you probably always have a carton of eggs in the fridge. Toss in some cheese, onions, peppers, or turkey sausage while the eggs are cooking. Or, boil some eggs to snack on later. Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals, and some brands may be enriched with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps build your baby's brain and nervous system.
7 Craving Chocolate?
Hurrah! You don't have to give up chocolate. Some studies have shown that pregnant women who regularly indulge in chocolate are less likely to develop preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition that can cause swelling of the hands, feet, and legs. Pair some dark chocolate with dried cherries or apricots (apricots are loaded with beta-carotene) or some almonds for extra texture, and extra vitamins!
6 Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet potato chips are the perfect cure for your sweet and salty (and crunchy) craving. You can also switch up the spices to add a little heat. Lower in fat and sodium than regular potato chips, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and also contain vitamins A, C, and B6--a snack you can feel good about munching on.
5 Trail Mix
Make your own trail mix with pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, raw almonds, and dark chocolate pieces. The pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate provide magnesium while the almonds provide calcium and iron. Trouble sleeping at night? The cherries contain melatonin, so snack on those before bed if you need help sleeping.
4 Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt is loaded with calcium and protein. It actually has more protein than regular yogurt. The probiotics in yogurt also help your digestive system. Adding some fresh blueberries packs a sweet antioxidant punch, and topping your yogurt with granola or nuts can add some extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
3 Baked Potato
Potatoes contain folate, potassium, and iron--vitamins and minerals that are all essential during pregnancy. Baked potatoes can be a filling snack or a light meal. Top with cheese or swap out the sour cream for some Greek yogurt and top with chopped parsley and chives.
2 Caprese Salad
Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of red wine vinegar make a super easy salad. A cup of grape tomatoes is around 50 calories and are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which studies have shown can lower the risks of heart disease and cancer.
1 Cheese and Crackers
While it's best to avoid soft, unpasteurized cheeses, you can still snack on hard cheese like cheddar, gouda, and gruyere; just make sure the cheese is made from pasteurized milk. Cheese is high in protein and calcium, and when paired with whole grain crackers, you're getting some fiber, too. Some women swear by nibbling on crackers to fight off nausea, and wrapped cheese sticks are super-easy to toss in your bag so you can snack on the go!