MS, RDN, CDN
Allison is a registered dietitian who holds a Master’s in Nutrition and Physical Fitness. She also loves helping families get creative with their wellness choices.
Pregnancy can leave you feeling tired and hungry – and for good reason, you’re building a little human! While our calorie needs do not increase much, our nutrient needs do, so it’s important to make quality food choices. Each time we eat is another opportunity to get the vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development.
If we fall short of our nutrient requirements, the baby’s
needs will be satisfied first, leaving us depleted. Having a variety of
balanced, delicious snacks is key to helping us feel our best while providing
our body and our baby with the right nutrients.
What do we need more of during pregnancy? Folate, iron, and
protein needs increase almost 50% during this time! Nutrients we need more of, along with the
foods they’re found in, include:
When putting together a snack, think about the above foods
as well as having a combination of complex carbohydrate – fresh fruit,
vegetables, or whole grains – along with some protein. The carbohydrates give your body immediate
energy while the protein gives you lasting, satisfying fullness.
Below are ideas for your next snack.
Eat frequently throughout the day.
Going too long without eating can lead to extra fatigue and drops in blood sugar. Eating frequently can help you keep your energy levels up throughout the day as well as provides more chances to get the nutrients you and your baby need. If you know you may be out-and-about or working for longer than this time frame, plan ahead by bringing a portable snack with you, or stocking them in your office or purse, such as:
Remember the combination!
Choose a protein (nuts, seeds, yogurt, cheese, eggs, beans,
poultry, meat) along with a complex carbohydrate (fruits, vegetables, whole
grains) for both quick and lasting energy and satiety.
To help get all the nutrients you and your baby need, choose
different color vegetables and fruit, as well as different types of proteins
and whole grains. This will also help
you to keep your snacks new and interesting so that you don’t get sick of them too
Keep healthy food stocked and in sight.
And hide the foods you’d like to avoid. This way the first thing you see will be your
go-to snack items, making you more likely to eat them. Take the time to cut up fruit and chop
veggies to leave in the fridge for easy grab and go snacks.
processed snack items behind other foods in cabinets or the refrigerator makes
them less accessible. Out of sight, out of mind!
When we eat while multitasking we often do not take the time
to recognize that we have had enough, leaving us eating more than we may really
need in order to satisfy those original hunger pangs. When possible, set aside
what you’re doing so that you can focus on eating your snack, even if for just
5 minutes. Giving yourself time to eat without distraction allows you to be
mindful of your hunger levels and also enables you to enjoy your food!
“Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI).” US Dept of Health and Human Services, National Institues of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, date accessed July 28, 2018 <https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx>
“Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (July 2014) <https://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice%20papers/practice%20papers/practice_paper_healthy_pregnancy.ashx>