I’ve always enjoyed eating, but my appetite became positively hobbit-like just weeks after becoming pregnant. I read that pregnant women don’t typically gain a lot of weight in early pregnancy, but my body certainly needed the energy from calories to start building a human from scratch!
Now into my third trimester, I’m not eating ginormous meals like I did during the first five months or so. My doctor explained that my stomach doesn’t have much room to expand right now. I still need plenty of calories, but I eat smaller portions more frequently, rather than packing it away in one meal.
These have been my go-to healthy snacks during pregnancy. I’ve gotten tired of almost all of them at some point, but there is enough variety that I can rotate through it a bit.
I hope you can find something from this list that satisfies your cravings and keeps your (and baby’s!) belly full! And of course, if you’re not pregnant, you can still enjoy this list of snack ideas(:
No Prep Pregnancy Snacks:
Almonds are a great choice because just a handful will help take the edge off your hunger (one serving has about 6 grams of protein). They’re also high in minerals.
When I was in the mood for a more traditional snack food, Eric bought me these! We prefer the ingredient list on these snack crackers over Goldfish.
3. Apple slices
Apples fill the need for something sweet, juicy, and crisp! I also found that gala apples were a great remedy for heartburn when it kept me up one night.
When I have more than just the munchies and need a truly filling snack, half of an avocado–sprinkled with Real Salt–is the perfect fix.
5. Bell peppers
In the same vein as apples, bell peppers provide a little sweetness and crunch. They have a lot of Vitamin C, so it’s a good snack to have on hand if colds and flu are going around!
6. Carrot sticks
I’ll admit this isn’t a very filling snack, but they will help to tide you over until the next meal!
I’ve probably eaten cheese more than any other snack. I read that in the third trimester, babies get about 250 milligrams of calcium added to their skeletons each day! Cheese is a great source of calcium! Eric found some aged cheddar for me at The Fresh Market grocery store, and that’s my favorite kind to snack on (although I’ve also been eating plenty of specialty cheeses from Aldi!)*
Crackers aren’t part of our normal pantry staples, but they’ve been a lifesaver for me during pregnancy! During the first trimester, I ate them first thing in the morning to keep nausea at bay, and now I eat them regularly with cheese, hummus, or peanut butter. Aldi carries several brands that are free of high fructose corn syrup.
When I’m heading out the door in a hurry, or just need an energy burst fast, a handful of salted peanuts saves the day!
10. Peanut Butter
We buy a natural brand of peanut butter from Aldi. I smear it on crackers or just enjoy it with a spoon.
Make-Ahead/Minimal Prep Pregnancy Snacks:
For a good protein-rich, fat-rich snack, I love eggs in any form. Except boiled. I haven’t been able to do boiled eggs since getting pregnant! Fried eggs or scrambled eggs with cheese are super quick to prepare and more filling than other snacks.
12. Granola bars
I use a recipe from a family friend, but you can also find good granola bar recipes in Healthy Snacks to Go by Katie of Kitchen Stewardship–or just search online for a recipe! Homemade granola bars are great because you can load them up with healthy mix-ins like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, dark chocolate, coconut, etc.
This recipe makes a nice big batch! Use hummus for dipping veggies or spread it on bread or crackers.
When I have the munchies but I’m not super hungry, I make a batch of stove top popcorn. I like to pop it in coconut oil, peanut oil, or leftover bacon grease and sprinkle it with Real Salt.
15. Pudding or custard
Custard is a perfect pregnancy snack because it’s full of filling, calcium-rich milk, cream, and eggs! I developed this recipe for naturally-sweetened Maple Custard Cups a few months ago, and I think I could eat this every day! This Banana Coconut Pudding is a tasty dairy-free option.
For a mini-meal, I love a crispy quesadilla topped with salsa!
Drinks for Pregnancy:
I’ve been trying to drink water almost constantly throughout the day, but sometimes I want a little something extra! These are the drinks I usually turn to:
18. Grassfed whole milk
Don’t skip on the milkfat when you’re trying to build a baby! But do try to drink milk that’s organic and from grassfed cows. We found a good brand at The Fresh Market: organic whole milk from grassfed cows that is non-homogenized and lightly pasteurized.
19. Apple cider vinegar water
I add a few teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar to my water glass to give me some extra minerals and a change of flavour.
20. Red raspberry leaf tea
I began making and drinking this unsweetened herbal tea after my third trimester began. It will help to strengthen my uterus, balance hormones, and speed postpartum recovery.
We use kefir or yogurt as the base of our smoothies, then load up the blender with frozen strawberries, bananas, spinach, peanut butter, flax seed, a teaspoon or two of kelp powder, or anything else we want to add! For a sweet smoothie recipe, try this Strawberry Cantaloupe Smoothie.
Before you read the comments…
Many of the comments below refer to an earlier version of this post, where I mentioned that I ate (pasteurized) soft cheese during pregnancy, and wished I could drink the raw milk I used to get in Michigan. I revised this post to take out all references to raw milk and cheese. While I do believe that raw milk is a health food, I know that it must be carefully sourced, and that topic is beyond the scope of this post. Regarding the Brie and other soft cheeses I ate during pregnancy, I felt like it was completely safe because all soft cheeses sold in the U.S. are pasteurized, by law. This addresses the concern of listeria.
In spite of my personal diet choices during pregnancy, I really respect my readers here, and y’all were very gracious in pointing out your concerns. Hence, I deleted the references to raw dairy(: But, I thought I should explain that so future readers won’t be confused by all of the comments!