Get Your (Healthy) Snack On
The snacks you choose really DO matter
When you’re pregnant, snacks can make up as much as 25% of your total daily calories.1 So yes, snacks matter. Big time. When you’re trying to make the best nutrient-dense choices, eating at work or on the go can add an extra challenge. With just a little planning, you can make healthy meals and snacks a regular part of your everyday routine.
Here are some general principles to keep in mind:
- Stock your hand bag, desk drawer, car, or fridge at work with healthy, convenient foods, such as whole-grain crackers, fruit, low-fat yogurt, dried fruit, or nuts.
- Eat three smaller meals and grab healthy snacks in between to make sure you're getting enough nutrients.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods at frequent intervals to prevent intense hunger that can cause cravings.
- Pair up foods from the five food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein foods). Try to select from at least two food groups for each snack.
- Remember to drink plenty of water, critical for building new tissue, aiding digestion, and forming amniotic fluid. A 70 Kg woman needs nearly 2.5L of water, therefore ten 240 ml glasses a day would be ideal. The easiest way to do this is to always keep a bottle of water at your desk or in your hand bag and sip from it often.
Make healthy food the convenient choice
In the five minutes it takes to order fast food, you can prepare quick, healthier snacks or mini-meals instead.
- Store precut fruit or vegetables in individual small bags or reusable containers to grab on the go.
- Invest in an insulated lunch bag and insulated thermos to carry perishable food and drinks.
- Look for healthy food options at places you frequent. Find the closest deli with fresh fruit or a vending machine that offers yogurt or skimmed milk.
Simple on-the-go snack ideas:
- Small apple with 28 grams of low-fat string cheese or 1 tablespoon (Tbsp.) of peanut butter
- Small banana, and 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter
- Baby carrots, red pepper strips, and celery with 1/4 cup of hummus dip
- 28 grams of low-fat whole-grain tortilla chips, 28 grams of low-fat cheese
- 110 grams of low-fat fruit yogurt and 1 snack-size box of raisins
- 28 grams of honey-wheat pretzels and 14 grams of dry-roasted peanuts
- 110 grams of mixed fruit and 110 grams of vanilla low-fat yogurt
- 2 cracker squares and 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter
- Mini oat-bran bagel, 1 Tbsp. of low-fat cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of fruit
- 1/4 cup of dried fruit or fruit packed in its own juice, 1/2 cup of cereal squares, and 14 grams of peanuts