pregnancy-nutrition.jpgNow that you are pregnant it's important to find out which healthy snack is best during pregnancy.

  1. Think total calories. For most women who are pregnant, the total calories consumed should only be raised by 300 when they become pregnant. This means adding three 100 calorie snacks or two 150 calorie snacks to the daily menu.
  2. Skip the extra fat. While pregnant women may think they can eat anything they want, the truth is that baby is eating what mom is eating. The foods added into the diet need to be low fat, but not diet foods. Many diet foods have processed ingredients that are not so healthy for baby.
  3. Don't pile on the carbs. Extra carbohydrates are not the way to go with a healthy snack during pregnancy. Carbohydrates have a tendency to give the eater quick energy only to plummet the glucose levels soon after. This plummet can lead to a craving for more carbohydrates.
  4. Just add water. With every snack, a glass of water should be added to the diet. Many pregnant women end up in the hospital before they are due because of dehydration. When the pregnant body is dehydrated, cramping can occur which can feel a lot like labor.
  5. Calcium is good.
    Healthy bones for mom and healthy teeth for baby. Did you know those baby teeth are formed while the fetus is still in the womb? Mom needs to add extra calcium to her diet whether it is with milk or low fat cheese.
  6. Frequency is the best policy. As the pregnancy progresses, mom may find is harder and harder to eat the extra calories needed to remain healthy and strong. The baby grows and expands into the upper abdomen and there is no room for food in the stomach. Smaller snacks can be added throughout the day. Even if it is just a small string cheese, at least the calories are there for mom and baby.
  7. Ease of digestion. Along with a smaller stomach, later in pregnancy mom may find that her favorite snacks are now causing indigestion. The best solution is to choose foods that are easy to digest. This may take a bit of time to sort out, but once mom finds a snack that is healthy without causing indigestion, she should stick with it.
  8. Follow the food pyramid. The largest sections of the food pyramid are the best place to start the search for a healthy snack during pregnancy. The bottom of the pyramid should be included in every snack with smaller portions of the upper levels.
  9. Gotta have some protein. Many obstetricians will tell their patients to add the 300 extra calories via protein instead of fats and carbohydrates. Protein is nearly the perfect food. If too much is consumed, it converts into carbohydrates and many forms of protein are lean.
  10. Fresh is good. Fresh foods are the best choice for healthy snacks during pregnancy. Shopping the outer edge of the grocery store will keep the pregnant mom in the fresh areas.
  11. Consuming vitamins and minerals. Recent studies have shown that supplements are absorbed into the body but the same vitamins and minerals are more easily used by the body if they are consumed naturally in food. Think green, think leafy, think healthy.
  12. Whole grain and fiber. Fiber is the new superfood. There are fiber Pop-Tarts, fiber crackers and even fiber drinks. Most people rarely consume enough daily fiber even though it has been shown to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. For the pregnant woman, fiber and whole grains are a healthy way to keep baby growing and strong.