01/6Snacking healthy during pregnancy
Eating healthy is a necessity at all stages of our life, and it becomes more important when you are expecting a baby. When you are pregnant, you need to eat foods that provide you with ample amounts of rich nutrients like protein, iron, folic acid, and iodine. It’s also important to get enough calcium. These are essential for the baby’s growth as well as your own well-being.
Now that your body is providing nourishment to both of you, pregnant women mostly need to increase their calorie consumption during the second and third trimester. However, this should not encourage you to consume too much high fat, junk food for the sake of calories.
According to research, the most commonly craved foods in pregnancy are sweets like chocolates and higher carb foods, including pizza and chips. These will not provide the much-required nutrients. To satisfy your mid-meal hunger pangs or the urge to snack, here are some healthy food items to stock in your kitchen:
If you crave for something cold and delicious, try a yogurt smoothie. These are easy to prepare and you can also experiment with different flavours depending on what you are craving for. These are also super healthy since yogurt is rich in calcium, which is essential for the growth and development of the baby's bones and teeth. It is also a good source of protein which is also essential for the baby’s growth.
Eggs, especially boiled eggs, are a great snack for any time of the day. These will quickly satisfy your hunger and also provide you with energy and nutrients. Along with being a rich source of protein, eggs also contain choline, a nutrient which supports your baby's brain development. You can also prepare deviled eggs if you are craving for something more flavourful. If you are not a fan of boiled eggs, you can also go for scrambled eggs or fried eggs.
If you want something handy and crunchy, nuts and the best option! You can go for a combination or any particular nuts –almond, cashew, pistachios or walnuts – which you are fond of. Walnuts are particularly beneficial during pregnancy as they contain omega-3 fatty acids which works great for the baby’s brain development. Nuts, in general, are also rich in protein, fibre, healthy fat and minerals. The nutrients in nuts also help in rebuilding muscles, which makes them essential during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.
If you like to eat peanut butter, you can enjoy it without any worry during your pregnancy, provided you are not allergic to peanuts. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains 8 grams of plant-based protein, which can help to meet your protein requirements during pregnancy. You can also prepare a peanut butter open toast with pieces of banana on top. Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates and will boost your energy levels as well. They also help to maintain healthy haemoglobin levels.
Milk is full of essential nutrients that you need during your pregnancy. A cup of warm milk with a pinch of cinnamon can help for a good night’s sleep. Some research shows that amino acid L-tryptophan in milk may make eyelids heavy by raising the level of chemicals like serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Milk also acts as an effective antacid to ease heartburn that is a common issue for people during pregnancy. You can also try ground nutmeg or cardamom to experiment with flavour.