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Healthy Snacking During Pregnancy

Smart choices help you and your baby get the nutrients you need at this special time.

bowl of popcorn

When you’re pregnant, healthy eating  helps provide the nutrients you and your baby need. But “eating for two” isn’t a license to eat twice as much. The right choice of snacks can nourish you both and help keep you satisfied between healthy meals. Here are some ideas:

Mix it up

Eat a variety of snacks from among the different food groups. Try low-fat yogurt with fruit, or a few whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese. Snack on cut-up fruits and vegetables. Spread peanut butter on whole wheat toast. Keep a zip-top bag of fortified cereal to nibble on at your desk.

Power up

The right snacks can help you get nutrients that you need while you’re pregnant. For example: besides eating healthy meals and taking the supplements your doctor recommends, try snacking on fortified breakfast cereals mixed with dried fruit and nuts. Or take your prenatal vitamin with a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with fruit.

Spruce it up

Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, focus on what you can. Cut-up veggies and fruits can be a healthier choice than foods and drinks with added sugar, fats and extra calories.

The US Department of Agriculture offers a Web tool that can guide you through healthy food choices in each trimester of pregnancy. Visit to create a profile including height, pre-pregnancy weight, due date and exercise habits.

Remember: Your doctor will most likely suggest a prenatal vitamin to supply iron (enriches the blood for both you and your baby) and folic acid (which may help prevent some birth defects).

By Ginny Greene, Contributing Editor

Sources U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office on Women's Health. Pregnancy: Staying healthy and safe. Accessed: June 23, 2016.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ: Nutrition during pregnancy. Accessed: June 23, 2016. Eat healthy during pregnancy: Quick tips. Accessed: June 23, 2016.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.The best foods to eat during pregnancy. Accessed: June 23, 2016

Last Updated: June 23, 2016