Pregnancy is a time of incredible growth by the human body. That growth comes with increased nutritional needs, including protein, essential fatty acids, folate, and calcium to name a few. Meeting increased protein needs (recommendations range from 70-100 g protein per day) can help keep you full for longer and support energy levels, and for some women, eating regular protein-rich snacks can moderate nausea in early pregnancy.
Try to include nutrient-dense snacks every 2-3 hours:
- Fruit with ¼ cup of nuts, seeds or 2 Tbsp nut butter
- Hard boiled eggs or egg muffin frittatas
- Sardines – great source of protein & omega-3’s!
- Homemade gelatin gummies – follow this link for inspiration
- Roasted chickpeas
- Chia pudding – mix chia seeds with unsweetened nut or coconut milk, top with berries, pumpkin seeds or nut butter
- Yogurt + berries + grain free granola (such as Kitchfix)
- Simple Mills crackers with guacamole or hummus
- A little more prep:
- Kitchfix waffles can be used in sweet or savory combinations—top with nut butter and berries or sliced avocado (add a little taco seasoning for additional flavor!)
- Chopped veggies & dip – Whole 30 Sunshine sauce is a great dipping sauce with protein!
- Quinoa bites—2 cups cooked quinoa + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur) + 2 eggs + 1 cup chopped veggies (finely chopped broccoli or spinach & mushrooms can be good options)
Mix ingredients and spoon 1 Tbsp mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until slightly firm. These can then be enjoyed right away or reheated later!
These can be an amazing tool to sneak in extra nutrients, or if you’re having a hard time getting in enough protein, veggies or fluids. Superfoods can also be added to make smoothies a nutrient-packed snack.
- Building your smoothie:
- 10-20 grams of protein (Vital Proteins collagen is flavorless, dissolves well and has no added sugar/sweeteners)
- 1/2 -1 cup of fruit
Struggling with heartburn? High enzyme fruits like kiwi, pineapple and papaya can provide relief for some women!
- Veggies – 1 cup leafy greens (which are a great source of folate), frozen zucchini or cauliflower
- Fluids— options may include water, unsweetened nut or oat milk, green tea, coconut water
- Healthy fats—avocado, coconut oil or coconut butter, unsweetened nut/seed butter
- Superfood additions could include frozen or powdered acai, cacao nibs, ground flax, high quality liquid fish oil, ginger, turmeric
- Dates—towards the end of pregnancy many women try to increase consumption of dates based on research that suggests positive benefits for labor.
- Stuffed dates- try filling with unsweetened nut butter, coconut butter, tahini, goat cheese or almond cream cheese (such as Kite Hill brand)
- Make date balls—blend pitted dates in a food processor with nuts, unsweetened coconut, lemon zest and/or dried fruit and roll into balls for a bite sized snack!
- Mini meals—small servings of leftovers, chili, salads, or soups can be a great way to have well-balanced, filling snacks.
- Building your smoothie:
Our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team is here to help you find healthy snacks throughout the day to help keep you fueled for a positive experience for you and baby! To learn more about how diet and lifestyle changes can assist the pregnancy journey, schedule an appointment today!Schedule an Appointment
About Dr. Intres-Giancola,D.C., MS, CNS
Dr. Katelyn Intres-Giancola leads the Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team at Aligned Modern Health’s Wicker Park and Lincoln Square locations. Dr. Intres-Giancola’s passion lies in empowering her patients to rediscover health and wellness rather than simply managing symptoms. She combines her background of chiropractic medicine, exercise science, human nutrition, and functional medicine to partner with her patients to build healthy diet and lifestyle practices.
Dr. Intres-Giancola began her health-focused career as a personal trainer while completing her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She later graduated from National University of Health Sciences with her Doctorate of Chiropractic and went on to pursue her Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Dr. Intres-Giancola is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and sits on the exam writing committee for the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.