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Maintaining a healthy weight is essential when you are expecting, and often pregnant women will give in to all kinds of cravings that will ultimately leave them with additional weight after the delivery. A healthy, balanced diet is very important and we have made a list of healthy snacks that pregnant women can enjoy.
Your diet should be a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. This can come from a variety of sources and as a rule, it is better to consume frequent small meals than only one or two large ones every day.
Fruit and Vegetables
- Sliced Oranges and Strawberries – Wonderful for your health and has less than 30g carbs. You can try other fruit combinations too, and they are bound to be delicious.
- Dried Apricots – A very sweet snack and can be eaten with low-fat yogurt.
- Banana and Natural Peanut Butter – Delicious snack packed with protein. You can add a handful of raisins if you want to really feel “full”.
- Raw Veggies – Dipped in a cup of homemade humus, has less than 300 calories.
- Choose Your Favorite! Any fresh fruit and veggies can be eaten as often as possible.
Meat, Fish and Poultry
- Chicken Breast – Cubed or shredded, on top of a bed of salad greens.
- Eggs – A hard-boiled egg sliced on a piece of whole wheat toast.
- Turkey and Avo – Lean turkey meat with a slice of avocado will provide you with a good lean protein source, as well as a serving of healthy fats.
- Lettuce Sandwich – Instead of bread, stack ham, turkey or veggies in-between layers of lettuce leaves. Very, very tasty.
- Low-Fat Yoghurt – Very filling and tasty too. You can opt for the fat-free version, or add a piece of fruit if needed.
- Smoothies – Based on yoghurt, fruit juice and fruit. An easy recipe would require a half cup of yogurt, a half cup of unsweetened apple juice and two cups of fresh fruit. Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth. It makes roughly two servings.
- Ice Cream – You can enjoy a cup of vanilla ice cream or fruit sorbet, with a total of only 300 calories per meal.
- Low-Fat Cottage Cheese – Added with fruit makes a deliciously healthy mid-afternoon snack.
- Popcorn – Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
- Almonds – Mixed with raisins and sprinkled with chocolate chips.
- Tortilla – A whole wheat tortilla with half a cup of melted low fat cheese.
- Granola Bar – The perfect in-between snack!
- Whole Wheat Toast – With a teaspoon of peanut butter.
Foods to Avoid
Seafood is generally a very healthy option to go with, but keep an eye out for the mercury levels in your fish meals as this can be potentially dangerous. As a rule, try to avoid shark, king mackerel, tilefish and swordfish, as these are bigger, older fish species. Rather stick to shrimp, cod, salmon and canned tuna.
Avoid undercooked food. This includes meat, poultry, eggs and seafood. Seafood should be cooked at a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s best to avoid raw fish such as sushi altogether. Make sure your meat dishes are fully cooked by using a meat thermometer to be sure. When you cook or boil eggs, make sure that the whites and the yolks are very firm.
Lastly, try to avoid unpasteurized dairy foods. These items can be very detrimental to your health and you should avoid anything with unpasteurized milk. Also make sure that the cheese you buy has been pasteurized, and avoid the brie, feta and camembert varieties.