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Healthy Snacks for Pregnancy & Moms To Be

As an expectant mother, it is important to keep both yourself and your growing child safe. Many women are cognizant of basic health advice for pregnancy -- avoid alcohol, don’t smoke -- but understanding the nuances of nutrition can be more challenging. Adopting a healthy pregnancy diet is an essential part of becoming a new mother.

Nutritional Considerations for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women must carefully consider their nutritional intake to ensure they get enough of the nutrients needed to support both mother and the developing fetus; however, “eating for two” does not mean eating twice as much. During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, a women should aim to eat 300 more calories per day than her pre-pregnancy target (Office on Women’s Health, 2010).

Pregnant women also need more vitamins and minerals to ensure the baby develops properly. The following nutrients are particularly important (Office on Women’s Health, 2010):

  • Folic acid. Getting enough folic acid prevents neural tube defects. Pregnant women need 400 to 800 micrograms per day. Ensuring you get enough folic acid is particularly important during the earliest stages of pregnancy. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and legumes are also sources of the vitamin (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2016)
  • Iron. Aim to get 27 milligrams of iron per day. Nuts, lean red meat, fortified cereals, beans, and dark leafy green vegetables are just some of the sources of this mineral.
  • Calcium. Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Dairy products, fortified soy products, leafy green vegetables, and canned fish with bones (e.g. sardine) supply calcium.
  • Vitamin A. Try to get 770 micrograms of vitamin A per day. Sweet potatoes, spinach, liver, and black-eyed peas are sources of this nutrient.
  • Vitamin B12. Pregnant women need 2.6 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily. This vitamin is primarily found in animal products (meat, fish, poultry, milk), meaning that vegetarian and especially vegan women may need to rely on nutritional supplements.

Finding Healthy Pregnancy Snacks to Support Your Growing Child

Many women experience cravings during pregnancy. It’s fine to indulge these cravings on occasion (Office on Women’s Health, 2010), although it is best to find snacks that feel indulgent yet are nutrient rich and that can help the wellbeing or the development of your baby.

Eating a healthy snack twice per day can keep your body feeling satiated and may prevent intense food cravings. When choosing what to eat, focus on protein. As an expectant mother, your protein needs increase throughout your pregnancy. Eating lean protein, such as eggs, soy products, legumes, seeds, or nuts is a good way to keep your energy high throughout the day.

One of the most important aspects of a healthy pregnancy snack is portability. Stashing snacks in your purse or bag ensures you always have something while on the go. Consider packing small bags of trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, fresh fruit, yogurt cups, or whole-grain pretzels. Aim for a 100 to 150 calorie serving per snack to keep yourself satiated until your next meal.

Healthy Recipes for Pregnant Women

These recipes supply many of the nutrients that are of particular importance to pregnant women and are compact enough to serve as snacks to satiate your palate between meals. Add these simple plates to your diet to help keep you and your child healthy!

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

A sweet treat with the unique palate of pumpkin, this pudding provides a good source of vitamins and minerals in a food that is can be made quickly and easily!
Ingredients: Milk, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, fresh blueberries.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Protein-Packed Detox Smoothie {vegan}

Protein-Packed Detox Smoothie Recipe {vegan}

This scrumptious smoothie serves an abundance of essential nutrients, offering more than 50% of the Daily Value (DV) for both calcium and vitamin A and calcium.
Ingredients: Almond milk, frozen banana, spirulina, hemp protein powder (optional), fresh mint, chia seeds, hemp hearts.
Total Time: 5 minutes | Yield: 2 servings

Kale Quinoa Salad

Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe

Kale and other dark leafy greens can supply a source of folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin A. The superfood quinoa also provides plenty of protein, while an additional boiled egg adds vitamin B12 to the mix.
Ingredients: Quinoa, fresh baby kale, purple cabbage, carrots, fresh dill, boiled eggs, rice wine, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper.
Total Time: 25 minutes | Yield: 8 servings

Quinoa Veggie Wrap {vegan}

Quinoa Veggie Wrap Recipe {vegan}

These scrumptious snacks are similarly packed with nutritious fare to fuel your child’s development and your daily activities. Not only do they supply 90% of the DV for vitamin A in each wrap, but they also supply plant-based protein from quinoa!
Ingredients: Tortilla wraps, quinoa, hummus, fresh spinach, sun-tomatoes, shredded carrots.
Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 4 wraps

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle Recipe

If you’re searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth then opt for this low calorie, low fat treat. The bites feature a rich chocolate taste with a base that supplies a soft, mouthwatering confection.
Ingredients: Jumbo Mejdool dates, almond flour, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 24 truffles

Snack Selections for Pregnant Women

These snacks can satiate your cravings and quell your hunger while providing you and your child with the nutrients you need!

Office on Women’s Health. (2010). Staying healthy and safe. Retrieved from

Office of Dietary Supplements (2016a). Dietary Supplement Facts Sheet. Retrieved from