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4 healthy snack recipes for pregnant women to avoid cravings

It is important to eat healthy during pregnancy. If your cravings are making it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, try these delicious and healthy snack recipes you can eat during pregnancy.
Healthy snack recipes for pregnant women. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Published: 22 Apr 2024, 03:50 pm IST
Preparation Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 78 mins
Serves 2

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Nutrition during pregnancy is crucial for the health and development of the baby. While every pregnant woman tries to steer clear of unhealthy foods, sometimes the cravings get the better of you. Cravings during pregnancy are an inevitable problem that pregnant women have to tackle. It is important to eat a balanced diet that contains essential nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin C, and more during pregnancy. If you experience unwanted cravings during pregnancy, you should try including some healthy snack recipes for pregnant women in your diet.

Why is a healthy diet important for pregnant women?

Pregnant women need to consume more nutrients, such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, than they did before pregnancy. Every nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the mother and the baby. For instance, folic acid helps prevent certain birth defects, iron is essential for the baby’s growth and brain development, calcium reduces the risk of preeclampsia and builds the baby’s bones and teeth, and vitamin D helps the calcium to build up the baby’s bones and teeth.

Healthy sources of protein, such as beans, peas, eggs, lean meats, seafood, and unsalted nuts and seeds, are also essential during pregnancy. Hydration is another special nutritional concern during pregnancy, as the body needs more water to stay hydrated and support the life inside.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is crucial for the health and development of the baby. The diet should include a variety of foods from different food groups to ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients. You can also include healthy recipes especially catering to pregnant women.

Also Read: Pregnant and tired? Highly nutritious foods to binge on during your pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid unhealthy foods during pregnancy! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

How to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy?

1. Protein

Choose lean meat and skin out chicken try to eat less red and processed meat. Whole Eggs have a high biological value of protein and are safe for pregnant women to eat lightly cooked. Other sources of protein include beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, and seafood. Make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly.

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2. Starchy foods

Starchy carbohydrate foods should make up ¼ portion of the food to eat. Include grain, cereals, or multigrain foods such as bread, rice, and pasta and complex carbs like red rice, brown rice, oats, broken wheat, etc, in your diet. It will provide more fibre and other nutrients, and also makes feel fuller.

3. Milk and dairy products

Dairy foods are a good source of calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth. It is best to choose low fat versions when possible. If you prefer dairy alternatives, you can choose soya drinks and yoghurts, but go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.

4. Fruits and vegetables

Aim to eat at least 5 portions of different fruits and vegetables every day. This can include green leafy vegetables, apples, bananas, broccoli, beets, gourd family and more. Add vegetables and fruits that are a good source of fibre that helps prevent constipation during pregnancy.

5. Folic acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin that is essential during pregnancy to prevent birth defects. All women are advised to take folic acid supplements before becoming pregnant and until at least the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the demand for folate increases due to its role in fetal growth and development.Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, which is found in certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fortified foods like bread, pasta, and cereals

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6. Vitamin C

Pregnant women are recommended to take an extra 10mg of vitamin C every day as it helps to absorb iron. Include vitamin C rich fruits like orange, sweet lemon, kiwi, amla, guava, tomatoes etc.

7. Limit drinks with caffeine and added sugars

Drink plain water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fruit drinks, sweetened waters, and energy or sports drinks. Try adding fruit or herbs to the water for a fresh flavor and skip the sweeteners and cream.

Also Read: Steer clear of ultra-processed and fast foods during pregnancy: Here’s why

8. Iron

Iron deficiency or anaemia during pregnancy is serious as it can increase the risk of having a very small, lightweight baby. Include iron rich foods such as red meat, organ meat, liver, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables etc in your diet.

How to manage cravings during pregnancy?

Balancing nutrient needs and managing cravings during pregnancy can be challenging, but it is essential for the health of both the mother and the baby. Here are some things you can do to avoid problems and manage cravings:

1. A balanced diet that includes lean sources of protein, reduced-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes can provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
2. Avoid high-calorie foods as they can lead to excessive weight gain, increasing the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure levels. It is crucial to find a balance between satisfying cravings and maintaining a healthy diet.
3. Pregnant women should avoid certain foods that pose risks to both the mother and the baby, such as raw or undercooked seafood, meat, and eggs, unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it, raw vegetable sprouts, herbal teas, and alcohol.
4. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help reduce cravings and prevent dehydration, which is a cause fatigue and headaches.
5. Choosing healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, makhana, roasted peanuts, etc. can help satisfy cravings and provide important nutrients while avoiding high-sugar and high-fat snacks that can contribute to weight gain and other pregnancy complications. You can also prepare some healthy snack recipes that are perfect for pregnant women.

Healthy snack recipes for pregnant women

If you want to add a healthy twist to your snacks, here are some healthy snack recipes for pregnant women you must try:

Recipe 1: Carrot muffins

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1-2 muffins

Ingredients quantity per 100 gram (g):

  • Oats flour – 30
  • Sugar – 10
  • Carrot – 20
  • Milk – 10
  • Curd – 10
  • Oil – 10
  • Cinnamon powder – 2
  • Baking powder – 1
  • Baking soda – 1
  • Walnuts – 5
  • Vanilla essence – 1

Method:

1. Take curd, oil, and powdered sugar in a large bowl and whisk till you get a smooth creamy texture.
2. Add oats flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
3. Sieve all the dry flour mixture into the wet mixture by adding a little water.
4. Add lukewarm milk gradually.
5. Add grated carrot, cinnamon powder, and chopped walnuts.
6. Mix well, and pour the batter into a greased cup moulds.
7. Preheat a deep bottom steamer for 10 minutes, bake for 45-50 minutes on medium flame
8. Insert a toothpick, if it doesn’t come clean then bake for another 5-10 minutes
9. Cool it completely then remove it from the cup moulds.

Recipe 2: High protein ragi soup

This one is a nutrient-dense, flavourful recipe. It is quite filling and so tasty, Ragi is a very female friendly millet.

Ingredients Quantity per 100g

  • Onion chopped – 1
  • Ginger – 1 small piece
  • Garlic – 5-6 cloves
  • Green chilli -1 finely chopped
  • Spring onion – 1
  • Broccoli with stem – 1/4th
  • Carrot – 1
  • Mushroom – 100 gram
  • Red bell pepper – 1
  • Peas baby corn – 1 cup
  • Beans – 50 gram
  • Salt to taste
  • 14 Masala tofu cubes – 100 gram
  • Ragi – 15 gram

Method:

1. Saute chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies, and spring onion in some oil.
2. Now, add other finely chopped veggies
3. Cover and cook this for 10 minutes on low to medium flame.
4. Add 100 grams of masala tofu (it contains 16-17 grams protein approximately).
5. Now, make a paste with 3 tablespoons of ragi and water and add to the soup.
6. Cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
7. Switch off the flame and squeeze in half a lemon
8. Garnish with spring onion leaves and serve hot.

Recipe 3: Rainbow salad

Ingredients (g/ml)

  • Apple – 30 gram
  • Orange – 30 gram
  • Papaya – 30 gram
  • Banana – 40 gram
  • Pomegranate – 20 gram
  • Corn – 20 gram
  • Tomato – 10 gram
  • Capsicum (green) – 10 gram
  • Capsicum (yellow) – 10 gram
  • Salt as per taste
  • Pepper – ½ teaspoon
  • Curd – 10ml

Method: 

1. Cook the corn for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Chop tomato, capsicum (green and yellow), and all above-mentioned fruits.
3. Take a bowl and add all chopped ingredients and cooked corn.
4. Sprinkle salt, and pepper and mix lightly.
5. Add curd for topping.
6. Now, serve rainbow fruit bowl.

Try healthy recipes for pregnant women to keep your baby and child healthy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Recipe 4: Millet kheer

Ingredients (g/ml)

  • Millet – 30 gram
  • Moong dal – 30 gram
  • Coconut – 25 gram
  • Jaggery – 50 gram
  • Poppy seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Cardamom – 2 or 3
  • Cashews – 5 gram
  • Raisins – 5 gram
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon

Method:

1. Soak the millet for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Pressure cook the millet and moong dal.
3. Ground coconut, poppy seeds, and cardamom.
4. Add Grounded ingredients into pressure-cooked millet and dal add jaggery and allow it to boil.
5. Roast cashew and raisin in ghee, add to the kheer and boil it for a few seconds, and off the flame.
6. Then serve it.

Try these healthy snack recipes for pregnant women that are not just healthy but finger-licking good!

Samreen Saniya

Samreen Saniya has mastered in food and nutrition and worked in multi-speciality hospital. She is extremely intense towards her profession and consistently ready to aid individuals in order to get their health over healthy diet and nutrition. She is a goal-oriented nutritionist interested in carrying out nutrition consultant and building a personalised method to meet the nutritional provisions of each patient. She is currently associated with the Cloudnine Group of Hospitals. ...Read More

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