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8 Healthy Snacks for Expectant Moms

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Now that you're expecting a baby, you're supposed to be eating for two, right? Not quite. Most pregnant women only need an extra 300 calories per day. However, women who are underweight or overweight should speak to their doctor about specific calorie needs. To help you fill your calorie quota without packing on unhealthy pounds, we've put together eight healthy 300-calorie snacks.

Fortified Cereal

The snack: 1/2 cup of Grape Nuts, 1/2 cup of 2% milk
The benefit: Fortified cereal contains 400 mcg of folic acid (of 600 mcg needed per day for pregnant women). The addition of milk to a fortified cereal provides a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, which are all important for tissue and bone growth.

Oranges and Almonds

The snack: 1 large orange, 1 oz of almonds
The benefit: This combination is packed with fiber and healthy fat to help you feel fuller longer and give you a little energy boost. Oranges are also loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C and folate, and they have a high water content to help you stay hydrated.

Dried Fruit

The snack: 3 oz of dried apricots, cherries, and cranberries
The benefit: Research has shown that dried fruit contains higher levels of folate, which is one of the key nutrients needed for building DNA and RNA. Dried fruits like apricots, cherries, and cranberries are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.

Yogurt and Blueberries

The snack: 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of blueberries
The benefit: This snack combination is a great source of protein, calcium, and antioxidants. Yogurt also contains healthy bacteria, which is important for a healthy digestive tract.

Carrots and Hummus

The snack: 10 medium baby carrots, 1/2 cup of hummus
The benefit: Hummus, which is composed of chickpeas, is an excellent source of folate and fiber. Dip carrots into hummus for an added crunch that is rich in vitamin A, which plays an active role in the growth of the baby's organs and central nervous system.

Triscuits with Turkey Slices

The snack: 1 serving of Triscuits, 3 oz of turkey slices 
The benefit: Top Triscuits with turkey for a quick snack option to increase your daily protein and healthy fat. Be sure to eat fresh turkey. Deli meat may be contaminated with foodbourne illnesses like salmonella that can cross through the placenta and lead to infection or blood poisoning.

Guacamole with Fresh-Cut Vegetables

The snack: 1/2 cup of avocado, 1 diced tomato, 10 medium baby carrots
The benefit: While pregnant, moms need more vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber (all of which are found in avocados) to support the baby's growth. Add a little tomato and lime juice to flavor your guacamole treat.

Cottage Cheese and Fresh Fruit

The snack: 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese, 1 large orange
The benefit: Cottage cheese is high in calcium and protein, which promotes bone and tissue growth. Mix 1% cottage cheese with fresh fruit that is high in vitamin C such as oranges, pineapple or strawberry. Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants that can help boost the immune system and helps moms avoid pregnancy-related dental problems like weak gums and gingivitis.

Tags: Women, Health, Snacks, Food

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