Smart Bites

Portable minimeals for excellent pregnancy nutrition


Meeting all your nutritional needs during pregnancy can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. These quick snacks help you fulfill your pregnancy requirements for important nutrients such as calcium, folic acid, protein, iron and fiber. A light nibble between meals will help keep your energy, plus help quell nausea. With approximately 125 to 150 calories in each serving, these supersnacks equal big satisfication with minimal preparation (and, you can take them almost anywhere). Note: "Key nutrient" refers to the essential prenatal nutrient in which each snack is highest. Vegetable bagel 1 2-ounce whole-grain bagel, toasted, with 1 tablespoon light cream cheese and 1/4 cup veggies of choice (such as shredded carrots, diced peppers, sliced radishes or sliced cucumbers) {Key nutrient: folate} Peanut butter toast 1 slice cinnamon-raisin toast with 1 tablespoon peanut butter {Key nutrient: protein}

Cottage cheese cup with peaches 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat) with 1/2 cup canned peaches in light syrup {Key nutrient: calcium} Spinach dip 4 tablespoons spinach dip with 2 Ry Krisp crackers (makes 16 servings): 2 10-ounce boxes frozen spinach; 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped; 1 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt; 1 cup light mayonnaise; and 1 package dried vegetable soup mix. Thaw spinach in the microwave, then squeeze out excess water. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers. {Key nutrient: folate}

Strawberry smoothie 1 cup strawberry yogurt smoothie (makes 3 servings): 1 cup low-fat strawberry yogurt; 1/2 cup orange juice; 1/2 cup frozen, unsweetened strawberries (about 5 whole); and 1 banana. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. {Key nutrient: calcium}

Hummus with crackers 2 tablespoons spicy hummus (store-bought or homemade) with 6 whole-grain crackers (makes 7 servings): 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained; 1 2-ounce jar diced pimentos; 3 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame butter; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper; and 1 tablespoon dried parsley. Pour ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve at room temperature with crackers. {Key nutrient: protein}

Apple and cheese 1 medium Granny Smith apple with 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese {Key nutrient: calcium}

Pudding and berries 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding made with nonfat milk with 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, unsweetened {Key nutrient: calcium} High-fiber raisin cereal 1/2 cup raisin-bran cereal with 1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk {Key nutrient: fiber}

Trail mix 1/2 cup homemade trail mix: 1 cup Wheat Chex cereal; 1 cup pretzel nuggets; 1/2 cup raisins; and 1/2 cup peanuts. Mix together in a bowl and divide into 6 zipper bags of 1/2-cup portions. {Key nutrient: fiber}

Juice, and cheese popcorn 1/2 cup orange juice and 2 cups light microwave popcorn sprinkled with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese {Key nutrient: folate}

Yogurt with granola 1/2 cup low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt with 1/8 cup low-fat granola cereal {Key nutrient: calcium}

Muffin and tea 1 2-ounce low-fat bran muffin with 1 cup green tea {Key nutrient: fiber}