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Healthy Snack Ideas for Pregnancy
by Jennifer J. Francis, MPH, RD/LD

Jennifer FrancisQ. I am 14 weeks pregnant and just not feeling well. I get hungry every 2-3 hours but can't eat large meals without getting sick. I also get shaky, light headed, and feeling like I am going to pass out when I get hungry. I know this is more than likely from hypoglycemia. I am trying to cut out the sweets completely. I know that carbohydrates in large numbers are also bad. Are there any "safe" foods that I can snack on that are filling and low in sugar? I love baby carrots, but aren't they also high in carbohydrates? Thanks!

A. There is a lot of nonsense in the media right now about carbohydrates being bad for you. This is simply not true. Carbohydrates are your body's preferred source of fuel. Complex carbohydrates (like those found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables) are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Sugary foods, like candy, cookies, all kinds of sweets, etc, aren't great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they are not "poison" for your body either.

Hypoglycemia is LOW blood sugar, and if you are experiencing this, then you NEED a little carbohydrate snack.

Have all the baby carrots that you want!!! Here are some other ideas for snacks:

  • Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  • Dried fruit- cranberries, apricots, plums, cherries
  • Fresh veggies: pick ones that you might not normally think of with bright colors and crunchy textures- pea pods, fresh green beans, colored peppers (I eat them just like an apple) etc.
  • Fresh fruits- see what new and interesting varieties they have at your store. I just tried blood oranges for the first time, and I am *addicted* to them now!
  • Chocolate graham crackers for a chocolate fix
  • Stoned wheat thins (they have a really great flavor and texture)
  • Non-fat vanilla yogurt with fruit or cereal sprinkled on
  • A bowl of cereal (not the terribly sugary kind though)
  • A small protion of almonds or other nuts
  • Toast spread with applesauce and cinnamon
  • A glass of skim milk or 100% juice, low sodium V-8
  • Homemade instant pudding
I hope that gives you some good ideas.

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