Our editorial team personally selects each featured product. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you.
Snacks are to a pregnant woman like naps are to a baby: abso-freaking-lutely necessary. Whether it’s to fend off first trimester nausea or third trimester hunger pangs, keeping easy-to-eat foods on hand at all times can be the difference between surviving yet another day or ending up with your head in the toilet (or going all hormonal rage monster on your partner solely because you’re hangry).
As a soon-to-be first-time mom myself—and currently 35 weeks pregnant—I understand the snack struggle all too well. Between food aversions and crazy cravings, I’ve been the one who couldn’t get enough fresh fruit and also the one who ate McDonald’s fries nonstop for a week straight.
“Pregnant women need to eat a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet, a.k.a. a variety of foods from all five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy,” Elieke Kearns, RDN and Bobbie Medical Expert explains. “Both mom and baby’s cells are made mostly of protein, so it’s essential to get enough high quality protein throughout pregnancy — eggs, beans, lentils, seafood, poultry, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.”
If you’re expecting and can’t decide what to eat (a daily dilemma for me), below are 11 of the best pregnancy snacks you can buy right now. These pregnancy snacks will keep you fed, your baby happy, and the innocent people around you safe.
11 Best Pregnancy Snacks
1. Best Salty Snack: Angie’s BOOMCHICKA POP Single Serve Popcorn
True story: I once ate a family size bag of popcorn at 10 a.m. during my first trimester. After a full breakfast. And before a full lunch. There was no shame. One of my favorite popcorn brands is Angie’s BOOMCHICKA POP, which comes in flavors like sea salt, white cheddar, and caramel and cheddar. It has just enough salt to satisfy my craving yet isn’t as calorie- or fat-heavy as a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (my other pregnancy weakness). Plus, it’s a whole grain which hungry me didn’t really care about but trying-to-be-a-responsible-adult me does. I love the single serve bags for portions.
2. Best On-The-Go Snack: SunButter Sunflower Butter Pouches
I discovered SunButter well before I was pregnant but once I became a mom-to-be, I became even more obsessed. I’d put it on everything: apples, bananas, toast, oatmeal, cottage cheese, even carrots (yes, really). It’s full of good-for-you fats that help baby thrive, too—which is absolutely how I justified downing tablespoons and tablespoons of this stuff every day. While you can buy it in a jar, I like these individual pouches for tossing in your purse so you don’t get hangry while you’re out and about (a real problem for us pregnant women!).
3. Best Healthy Snack: Purely Elizabeth Organic Original Ancient Grain Granola
“Your growing baby will need enough calcium to develop his/her teeth, bones, heart, and muscle,” Kearns explains, recommending pregnant women eat about three servings of dairy a day to get said calcium. An easy—and delicious—way to do that is with Greek yogurt (one serving of Chobani has a whopping 181 grams of calcium) topped with Purely Elizabeth ancient grain granola. Made with organic grains, chia seeds, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and coconut oil, it’s delicious and packed with antioxidants—a win-win.
4. Best for Morning Sickness: Premium Mini Saltine Crackers
If there’s one food that defined the first 13 weeks of my pregnancy, it was these mini Saltines, which I ate by the handful. As someone who suffered from severe morning sickness during the first trimester, I always had a box within arm’s reach. They were truly my saving grace—couldn’t have survived without them. This 6-pack will keep you stocked for at least a few weeks (or days!).
5. Best Gluten-Free Snack: LesserEvil Organic Popcorn Pack of 24
Yes, popcorn again and this brand is 100% worth it. If you have the munchies as bad as, well, you know who, you might want something that you can eat a lot of without feeling guilty (or racking up tons of unnecessary calories). This organic popcorn from LesserEvil will be your saving grace. Made with just three ingredients—organic popcorn, extra-virgin coconut oil, and pink Himalayan salt—it’s just 120 calories for 3 cups (!!). Go for the 24 pack, you’ll thank me later.
6. Best Protein Bar: NuGo Vegan Protein Bars
Quest, One Bar, RX, Alani Nu—if there’s a protein bar out there, chances are I’ve tried it. A self-proclaimed protein bar connoisseur at this point, I can confidently say that NuGo bars are by far the best. The dark chocolate pretzel flavor in particular is a personal favorite. It tastes exactly like a candy bar (exactly!) yet contains 12 grams of protein and doesn’t have any of that icky after taste or grainy texture that other brands do. “Both mom and baby’s cells are made mostly of protein, so it’s essential to get enough high quality protein throughout pregnancy,” Kearns says.
7. Best Snack to Get Your Veggies: Terra Vegetable Chips
Can’t stomach the thought of eating steamed broccoli or a spinach salad? No worries—you can get your serving of veggies in snack form thanks to Terra Chips. Not only are they gluten-free, but they also contain sweet potatoes, parsnips, yuca, and batata (Cuban sweet potato) and taste almost exactly like regular potato chips. I ate these nonstop during my first two trimesters and am a particularly big fan of the Mediterranean flavor.
8. Best Vegan Snack: SkinnyDipped Super Dark + Sea Salt Almonds
Trying to figure out what you actually want to eat when you’re pregnant can be as difficult as trying to decide what to watch on Netflix (le struggle!). Do you want something salty or something sweet? With SkinnyDipped Super Dark + Sea Salt Almonds, you don’t have to choose. Vegan-friendly, they’re low in sugar and pack in a hearty punch of plant protein along with healthy fats that are vital in your baby’s development. Plus, there’s the chocolate.
9. Best Low-Carb Snack: Whisps Cheese Crisps
I lived off carbs during the hell that was my first trimester (see above entry for Saltines). So by the time I reached the second trimester and finally started feeling better, I was ready to cut down my carb intake to, well, the levels of a normal human at the very least. (Low-carb snacks are also great for anyone with gestational diabetes, btw.) Whisps Cheese Crisps tricked my brain into thinking I was digging into yet another bag of potato chips with their crunchy, salty goodness. However, made of just cheese, they only have 1 to 2 grams of carbs per serving—heck yes.
10. Best Hydrating Snack: Mamma Chia Organic Fruit Squeeze
Trying to stay hydrated while pregnant is hard. Trying to stay hydrated while pregnant when even the smell of water makes you nauseous (yes, I couldn’t stand the seemingly non-existent scent) is just downright miserable. Any treats that contained liquid or fruit were a godsend for me— not just to help cool down my overheating hormonal self but also to provide some hydration when I could hardly stomach water. I like the Mamma Chia Fruit Squeezes because you can toss them in the fridge and enjoy them cold. They’re made with real fruit and organic juice—plus good-for-you chia seeds—and don’t contain any artificial colors or flavors. I’ll take two (or three), please.
11. Best Chocolate Snack: Undercover Chocolate Quinoa Crisps Variety Pack
When you need just a bite of chocolate (who are we kidding) at least make it healthful. These snacks give you chocolate, quinoa and fruit. I like the variety pack which includes blueberry and currants in a quinoa crisp. I also have a stash of the Undercover Chocolate Single Packs for when I need something in my purse since pregnancy=always hungry.
What is a good snack for a pregnant woman?
Here’s the thing: When you’re pregnant, food aversions, digestive issues, morning sickness, and hormones can all affect what you can (or want to) eat. However, personal preferences aside, there are some foods that are better for Mom and baby.
Kearns recommends eggs for choline, which can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, or low-mercury fish (like salmon or tilapia) for benefits like a lower risk of preterm birth or high blood pressure. Anything with calcium—like milk or cheese—is also a big win in the health department.
Is it good to eat snacks during pregnancy?
Not only is it good, it’s often necessary, especially if you’re someone like me who dealt with horrible nausea or if you’re like many women who struggle with heartburn. If you’re in the latter camp, eating smaller meals and snacks frequently throughout the day can be easier on your digestion system, especially when baby is cramping up all the space in your belly.
What should you eat everyday while pregnant?
This is a question for your doctor or OBGYN. Every woman—and for that matter, every pregnancy—is different, so what your body (and baby) needs might not be what another woman needs and vice versa.
Can I eat snacks during first trimester?
Absolutely! And while indulging is A-okay from time to time, snacks with some nutritional value are great for you and your little one-to-be.
What can I eat for midnight snacks while pregnant?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again and again)— as the mom-to-be, you can eat whatever your body is craving or, quite frankly, whatever you can stomach. But remember that your baby is relying on you for nutrition, so try to choose healthy options when you can. Of course, there’s no shame in that late-night spoon of ice cream either, though. Calcium, am I right?