Even though you don't need to eat for two, you might find that you get hungry more often now that you are pregnant. Make the most of these hunger pangs by eating nutrient-packed healthy snacks. Here are a few healthy snack options for you!From our expert gynaecologist and obstetrician.
Healthy pregnancy diet: fresh fruits
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Fresh seasonal fruit
Keep a bowl of fresh fruits on the dining table. Whenever hunger strikes just pick one! Rich in fibre and nutrients, eating fruit is one of the healthiest ways to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Citrus fruit have vitamin C, which helps your body to absorb iron from food.
Pick fresh seasonal fruits as often as you can and try to have the fruit with the peel, wherever possible. The peel has nutrients and fibre as well.Healthy pregnancy food: A bowl of porridge with fresh fruit
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You can have oat or broken wheat (daliya) porridge for a healthy energy boost. The porridge will release energy over a long time as it digests more slowly than refined cereal.
You can make your porridge nutrient-rich by adding cut fresh fruit, a variety of nuts or even sprouts and chopped vegetables if you prefer savoury dishes.
Porridge contains soluble fibre, which is good for your heart, and helps to prevent constipation.Healthy pregnancy food: A bowl of sprouts with salad
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Sprouts are a great, nutrient-rich snack. They are also a good source of iron and fibre.
Eat sprouts raw in a salad or add them to raita. You can also put sprouts in paranthas or soups.Healthy pregnancy snack: fruit smoothie
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A fruit smoothie
Blitz up some mango (aam), ripe papaya (papita), pineapple (ananaas) or a small banana (kela) with curd.
Your fruit smootie makes for a delicious and refreshing drink that's packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium.Healthy pregnancy food: boiled chickpea (chana chaat)
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Chickpeas (chana) are a good way to get protein, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.
Add freshly chopped vegetables to your boiled chana such as cucumber (kheera), tomatoes (tamatar), onions (pyaaz), chillies (hari mirch), capsicum (simla mirch) and coriander (dhaniya). This will make for a tasty and nutritious snack.
You can also mash the boiled chickpeas with garlic and a few drops of olive oil and lime juice to make hummus. Eat your hummus with wholewheat bread or carrot (gajar) and cucumber (kheera) sticks.Healthy pregnancy food: Freshly cut carrot and cucumber sticks with dips
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Carrot and cucumber sticks
Get a boost of nutrients and fibre with raw carrots, cucumber and celery sticks. Enjoy them with hummus, salsa or curd based dips.
If you have morning sickness, you might find cold and raw food more easy to take in than cooked hot meals.
Make a tasty dip by mixing finely cut onions (pyaaz), tomatoes (tamatar), capsicum (simla mirch), coriander (hara dhaniya), and green chillies to hung curd.Healthy pregnancy snack: curd and almonds
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Curd with almonds
Curd is a good source of calcium and it contains natural probiotics that may help you to fight infection.
Almonds contain B vitamins (including folate and vitamin B6) that are important especially during your first trimester. You could also make an almond lassi or shrikhand if you prefer.Healthy pregnancy food: steamed corn (bhutta)
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A much loved nutritious snack, corn is rich in vitamin B6 and fibre.
Try steamed corn kernels (makkai) or corn on the cob (bhutta) with a sprinkling of lime juice and pepper or chaat masala.Healthy pregnancy food: dhokla with chutney
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Low on the calorie count but high in taste, dhoklas can be a great snack option. Fermented foods are generally high in probiotics, which help your digestive system along.
Add boiled vegetables like carrots (gajar), french beans (beens) and corn (makkai) to the batter for more nutrients.
If you have a dhokla cold, straight out of the fridge, you might find it soothing in hot weather and easier to take in if you feel queasy often.Healthy pregnancy food: vegetable upma
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Upma is a good way to get protein and fibre.
Try iron fortified semolina (suji) and mix into your upma a variety of vegetables for added nutrition.Healthy pregnancy food: whole wheat tomato, cucumber and lettuce salad
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A wholewheat sandwich
Try a tomato (tamatar) and cucumber (kheera) sandwich. Add lettuce for extra crunch and fibre. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can add in a slice of chicken ham.
A sandwich can be refreshing in summer. It is easy to make and you might find it is one of the foods you can swallow easily when you have morning sickness because it's cold and light.
Healthy pregnancy snacks: nuts, seeds and dried fruit
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Mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit
Make a mix of almonds (badaam), walnuts (akhrot), and cashews (kaju), and add pumpkin (kaddu) seeds, dried apricots or a few raisins for a fibre and iron boost.
This is a nutritious snack that's good on the go and contains potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. Healthy pregnancy food: steamed idli
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The versatile idli is a popular snack option. To make your idli richer in nutrients, add finely grated carrots (gajar), beans (beens), curry leaves (kadhi patta), coriander leaves (hara dhaniya), and cabbage (patta gobhi) to the batter.
Have your idlis with coconut (nariyal) chutney or coriander (hara dhaniya) and mint (pudina) chutney or lentil-rich sambhar for a boost of iron.Healthy pregnancy snack: roasted chana
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An easy-to-carry snack that helps you get fibre,iron and omega 3 fatty acids.
Pair it with a healthy, nutritious drink of your choice.Healthy pregnancy snack: murmura (puffed rice)
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Puffed rice (murmura or chivda)
A versatile snack that is easy to make. Mix the murmura with chopped vegetables or add some roasted peanuts to make it more nutritious. Healthy pregnancy food: kheer with nuts and dried fruit
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You're bound to have cravings for sweet things at some point and a wholesome dessert is perfect. Try suji, rice or sabudana kheer.
For a light, easy-to-digest, low-fat version, use double toned milk and substitute sugar with jaggery (gur).
Jaggery is a source of iron and you can throw in more nutrients and fibre by adding in nuts, raisins and dried fruit.Healthy pregnancy snacks: baked stuffed kachori
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Much like puffed rice, flattened rice (poha) can be made into a healthy snack with chopped vegetables such as carrot (gajar), tomato (tamatar), onions (pyaaz), beans (beens) or roasted peanuts added in.
Add a few drops of lime juice as well for the taste and the vitamin C.
Healthy pregnancy snack: samosa with salad
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You may be craving the calorie dripping fried version but the baked version tastes just as good and is healthier!
Stuff your samosa with vegetables, sprouts or chicken mincemeat. Enjoy it with fresh mint (pudina) and coriander (dhaniya) or tamarind (imli) chutney.Healthy pregnancy snack: baked vegetable cutlet
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This filling snack is rich in nutrients, protein and dietary fibre and gives you an energy boost.
Use mashed potatoes (aloo) as your base and mix in chopped vegetables, leafy greens, chopped paneer or mincemeat to make your tikki.
Put just enough oil for the tikki to not stick to the pan and brown it on both sides. Eat your tikki with mint (pudina) and coriander (dhaniya) chutney for added iron.Healthy pregnancy food: pav bhaji
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A good way to mix vegetables you do like with ones you don't and get the nutrients you need.
Make the bhaji at home so that you use a minimal amount of butter. And eat it with sesame (til) pav buns instead of plain pav buns to get Omega 3 fatty acids.