The Best Summer Snacks to Keep Pregnant Mamas Cool

watermelonI was shocked when an August heatwave hit during my third trimester with my son and my early pregnancy queasiness came back full force. "I thought this was only supposed to happen in the beginning!" I wailed to my OB. "It's the heat," she explained. "This isn't uncommon." Bummer. Everybody talks about pregnancy being a time of ravenous hunger and strange tastes, but hot summer temps can zap your appetite even when you're eating for two. Of course, you still have to keep eating (and drinking -- whenever I got dehydrated I would have a Braxton-Hicks attack strong enough to make me double over in the middle of the sidewalk!). After much experimentation, I found these snacks to be the easiest to stomach -- hope they help to get you through the summer, too!

  • Watermelon I always figured watermelon was a healthier dessert option at the end of a barbecue than a brownie, but I had no idea the refreshing melon is such a nutritional powerhouse! It's high in Vitamins C and A, as well as the B vitamins (energy!) and a variety of antioxidants. It's also as rich in electrolytes as most sports drinks!
  • Make-your-own popsicles There's nothing easier to put away on a hot day than a popsicle. And while there are tons on of options on the shelf, why not make make your own turbo-boosted variety? Instead of just pouring juice into popsicle molds, mix it up in a blender with some nutritional all-stars like ground flax meal, protein powder and a banana (once the mix is frozen you won't even notice the extras).
  • Popcorn I'm not talking about the lethal movie theatre popcorn that's somehow more deadly than a Big Mac (how do they even do that?!) Pop your own all-natural, low-fat popcorn in the microwave and satiate your salt cravings: Salt can help to counteract nausea, and popcorn counts as a whole grain! Yay, fiber.
  • Ice Cream Go ahead, you know you want to. If you can, pick a light, chemical free cone-filler (one of my favorites was Stonyfield Farm's Cookies and Cream low-fat frozen yogurt) and eat up -- remember, you need all the calcium you can get!
  • Green Smoothies Leafy greens are a crucial component of the ideal pregnancy diet. If the thought of tossing a salad makes you want to toss your cookies, however, throw some fresh (washed!) spinach or kale leaves into a blender with whatever fruit sounds good to you at the time (mango is my first choice) and a handful of ice cubes and tada! Salad in a smoothie!

What are you craving this summer?


Image via Aaron_M/Flickr

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