Even the most healthy eater can feel like their nutritious world has been flipped on its head during pregnancy. All of a sudden your most nutritious foods, from protein shakes to spinach to lean meats, make your stomach turn at the mere thought of preparing them. This is especially tough for those who know just how important it is to eat well during pregnancy, for both the pregnant person and the baby’s health. But it doesn’t have to mean a life of toast and TUMS for 9 months. Check out these prenatal food swaps that are both healthy and satisfying, putting you and your stomach at ease.
1. Swap a basic cracker for a sweet potato option
If you are feeling ambitious, you can make sweet potato paleo crackers on your own (check out the recipe here), which pack more nutrients and fewer simple carbs, but give you the same satisfying crunch. Basic crackers can be filled with empty carbohydrates that, while they may settle your stomach, don’t really have any additional nutritional value. There are also healthier brands on the market that provide you with both gluten-free and grain-free options: Simple Mills, Hu Kitchen, Mary’s Gone Crackers.
2. Switch out toast for an Empower Bar
Toast is another fan-favorite during pregnancy as an easy go-to snack, but it doesn’t really offer any protein or complex carbohydrates either. Instead, swap toast with your tea for an Empower bar, which contains almond butter, hemp hearts, and a variety of seeds, among other more nutritious ingredients. It will keep you full longer than just grabbing a piece of toast, and for some pregnant people, a bit of protein calms their stomach more than carbs. At 200 calories, it’s about the same as a piece of toast, but serves your body better for hours, especially with it’s higher levels of fiber and protein than plain bread. Did you know nuts have been proven to improve baby’s brain health? Check it out here.
3. Change your bubble type
Some people swear by bubbles to keep their stomach settled, such as Sprite or 7-up. But we all know that pop or soda (depending on your location) is one of the worst things for your health in general, both diet and regular versions. So, try opting for a carbonated water, which you can flavor yourself with cut up lemons, limes, oranges, or other fruits to have a fizzy drink without all the unnecessary sugars and artificial sweeteners. Some pregnant people swear by Buble, which come in a variety of flavors, while others prefer plain carbonated water. Olipop, Waterloo and La Croix are also great options.
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth while upping your nutrients
For some pregnant people it’s not the nausea, but the intense cravings, usually for fatty, sweet, or salty foods, that are tough to deal with. It’s okay to give into these cravings in moderation, but if you are looking to ensure your food decisions carry the best nutritional benefits possible, try swapping a cake or cookie for an Empower Bar Cacao, the regular empower bar’s delicious chocolate redition. Instead of just feeding you and your growing baby the typical ingredients of a brownie, such as sugar, flour, and more, you are swapping for a line up of powerhouse ingredients such as: All Natural Almond Butter, Organic Coconut Nectar, Avocado Oil, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Cage-Free Egg, Organic Hemp Hearts, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, Organic Pea Protein, and more. Take that, cravings.
One of the most important non-food related swaps you can make during pregnancy is exchanging guilt and harmful internal dialogues about eating perfectly with more accepting and grace-filled mindsets about your changing body, which may sometimes just need a real cookie. That’s okay too.