Child birth is one of the hardest and most physically demanding acts that a woman will ever perform. Because it takes a huge amount of strength and energy, it is important to have good, healthy snacks available before, during and after birth. Snacks need to be wholesome and packed with protein and carbohydrates for strength and energy.
Here are some ideas from real moms for labor snacks.
Early Labor Snacks:
- Fruit. Orange or apple slices, bananas, grapes, strawberries, kiwi and melon are all excellent choices. Try them chopped in bite-sized pieces and frozen, if desired.
- Dried fruit. Raisins, cranberries, and apricots are popular choices.
- Honey sticks. These are a great source of energy when it is hard to keep anything solid down.
- Popsicles. Choose a healthy option instead of sugary, chemical-laden frozen desserts.
- Yogurt. A great source of both protein and carbohydrates, in addition to being easy on the tummy.
- Smoothies. Make them with fruit, yogurt, ice cubes and peanut butter, if desired.
- Toast. Try toast plain, with fruit spread, peanut butter or melted cheese.
- Eggs. Scrambled or hard boiled, they are light and contain lots of protein for long lasting energy.
- Oatmeal. Add some fruit and honey, if desired.
- Nuts or seeds. An excellent source of protein packed in tiny bite-sized bits. Try peanuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
- Trail mix. Make your own by mixing dried fruit and mixed nuts or seeds.
- Protein bars. Lara Bars are a popular choice.
- Granola. Loaded with wholesome grains, dried fruit and nuts.
- Hemp bites. 6 ingredients, no baking and totally delicious. Simple, delicious and filling.
- Cheese. Another excellent source of protein.
- Mac and cheese. Use whole grain pasta and real cheese, not the boxed and bagged variety, for a healthier option.
- Veggies. Broccoli, baby carrots, celery, grape tomatoes and cucumber slices are all good choices. Steam broccoli or carrots if desired.
- Muffins. Make your favorite variety ahead of time and store them in the freezer until labor begins.
- Ice chips. Simple, yet very refreshing.
- Frozen juice chips. Packs a little more punch than plain ice. Freeze juice ahead of time in ice cube trays, pop out and store in a zip-top baggie in the freezer until needed.
- Coconut water. This is an extremely popular beverage choice for women in labor.
- Fruit juice. Try apple or white grape, diluted with water.
- Electrolyte drinks. Gatorade, Recharge, Vitalyte and Vitamin Water are all popular choices.
- Laborade. It’s cheaper and better for you than most commercial drinks and it can be adjusted to your own individual tastes. Make ahead of time and freeze in empty water bottles or ice cube trays for crushed laborade ice.
- Lemon water with honey
After Labor Snacks:
- Sandwiches. Try roast beef or other deli meat, sub sandwiches, grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly.
- Fruit. Again, an excellent choice for either before, during or after labor.
- Kale chips. These are excellent for after birth since they can help to replenish iron levels.
- Soup. Depending on how you feel, you may want something light with a lot of broth like chicken noodle or a more hearty soup like vegetable beef. Make a batch of each ahead of time and freeze it in meal-sized portions.
- Chicken pasta salad. Make it ahead of time and let it be chilling in the refrigerator. It will be super yummy by the time labor is over.
- Chicken pot pie. Another great meal that can be made ahead of time and frozen.
- Pizza. Homemade is the way to go, made with lean meat and loaded with veggies. Make ahead of time and either freeze the entire pizza or divide into smaller portion sizes then freeze.
A special thanks to all of the great moms over at Raising Natural Kids for their wonderful ideas.
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Jennifer Cruz is also the National Gardening Examiner and the National Family Examiner.
She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.