Whether it is your first baby, or 2nd+ baby, life just got a whole lot busier! Planning meals and snacks, or planning time to eat at all, may seem impossible, but the health of you (Mama) during the fourth trimester is just as important as the health of your baby(ies). The additional nutrients from snacks will fuel you, both mentally and physically, to attack each day head on. Thankfully, we’ve put together some snacks for the fourth trimester to help make snack time as effortless and time-sensitive as possible. Because we know how important each moment is with your new baby!
Importance of Snacks During the Fourth Trimester
Mama’s nutrient needs are still important during the fourth trimester for your body’s recovery, and breast milk production (if you are choosing to breastfeed). Nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, zinc, and omega 3 are just as important to consume as they were during the first three trimesters of pregnancy (1). Nutrients for breastfeeding support, changes in hormones, postpartum recovery, and decreasing your risk of postpartum depression are just a few important reasons to fuel yourself during this time in your life (1). Your body may also be depleted of some nutrient stores from your time during pregnancy, and snacks during the fourth trimester will help bring those stores back up!
Tips for Snack Ideas During the Fourth Trimester
- Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family, or neighbours for help. You never know who may be willing to do some cooking or baking to help you while you have a new little one at home.
- Set reminders on your phone to eat every 2-4 hours if you find that you are forgetting to fuel yourself.
- Have dry food items on your counter, or anywhere in your home where you spend a lot of time. Being able to grab a handful whenever you see it will serve you well (e.g., a jar of trail mix beside your baby-feeding location to fuel yourself after feeding your baby).
- Check out the recipe page on the website for some simple meal and snack ideas.
- Make double when cooking and baking, then freeze it so you can pull out when in a pinch – you never know when hunger might hit after feeding your new baby!
Quick and Easy Snacks for the Fourth Trimester
- Whole grain bread with natural peanut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter
- Sprinkle with chia seeds and hemp hearts
- Whole grain toast with mashed avocado
- Top with a hard-boiled egg (you can prepare these in advance), or
- Sprinkle with hemp hearts and chia seeds
- Hard boiled egg
- If you need a little extra flavour, top with a dash of salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce
- Whole grain cereal with milk
- Oatmeal with slivered almonds, raisins, and cinnamon
- Apple or banana with natural nut butter
- Tostitos chips and salsa
- Popcorn (check out our recipe for stove top popcorn.
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Add: honey, maple syrup, fresh or frozen berries, banana slices, granola, hemp hearts, chia seeds
- My favourite: Plain Greek yogurt with a tsp of honey and a handful of trail mix!
- Smoothie: frozen spinach, water or milk/milk alternative, frozen or fresh berries, frozen or fresh banana, nut butter (TIP: make a large one in the morning, refrigerate, and drink it throughout the day)
- Raw vegetables with hummus or tzatziki
- Whole grain crackers with full fat cheese
- Whole grain crackers and hummus
- Pita with tzatziki
- Comfort and play foods are great too:
- Homemade cookies and breads, ice cream, candy and chocolates
The Bottom Line
Snacking throughout the day is important to sustain the overall health and well-being of you and your little one(s). This time as a new Mama, or Mama of multiples, is going to be beautiful, but also hard. Give yourself some grace & if you what you want is ice cream while your baby is finally sleeping – eat the ice cream!
- Beluska-Turkan, K., Korczak, R., Hartell, B., Moskal, K., Maukonen, J., Alexander, D. E., Salem, N., Harkness, L., Ayad, W., Szaro, J., Zhang, K., & Siriwardhana, N. (2019). Nutritional gaps and supplements in the first 1000 days. Nutrients, 11(12), 2891. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122891
~ Written by Rebecca Woods