Pregnancy is a miraculous time for all future moms, but it’s also a stage filled with changes! Especially when it comes to the diets of pregnant women. There are tons of nutrients to include and certain foods that are best avoided. These changes are all necessary for the proper development of the baby including baby’s brain! So, it’s key to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy and be consistent with it and that includes adding in a healthy dessert.
Still, we all get a bit of a sweet tooth every once in a while. And, pregnant women may get a lot of sweet cravings! Eating too much sugar during pregnancy can easily become a slippery slope though. A diet high in sugar may lead to pregnancy complications like excessive gestational weight gain, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. Here is another study suggesting the same. While complete sugar avoidance is not necessary or recommended (hey, your mental health matters!), it’s optimal for both the parent and infant to keep sugar intake low and be cautious of sugar content in items such as drinks, salad dressings, and processed foods. I often get asked about artificial sweeteners and stevia, so I dedicated a whole post to stevia during pregnancy; learn more here.
With the information overload, we’re all experiencing these days regarding health, it can be confusing to know what healthy sweets are appropriate for pregnancy. Lucky for you, there are plenty of sweet treats that are safe for pregnant women! And if you’re looking for helpful tips on managing those sugar cravings, check out this post!
And, today’s post is dedicated to these delicious snacks. I’m sharing a roundup of the best healthy sweets for pregnancy. So get ready to tackle your sweet tooth with these dessert recipes!
Healthy Sweets For Pregnancy
Strawberries are some of the most delicious foods pregnant or not! They’re sweet yet not too overindulgent. Strawberries truly are one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. Plus, they make for a refreshing bite every time.
Strawberries are a great pick if you have blood sugar issues, too, since they contain plenty of fiber. If I’m being honest, you can perfectly eat these on their own and call it a day. They’re a treat as they are! But adding chocolate to the mix is a total game-changer. Of course, the more nutrient-rich option would be dark chocolate and that’s what we suggest for pregnant women, however, if you prefer milk chocolate that’s okay, too.
Dark chocolate is delicious, can be dairy-free (with some label reading), and provides some needed nutrients like magnesium. More on that below. Dark chocolate combined with a strawberry is honestly one of the best sweet treats for pregnancy and satisfies your sweet tooth! If you are not a chocolate lover, try pairing strawberries with angel food cake.
Making brownies with avocado seriously adds nutrients to a classic sweet treat. Avocados are filled with healthy fats and other important nutrients to support your pregnancy like folate. Avocados will contribute to your feeling of fullness, while the sweet brownie flavor you love is still maintained. There are tons of different ways to make avocado brownies. However, I like to get in a little extra fruit with this cran-orange avocado brownie recipe. You can even add chopped nuts to this recipe!
Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
Greek yogurt is a fan-favorite when it comes to tasty and healthy food and this extends to pregnancy. This yogurt has a thicker consistency than the usual parfaits found at the grocery store. It’s filled with protein, calcium, iodine, and probiotics. Make sure to find one that is low in added sugar or opt for the “plain” option and add your own drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Top your yogurt with your favorite fruit, some coconut shreds, cacao nibs, or anything else your taste buds love. As you can see, this is a filling, healthy, and safe pregnancy treat.
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Look, I don’t make the rules. Apple and peanut butter are a timeless combination! Both of these foods provide plenty of nutrients needed to support optimal fetal development. Basically, this snack is a secret weapon for battling your pregnancy sweet tooth! One red apple with peanut butter has about 260 calories which makes it a great addition to your second or third trimester.
Plus, it couldn’t be easier to prepare! You just need to slice an apple and dip the tip of the pieces in peanut butter. Two tablespoons is an ideal serving of peanut butter. Since peanut butter is high in fat, the calories can add up quickly, so this is something to be aware of, but not panic about.
I’ve already said dark chocolate is an ideal sweet treat during pregnancy! Dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) is a good source of many nutrients and antioxidants, so consider that a major win! It’s great to pair with strawberries as we already discussed, but also pretty much anything! It can also be really satisfying on its own. You can also find dark chocolate with dried fruit or mixed nuts that can provide added nutritional value!
Keep in mind, chocolate does have caffeine, but not much. A 1 oz. dark chocolate square has around 14 mg of caffeine. It’s perfect to curb your mid-afternoon or post-dinner sweet craving!
Okay, so, no all your sweets don’t have to include avocado, but honestly, you don’t even taste it! If you are here and you don’t like avocado (it’s okay) this can be a great way to fit them in without even knowing. I have the best, simple recipe, I’m talking five ingredients, for avocado chocolate pudding in my book, The Feel-Good Pregnancy Cookbook.
It’s decadent and comes with a nutrient punch and all you need is a food processor or blender. It shouldn’t cause you post-dinner heartburn either. This is a nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free recipe, but does include dairy.
Homemade Banana and Chocolate Ice Cream
Everybody loves ice cream, right? Well, the fantastic news is that you can now make it at home with only two ingredients! Regular store-bought ice cream is fine to eat sometimes, but it’s nice to make something you are in control of for nutrition and food safety purposes.
For this homemade banana and chocolate ice cream, you’ll just need frozen bananas and cocoa powder. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6. Cocoa will bring that yummy chocolate flavor and is safe to use while pregnant. To make the ice cream, mix 4 frozen bananas and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder in a blender. You can also add vanilla extract if you like. The texture should be smooth and the flavor delicious! Put it in a freezer-friendly container and enjoy it all week.
Popcorn is a snacking staple, but it’s also actually quite healthy! You can eat a lot for not very many calories. Plus, if you add a little maple syrup or honey to the mix, this turns into a delicious sweet treat. But why stop there? Dust some cocoa powder on top (if you’re a chocolate lover) and call it an absolute taste bud masterpiece! As always, just remember to keep the portions moderate and not go crazy on the honey or maple syrup.
Dessert Baked Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a hidden gem for those looking for a healthy, nutrient-filled, sweet treat. One medium sweet potato only has 113 calories and tons of beta-carotene. The key to turning this root vegetable into a dessert is toppings. Think chocolate shreds, honey, maple syrup, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Heck, you can even go crazy and do a few small marshmallows paired with vanilla and cinnamon. All of these toppings are healthy in moderation! So, get creative and bake yourself a dessert potato next time you need to curb a craving or two.
Granola bars are a top choice of many healthy eaters who spend a lot of time on the go. Many of them can double as a sweet treat and can pair well with a meal like Lara Bars. These are similar to protein bars, which can be a solid option for a snack on the go with a few considerations.
With both protein bars and granola bars, keeping the added sugar low is ideal. If you are laughing at the idea that a granola bar is a sweet treat, I get it, hopefully, some of the other options sound appealing to your sweet craving!
Iced Fruit Pops
These sweet treats are the perfect snack for a summer afternoon! Not only are ice pops delicious, but they’re also healthy and refreshing. They’re packed with natural vitamins from fruit and fruit juices, so they add nutritional value to your daily intake. Ice pops are only around 30 calories per serving, which makes them a safe treat to avoid gestational weight gain.
What is your favorite healthy sweet treat for pregnancy?
That’s all for healthy sweet treats for pregnancy! The foods listed are some of my favorite desserts for pregnancy, as they’re delicious and nutritionally balanced sweet snacks. All of them are super safe for pregnancy and baby’s brain development, of course! You can eat them whenever you get a craving or you feel like eating something sweeter. Other ideas not listed include zucchini bread, dried fruit, and yogurt bites!
To get trimester by trimester meal plans with dessert recipes, check out our app, The Prenatal Nutrition Library, your guide to a feel-good pregnancy! Now go and enjoy those new sweet treat ideas!