10 Snacks High in Protein for Pregnancy

Increased hunger levels at times throughout pregnancy are no joke! Growing another human can leave you ravenous enough to level a mountain of snacks! Choosing snacks higher in protein can help keep you full longer and support balanced blood sugar levels.

Having nutrient-packed snacks prepped and on hand throughout the day is a lifesaver, especially in those early weeks when you’re battling nausea, morning sickness, fatigue, and food aversions. A few bites here and there can help curb nausea and boost your intake of essential micro and macronutrients. 

Speaking of essential macronutrients, we’ve got to talk about protein. Many people are underconsuming protein. A pregnant woman’s protein requirements steadily increase every trimester to support her little baby’s growth. Keep in mind that each person’s protein needs are individualized. However, a good place to start is aiming for close to 100 grams per day, at least 30 grams per meal, and at least 10 grams for a snack.

Protein-rich snacks are key to meeting these nutritional needs throughout your nine-month journey. That’s why I’m here to share a round-up of delicious, high-protein snack ideas that you can add to your pregnancy diet! Let’s dive in! 

10 Snacks High in Protein for Pregnancy

10 Snacks High in Protein for Pregnancy

Ideally, I recommend including 10 grams of protein in your snack choices. That hearty dose of protein isn’t just great for keeping you full and satisfied between meals. It helps you to meet your overall protein needs. Protein provides the essential building blocks your body needs to support your little baby’s rapid growth and development!

But listen up; it’s not just about the quantity here. The quality of that protein is of key importance, too. We’re talking about getting your fix from top-notch sources. Sources that are also loaded with other essential pregnant nutrients like iron, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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That’s why my curated snack lineup features a collection of protein-packed snacks, from meats and dairy delights to plant-based sources like legumes, nuts, and seeds. Mixing and matching these different protein-rich foods means you’re not just meeting those bigger requirements. You’re also treating yourself and your baby to a well-rounded buffet of vitamins, minerals, and all the good things you both need to thrive!

So first, what is the importance of protein during pregnancy?

why is protein important during pregnancy

What is the Importance of Protein During Pregnancy?

Protein becomes important for more than just you when you’ve got a tiny human growing inside you. And the fact is, it’s not just important; it’s 100% essential for keeping both you and your baby healthy and developing!

During pregnancy, your body works overtime. It gets busy supporting all the growth and changes to accommodate your baby. This increased demand means your protein needs are also increasing compared to your pre-baby days.

Your protein needs will ultimately depend on factors like your metabolism, size, and activity level. However, around 100 grams daily is a good place to start for most individuals. I know that may sound like a hefty amount, but trust me, hitting those numbers is doable with the right snacks and meals in your pantry.

But wait, why is protein that important? Well, for starters, protein quite literally provides the building blocks of your baby. It provides the structure of your baby and is necessary for many biochemical reactions occurring at lightning speed inside your body.

Protein is involved in almost every process in your and your developing baby’s body, from regulating your pH to balancing fluids, transporting nutrients, and overall growth and maintenance of your tissues and muscles.

Not only that, but getting enough protein can also help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. It plays a key role in helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Oh, and let’s not forget about your nutritional needs postpartum. Hitting your protein targets during pregnancy and postpartum can support your recovery, replenish nutrient stores, and even support your milk supply if you decide to breastfeed!

High Protein Snacks for Pregnancy

10 High-Protein Snacks for Pregnancy

Getting enough protein supports a healthy mom and your growing baby. Having various tasty and convenient options makes it much easier to hit those daily protein targets.

Below are healthy, high-protein snacks to introduce into your meal plan:

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Sometimes, the most unassuming foods pack the biggest nutritional benefits – case in point: hard-boiled eggs. We’re talking around 12 grams of high-quality protein per two eggs! But that’s just the start. These little wonders are also loaded with choline to support your baby’s brain development, plus nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium to keep you both thriving. 

Greek Yogurt Parfaits

With a staggering 15–20 grams of protein per serving, these creamy parfait cups are an absolute protein powerhouse and fuel your body for the day. But plain Greek yogurt isn’t just a one-hit wonder; it’s also an excellent source of bone-building calcium for your growing baby. The real magic happens when you layer it with fresh berries, crunchy nuts, chia seeds or flaxseeds, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Check the added sugar portion of the label if you prefer a pre-flavored yogurt!

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Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Are you in the mood for something tangy and sweet but protein-rich? Cottage cheese with fruit is the answer. Just one cup packs around 25 grams of protein! It’s also an excellent source of calcium to strengthen your baby’s bones and teeth. But wait, there’s more—pair it with fiber-rich fruits like pineapple, berries, or peaches, and you’re adding a natural dose of vitamins, minerals, and sweet deliciousness. 

Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

Who says pregnancy snacks have to be boring? Not with tuna-stuffed tomatoes on the menu! This snack is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that packs around 28 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving of tuna. Tuna is also an excellent source of omega-3s, which are critical for your baby’s brain and eye development.

Start with fresh, organic tomatoes of your choice. Remove the seeds. Then, stuff that protein-rich tuna salad into juicy, ripe tomatoes. You’ll get a bonus vitamin C boost to help absorb that essential iron. Stick to low-mercury options like skipjack or chunk light, and you’re good to go! Seafood is an important part of your pregnancy diet, and it should not be limited outside of the fish that are highest in mercury. 


Craving a plant-based, healthy protein snack? Look no further than edamame! This salty snack satisfies cravings and packs 17 grams of protein per cup. It’s a nutrition powerhouse for nourishing both you and your growing baby. Edamame isn’t just a one-trick pony. It also has folate, fiber, choline, and antioxidants to support a healthy pregnancy. Like most things, it’s best enjoyed in moderation.

Turkey and Avocado Roll-Ups

Each slice of turkey is paired with avocado to create a roll-up that packs around 7g of quality protein thanks to the turkey, plus a healthy dose of folate, fiber, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats from the creamy avocado. Simply spread the avocado onto a slice of deli turkey, sprinkle with seasonings, roll it up, and voila—a delicious, nutritious snack ready to silence those cravings!

Learn the facts about avoiding foods like deli meat, soft cheese, tuna, and sushi during pregnancy inside The Prenatal Nutrition Library App, so you have complete peace of mind what you eat is safe!

10 snack ideas high in protein for pregnancy

Baked Chickpea Snacks

You’re going to love these crispy, fiber-rich snacks! Just toss chickpeas with a little coconut or avocado oil and your favorite seasonings, bake until crunchy, and boom—you’ve got addictively snackable bites. This snack contains around 15g of plant protein per half cup, plus a decent dose of non-heme iron, folate, and other pregnancy nourishment. You can switch the seasonings to suit your cravings, toss them on salads or soups, or just munch away!

Chickpea-based hummus, which provides around 4.5 grams of plant-based protein per fourth cup serving, is another good snack option to pair with other foods.

Black Bean Brownie Bites

Craving something rich and chocolatey? Enter black bean brownie bites! This legume provides around 8 grams of plant-based protein per 1/2 cup, along with fiber, non-heme iron, and folate. But here’s the best part: in this recipe, they’re blended with cocoa powder, maple syrup, and chocolate chips to create a yummy treat that’ll satisfy the fiercest chocolate cravings. For an extra protein punch, you can top it with crunchy walnuts or creamy peanut butter!

Try this Black Bean Brownies Recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and adjust as desired! 

Quinoa Protein Bites

These little bites are total super snacks with a boost of plant protein plus fiber, non-heme iron, and folate. They’re a tasty, portable way to fuel your pregnancy and are made with cooked quinoa, nut or seed butter, protein powder, and a touch of honey and maple syrup. The quinoa alone is a nutritional powerhouse! Roll these bites in coconut, chopped nuts, or cacao nibs for even more crunch and nourishment. Protein powder isn’t just used in making quinoa protein bites (recipe here!); it’s also a key ingredient in some of the best protein shakes for pregnancy

To learn more about protein powder supplementation, check out this blog post, “Is protein powder safe during pregnancy?” To sum it up, yes, with a few considerations, protein powders can be a safe option during pregnancy. It’s super important to choose a third-party protein powder tested for purity and quality. Going with a brand with just a few simple, recognizable ingredients, like pure whey protein, will generally be your best bet. I recommend passing on protein powders with artificial sweeteners, added sugars, or herbs.

Meeting your macronutrient needs through food first is always a good approach. However, protein powders can be super helpful when aversions strike or you’re on the go. Protein shakes can be a great added boost when you’re struggling to hit your numbers or need a quick, nutrient-dense meal on the go. 

Trail Mix

Trail mix is the busy mom’s best friend regarding on-the-go snacking. But make it with these key ingredients, and this portable nibble becomes a great protein boost! Throwing together a custom blend of nuts like almonds and cashews, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, and maybe some whole-grain cereals or dried fruit to sweeten the deal.

A 1/4 cup serving can pack 5 to 10 grams of muscle-building protein! Trail mix is a great source of fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to support you both!

Snacks High in Protein for Pregnancy

Pregnancy and eating for two is a journey you don’t have to figure out alone!

So, we’ve covered a ton of healthy snacks for pregnancy, from classic hard-boiled eggs to those surprisingly tasty baked chickpea and quinoa protein bites. There’s seriously something for every craving and preference in there!

And that’s not even the best part: these snacks aren’t just protein-packed. They’re also loaded with all the good stuff—vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more —that’ll help keep you and your little baby happy and healthy!

Even then, I get it. Trying to figure out what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy can be totally exhausting. With so much contradictory advice floating around, it’s easy to get completely confused and have no clue what you should put in your mouth.

That’s why having The Prenatal Nutrition Library (TPNL) in your corner is vital. When we give you the latest updates on prenatal nutrition, you can trust that it’s legit—based on real science and facts, not old wives’ tales!

But we don’t just dole out solid information! We’ve got your back with expert-crafted meal plans designed specifically for moms-to-be. Our Free 1-Week Sample Meal Plan is the perfect way to get a taste of how satisfying and downright delicious nourishing for two can be when you’ve got experts laying it all out for you!

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