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8 Healthy Summer Snacks for Pregnancy and Beyond

Forget the watermelon and add a little oomph to your summer munchies.

8 Healthy Summer Snacks for Pregnancy and Beyond

It's summer season, which means it's time for pool parties, beach days, and park picnics. All of this sounds fun, but what's a mama (and her babes) to eat? After all, if you are pregnant or have a little one, you want to make sure that the snacks you pack along are healthy and nutritious -- it will help you feel fuller, longer. And if you have a toddler to feed, you probably want to find options that are not only healthful and wholesome, but that will also keep them satisfied and excited. So that watermelon you planned on bringing may not quite to the trick. Luckily, there are a few brands that offer healthy snacks for everyone in the family. Whether you need a dip for your chips or a good old energy bar, here are 8 brands we love.

1. Dave's Killer Bread. While bread constantly gets a bad reputation, remember not all brands should be judged harshly! Dave's offers a variety of organic, non-GMO whole grain and seeded breads. Their products are packed with protein and fiber and don't include mainstream ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup. Their line includes bagels, which are perfect for on-the-go! Check out their Epic Everything flavor that offers 12g of protein per serving and is topped with flax, chia and other goodies.

2. Late July. Who doesn't love a good chip and dip combo? Plus, summer and salsa go hand in hand, amirite? The brand offers regular or flavored tortilla chips, which include Jalapeno lime, Nacho Chipotle, and Bacon Habanero. The products use the highest quality organic and non-GMO ingredients that are free of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

3. Pure Growth Organic. If you're little one constantly asks you for snacks, this brand is your answer. Whether it's their breakfast biscuit bites or their veggie chips (made with organic peas, spinach and tomato!), you'll feel good about offering them these products as an in-between. Pure Growth offers "sweet and salty" options as well as on-the-go oatmeal (snag their original flavor for optimum nutrition!).

4. Rule Breaker. Guilt-free treats made with beans? Yes please! These sweet treats including brownies and blondies are made with chickpeas! So you've got protein, fiber and low-sugar to offer your little ones so they hopefully won't be bouncing off the wall if you're stuck in traffic. Since they don't contain any artificial preservatives, keep them stored in a cool area (or fridge/freezer for up to 2 months!), and eat them within 3 weeks.

5. Pipcorn. Mini popcorn. Not much else to say! Except, it's one less choking hazard to worry about. Grab a bag of these non-GMO, whole grain-based mini popcorn snacks. They've got seven savory flavors (sea salt, ghee, kettle, truffle, cheddar, rosemary and sea salt/vinegar) for you to try.

6. Beanfields. These chips are bean and rice based. So if you're looking for a variation to the potato and tortilla chip, check these out! One serving of Beanfields Chips gives you 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, so you can feel good about what you’re eating. And it's truly perfect during pregnancy to keep you energized and to help with constipation. They're non-GMO and vegan. Plus, they do not contain corn or any of the eight ingredients recognized by the FDA as the top food allergens.

7. Biena. Roasted chickpeas are becoming extremely popular because of their low-fat, high-protein content. What's more, they're also a great source of fiber. Protein and fiber are a healthy combination to delay hunger as well as help with those GI woes. Biena combines the classic taste of roasted chickpeas with some simple flavoring to add that snack-time oomph!

8. KIND Fruit Bites. KIND bars are notorious for a low-calorie, low-sugar snack. They're a great staple to keep on hand, especially during pregnancy when the hunger hits fast. KIND has also launched fruit bites. These snacks don't contain juice or concentrate and are made with real fruit. They're just 60 calories per pouch! In comparison to some of the fruit gummies products, these are a healthier option for your little ones as well.

Have you tried any of these brands? Do you know of any other ones? If so, drop a comment below.

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    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

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    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

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    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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