Staying in the hospital can be a difficult time. The food they serve is not always that great – and it’s usually not very appetizing.
Especially staying in the hospital for labor and birth can be very unpredictable. You don’t know how long staying in the hospital will be and you can’t always predict when your labor might start.
Many moms ( including me) totally forget about what to eat in the hospital or while in labor when putting together a hospital bag list. With my first baby I really did not expect that my labor would last for nearly 22 hours. I was already tired, exhausted and hungry before I went into active labor.
I had to send my husband out to get me some crackers and cheese because I was craving something salty. How I wish I had packed some food before we rushed to the hospital.
Not just me I had completely forgotten about my husband. Our plan was since our house was close by he could go home, freshen up and grab something to eat during the day. But I went into active labor in the night. He spent the whole night awake , supporting and helping me go through labor for 7 hours straight without eating anything but coffee.
So even if your hospital will provide meals for mom during child birth, please, please pack some for dad to eat during labor.
Like my example, you never know how long labor will last or if your partner will need snacks during their breaks from holding your hand through the entire process.
Snacks that have protein such as granola bars and nuts are necessary because you may not want to eat much at all while giving birth–so get those snacks packed up before time comes!
It’s worth the extra effort now by packing these snacks ahead of time so hopefully you won’t feel too hungry throughout labor and delivery.
So I put together this list of the best snacks to pack in your hospital bag for mom and dad that are easy to eat, nutritious and will give you the energy to power through labor and delivery.
Best Snacks to Pack for Hospital Bag For Mom and Dad
1.Nuts, Seeds and dried fruit :
Nuts can be a great choice because they provide protein, healthy fats, fiber – which will help you feel full without going overboard on calories. Dried fruits like raisins or apricots pack tons of nutrients as well. You can pack a mix of nuts and dried fruits that you enjoy munching on. They can easily be carried around in a bag or backpack without worry that they’ll go bad from being crushed, so it’s really easy for dad to pack some too. We love packing almonds, walnuts, pistachios – the options are endless!
Pretzels will be a good snack with salty flavor that can hit the spot when you’re feeling nauseous from medicine or pregnancy hormones. Pack more than one kind because it’s always nice to have a different option when your taste buds change throughout the day.
Yogurt cups are a good snack during labor because it can give you healthy calories without feeling full. It also has probiotics to keep your tummy calm.
This is always great for when you’re feeling peckish or just want something refreshing. Fruit has tons of vitamins and nutrients that moms need after giving birth. Apples with peanut butter and bananas give you a good boost of energy. Fruits like oranges, grapefruit helps your feel hydrated.
This can be another option to pack in your hospital bag if you don’t want to carry fresh fruits. These come with an individual serving size and won’t get squished or crushed like fresh fruit might during transit. canned peaches, peeled mandarins – they are a great variety to choose from.
These snacks can be eaten easily with one hand while the other is holding onto baby or being occupied in some way. And because they’re so small, you can pack an endless supply into a baggie and have snacks on hand all the time.
7.Baby carrots with ranch dip
Great finger food! These snacks can be eaten easily with one hand while the other is holding onto baby or being occupied in some way. And because they’re so small, you can pack an endless supply into a baggie and have snacks on hand all the time.
These are great for staying in the hospital because you don’t need to worry about them getting soggy or spilling everywhere and they’re healthy too! My hospital had apple sauce in their pantry so I didn’t pack these. You can check with your hospital and avoid duplicating the food that they provide.
9.Crackers with cheese
This is another good one that’s easy to transport and pack away in a baggie for anytime snacks when staying in the hospital for an extended period of time.
10.Rice cakes :
These are a great snack because they’re crunchy, easy to eat and can be eaten without utensils so you don’t need to worry about dropping anything between your legs while in labor .They also have lots of fiber which will help keep hunger away as long as possible.
11.Honey Sticks :
These are also a great option because they’re small and easy to pack in your purse or bag. There is no need for worry about filling up on calories here since honey sticks contain just 15 calories per stick. They come with 20 individual packs of honey so be warned that one box will not last long if there are multiple people staying at home during the postpartum time trying out their new snack find!
I would prefer popcorn as an after delivery snack if you are craving something salty. I wouldn’t want to eat them when I am labor as there is a risk of choking.
13. Sour Gummies :
Just a fun snack to pack just in case you crave something sour.
14.Energy /Protein bars
These are perfect for staying full when breastfeeding – we all know that nursing burns a lot of calories which means mom needs to eat more! Some favorites are Luna or Kind bars with hemp seeds (perfect amount of protein) or the Vega bar because it has no sugar alcohols and is gluten-free. Choose healthy flavors like vanilla almond, chocolate hazelnut crunch, dark cocoa cherry chia seed etc.
15.Veggies with Hummus:
This is a great option before active labor or after birth. It keep you full while loading with good plant protein. They’re easy to carry around, pack in containers or even buy at the store if you need it before leaving for the hospital.
16.P&J sandwiches :
A sandwich is always a good idea, but it might be too much to pack in the bag. That’s where the humble P& J sandwiches comes to the rescue. Easy to make and pack!
You can either pack homemade soup in an leak proof container or buy pre made soups cans from the shop. Soups are super comforting after birth food. If your hospital canteen has a microwave, you can just pop them in their for few second, reheat and eat. Soups are also great if your are choosing to breastfeed as they help the milk to come in.
18.Oatmeal cups :
I love these freezer friendly baked oatmeal cups recipe. You can make them ahead of time while you are nesting. Just throw them in the hospital bag when you are leaving for the hospital. Another way to take oats is used to pack the small travel friendly oatmeal packets that you can add milk, microwave and eat.
19.Jerky or Meat Bars:
Pack any kind of Jerky that you like. Jerky has a great protein rich snack that will keep you full without weighing you down. But if you are concerned about the high sodium levels in jerky, you can consider trying meat bars. These are not your average jerky bars, these are healthy, made from natural ingredients and do not contain harsh chemicals.
Perfect hospital bag snack to pack for mom or dad. You can make them ahead or buy some of your favorite ones. I really love these healthy oatmeal cookie recipe. It is made with whole grain which keeps you full and chocolate chips makes everything better .
Do not forget about drinks. Pack bottles of Gatorade, coconut water or whichever drink will keep you refreshed. I remember asking for chocolate milk right after my son was born as my body felt so dehydrated. Remember to keep your body hydrated – pack juices, tea or popsicles that will help you retain water during strenuous labor.
Can you snack during labor:
Before you start packing snacks for labor , I would suggest having a conversation with your doctor specifically about your pregnancy condition. can we eat snacks while in labor is a common question moms have and the answer depends on your health conditions and what your hospital allows.
These days most hospitals allow to eat lighter snacks when you are in labor. But if you are having a high risk pregnancy, your doctor might advise you to not eat much in order to keep your stomach empty, just in case they have to take you in for an emergency C section.
Tips to Pack Maternity Bag Snacks:
- Talk to your doctor about your pregnancy conditions and understand what you are allowed to eat and when.
- Talk to your hospital and check their food policy during labor. Also, check what your hospital provides for mom and dad during the hospital stay. Make a list of it so you don’t end up packing the same kind of snacks that your hospital gives you.
- Pick a variety of snacks from the above list –
- something rich in proteins and fiber to keep you full ( granola bars / meat bars are a great option), some fruits ,nuts and cheese. Some lighter food that you would like to snack throughout the day – pretzels, crackers and veggies are a great choice. Pack something hydrating – energy drink, tea or coconut water. Something sweet or savory if you end up craving them – gummies, honey sticks, chips are excellent. Some fuller meals if your hospital doesn’t provide any food – soup, oatmeal cups, sandwiches, mac & cheese are some options.
- Keep snacks like yogurt cups, applesauce in a insulated bag along with a ice pack.
- pack each snack separately in a zip lock or a reusable snack bag.
- pack snacks that could crumble in a container to prevent crumbs.
- If you are packing meals, these bento meal prep boxes are a great idea to pack individual meals for you and your partner.