You’ve had to make a lot of decisions over the past nine months, and you’re finally in the home stretch. When it comes to the best snacks for hospital bag, here’s a full list that will power you through to the finish line.
Chances are, you’re here because you’re preparing for THE BIG DAY. The day your little one graces the world with his or her presence, but of course, you like to be prepared and pack all the right things into your hospital bag – including snacks. Fortunately for you, I’ve been down this road before, so I can share a thing or two from my own experience.
I know a lot of first-time moms are never really sure whether or not to prepare snacks for hospital bag. The short and sweet answer is, yes. You absolutely should! I always say that it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, especially when you’re about to bring a little human into the world.
Also, if you don’t get around to enjoying the snacks because you may be preoccupied with, well, giving birth, your partner will likely appreciate those snacks. Basically, you’re also preparing snacks for hospital bag for dad.
Depending on what your hospital allows and how good their food is, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of which snacks to pack into your hospital bag. Generally, you should go for non-perishable snacks because you never really know how long it’ll be before you get around to enjoying them. That being said, though, fresh fruits are always a good idea as a healthy addition to your hospital bag.
As you probably know, you can never be fully prepared for your delivery. You may or may not get to enjoy the snacks you choose before the birth, but you sure will need them afterwards! Most hospitals don’t really allow you to eat during labor, because it increases the risk of aspiration.
Not to be dramatic or anything, but accidentally inhaling food or liquids could pose a serious threat or even lead to death. Of course, I’m no medical professional, but your hospital will probably let you know what the dos and don’ts are.
More helpful resources:
Simple Birth Plan Template (Free and editable PDF or Google Doc printable with examples)
24 Essentials for a Minimalist Baby Registry
Deciding on snacks for hospital bag
Your hospital will probably provide meals for you during child birth, but don’t forget to pack snacks for your husband or partner too! So, the snacks you decide on for your hospital bag should ideally be a mix of things that you’ll both enjoy. At the same time, it’s very important to take the nutritional value into consideration.
I like to balance things out because to be honest, you never really know what you’re going to crave at the time. One minute you could be craving salty snacks, and the next minute you could be craving sweet snacks – so pack a bit of both. High protein and high fiber snacks are great options for your hospital bag.
Things to consider when packing snacks for hospital bag
Apart from checking with your hospital beforehand regarding their policies and procedures, there are a few other nifty considerations for packing your snacks. These tips have more to do with keeping your hospital bag as orderly and clean as possible, otherwise all your snacks could end up becoming one big mess in your hospital bag. You definitely don’t want that.
- Put your perishable snacks into an insulated lunch box (and you could add ice packs) to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
- The same goes for any soft snacks you may have. Put them into smaller containers and separate them accordingly so they don’t end up getting smashed in the process.
- Find suitable dividers for your hospital bag so that you’re able to pack everything neatly and separate things as you wish.
- Pack your liquids in a separate compartment in your hospital bag to avoid leakage.
- Prepare everything in advance and keep your hospital bag somewhere accessible. You never know when you’ll need it and the last thing you want is for you or your birth partner to be running around when the time comes.
16 Yummy snacks for hospital bag
Okay, so now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s get straight into the snacks that you should pack into your hospital bag. Some might even say that the snacks you bring could either make or break your hospital stay… so you have to choose wisely!
1. Granola or energy bars
Personally, I think these are a great snack on any given day. They’re packed with essential nutrients and can give you the much-needed boost for the big arrival and after. Just be careful not to choose anything that’s high in sugar.
Energy bars with seeds or yogurt are generally quite good to add to your hospital bag. The healthier, the better!
A lot of moms will probably agree with me when I say that crackers make for great snacks for hospital bag if you’re particularly looking for something small but satisfying. You can have them as is or top them with whatever flavors you may be craving.
Not necessarily high up there on the list of healthiest snacks, but pretzels are good if you’re craving something salty. Ideally, the snacks in your hospital bag should try to accommodate potential cravings too.
If you have these post-delivery, pretzels can also help you regain the salt you may have lost through sweating during the delivery.
Sandwiches are timeless additions to just about any hospital bag. If we’re talking about snacks that have been in every generation’s hospital bag, this is probably one of them.
You could opt for traditional fillings and spreads, such as peanut butter and jelly, chicken and mayo, or cheese. Whatever you decide on, make sure they’re packed with the goodness and nutrition you need in snacks for a hospital bag.
Another classic addition to any hospital bag, muffins are a convenient choice because you can opt to get a variety pack. That way, you can have your favorite flavors with your snacks for hospital bag.
Alternatively, you could opt to make homemade muffins. This will allow you to make them as healthy and as nutritious as you want.
6. Trail mix
Just like muffins, you can opt to either buy or make your own trail mix. If you add this to your hospital bag, you can rest assured that you’ll get a bit of the nutrition you need for the birth.
The great thing about having homemade trail mix as one of the snacks in your hospital bag is that you can include only the things you enjoy. From a selection of nuts and cereals, to dried fruit and seeds, it’s entirely up to you.
Nuts are a great source of protein and addition to your hospital bag. They’re high in good fats and vitamins and very convenient if you’re on the go.
You can stick to your favorites on their own or create your own mix of cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecan nuts… you’re truly spoilt for choice in this regard.
Another highly convenient snack to your hospital bag is yogurt. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a huge tub to the hospital, but rather, opt for the lunch-size yogurt to take with you. Just don’t forget the spoon.
The smaller tubs are more manageable and you can open one as and when needed, instead of opening a huge tub for a couple of spoons and then risk messing up your hospital bag!
You can also choose a mixture of flavors if you go for the small tubs.
9. Fresh and dried fruit
Just as these are a great snack choice for a road trip or while working, they’re good to remember for your hospital bag too. It’s best to have both fresh and dried fruit if you’re someone who enjoys both, or just go for one if you’re not particularly a fan of the other.
With fresh fruit, make sure you pack them in containers in your hospital bag, so as to avoid bruising. Also make sure that you wash these before packing them into your hospital bag, that way, you can just grab a fruit to enjoy when needed.
Dried fruits are very convenient and will last for your entire hospital stay. Dried bananas, peaches, mangos or berries are good. So, if you do bring both, make sure to have the fresh fruit first to get all the right nutrients and to avoid them going off.
10. Cheese sticks
Ideally, these should be one of the first snacks you eat from your hospital bag. Some things are just better off as fresh as possible. You’re also spoilt for choice and can choose from a variety of options at most stores. These are super convenient.
11. Hard-boiled eggs
These are easy to prepare and highly nutritious. You can pack these into a tight container to avoid the smell spreading into your hospital bag or hospital room.
You can pick your favorite vegetables and chop them up into smaller pieces for convenience. You should try to avoid acidic vegetables which could have an adverse effect during labor.
To make it easier to pack into your hospital bag, you can prepare several mini packs to grab and go. Much like fruits, vegetables have high nutritional value and are especially important for child birth and the recovery process.
13. Energy bites
Energy bites are easy to prepare ahead of time and pack into your hospital bag. They are sure to give you the much-needed energy boost for the big arrival.
14. Oats on-the-go cups
These are great for your hospital bag and come in a variety of flavors. They contain essential nutrients and are a whole lot of goodness in one. Not only are they easy to prepare and a very convenient snack if you’re on the go, but the individualized packaging makes them that much easier to comfortably pack into your hospital bag.
15. Water and Coconut Water
This is not so much a snack but an absolute necessity! If I had to go into the health benefits of water, we’d be here for hours! Simply put, this is the best thing to drink and hydrate yourself before and after baby’s arrival.
Water is the healthier option over other forms of hydration, such as artificial fruit juice or fizzy drinks. Pack as many bottles as you can!
16. Mini pancakes or flapjacks
Mini pancakes or flapjacks are a sure winner! You can finish them with any topping of your choice, or substitute the syrup with powdered sugar. You can make these from scratch so that they’re as healthy as you want them to be.
There’s also the option to make, freeze, and then defrost when needed.
17. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds in general are a great snack to have. They’re hassle-free, convenient and so easy to pack! Much like nuts, they have so many health benefits and contain good fats to power you through it all.
FAQs – Best Snacks For Hospital Bag
What is good food to bring to the hospital?
Snacks that are high in protein or high in fiber are a great addition to your hospital bag. Focus on snacks with a high nutritional value that will fuel your body pre and post-delivery. Try to avoid consuming a lot of sugar and acid during this time, so be sure to check the nutritional value of the items you put into your hospital bag.
What snacks are best for labor?
Healthy snacks are generally best for labor. You can balance it out between sweet and savory to include snacks such as fruits, nuts, energy bars, sandwiches, and of course, water.
Can you get snacks in the hospital?
Depending on which hospital you decide on, you might be able to get snacks, but don’t count on it if it’s night time. Prepare yourself for the worst and pack some snacks into your hospital bag so you won’t be disappointed upon arrival.
Can you eat when in labor at hospital?
Different hospitals have different policies about eating while in labor, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. It’s always better to have snacks and not need them, than to need snacks and not have them. You can always check with your hospital beforehand if you’re able to.