There's no pickle-and-ice cream flavor, but that isn't stopping expecting moms from trying pregnancy bars, the newest member of the bar category to make its way into the mainstream.
Bearing clever names like Oh Mama!, Belly Bar and Mommy Munchies, among others, the bars fulfill most of the daily requirements for prenatal nutrients like vitamin A, calcium and folate. Many of them have also added DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that's been getting a lot of attention lately for its role in brain development.
As with energy and other nutrition bars, these are made to be a single source for often-overlooked vitamins and minerals. And studies show that consumers — and pregnant women — aren't eating healthfully on-the-go. According to Kelton Research, 75% of women admit to indulging in food cravings, but only 8% satisfy their cravings with something that's good for them.
That doesn't necessarily mean pregnancy bars are a magic bullet, however.
“They're certainly no substitute for whole foods,” said Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “But they work well as a supplement and occasional meal replacement.”
Johnson noted it's possible to go overboard on nutrients, so her advice is for women to limit their consumption of such bars to one a day.