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What foods to pack in your hospital bag

articles Mar 18, 2024

You’ve got your underwear sorted, comfy pyjamas and onesies all set for you and bubs - but that line on the list that says “food and drinks'' doesn't offer many suggestions.

Having a couple of snack options both at home and ready to go in your hospital bag can be a game-changer, especially if you find yourself starving and depleted because the last decent meal you had was hours ago!


During this time, you want to have foods that are light, but give you long lasting energy. Whilst you're still at home, it’s a great opportunity to eat every couple of hours (as you feel fit) to set you up for when you move into active labour.

Slow release (Low GI) carbohydrate foods and snacks are best as they will sustain you and keep you from dipping in energy.

  • Toast or Crumpets
  • Small bowl of cereal (like Weetbix, Spec K, Cheerios)
  • Cut up fruit salad including berries, apple slices, banana, melon cubes, grapes
  • Yoghurt pouches
  • Popcorn
  • Vitawheat crackers with Vegemite or cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Bliss balls (homemade or Smooshed are our fave)
  • Smoothie (use milk & Greek yoghurt, ice cubes and frozen fruit for a combo of protein and low GI carbs)

Drinks are important to stay hydrated but can be easily forgetten during labour.  Ask your support person to offer you fluids regularly (every 15-20 minutes) and use a drink bottle or large glass with a straw to make sipping much easier.

  • Water or plain mineral water
  • Herbal teas or cold-infusion tea bags
  • Coconut water
  • Natural apple juice, diluted
  • Electrolyte-based powders or drinks, diluted (as often they can be too sweet)



It’s during this stage that you will need quick snacks that give you bursts of energy but not feel heavy in your stomach. We suggest packing a mix of sweet and savoury options in case you have a preference for one over the other.

Think about buying snacks in small serves, that are shelf stable (eg. don't expire or need refrigeration). The last thing you want to be thinking of in active labour is what's in the fridge nor do you want to carry the pantry with you! Don't forget to have some extras for your support person in case they too need some additional fuelling.

  • Hard boiled lollies
  • Gummy lollies (eg. snakes or party mix or jelly beans)
  • Plain sweet biscuits
  • Nutella
  • Trail mix, dried apricots or apricot delights 
  • Fruit straps
  • Muesli bars (eg. Carman’s range, Nature’s Valley, Be Natural, K-Time twists)
  • Small packets of rice cakes, rice crackers, pretzels, potato or corn chips
  • Cheese and biscuits packs (eg. Le Snak)
  • Mini flavoured milk tetras (eg. Up & Go’s, Milo, Devondale Moo milks)


Wanting to know more about nutrition in the postpartum period? 

Book your personalised appointment with Claire, our Pregnancy Dietitian to help you feel on top of your nutrition needs both in labour, and postpartum.

*Content included on this site is prepared as general information only. It is not advice and should not be substituted for personal advice which takes into account your individual health, financial or other circumstances.