The Healthy, Delicious Snacks for Breast Feeding Mothers
You may have thought you knew what hungry was when you were pregnant. Joke was on you, right? Welcome to the breastfeeding bottomless pit of HANGER. You feel as though you need to eat ALL.THE.THINGS. or you may wither away. A mother’s body is simply amazing. I really wish our society would get over the whole body image shaming and start valuing the greatness instead. Within a few days of giving birth, the colostrum turns into breastmilk and all of the hunger cues are triggered. Breastfeeding burns about 300 calories a day – or more if you are nursing on demand. It is very important to understand that what you eat plays a role in your breastmilk supply and quality. ALL breastmilk is amazing, so feel no guilt if you treat yourself a dessert; you are not poisoning your baby. By ‘quality’ I mean that each baby is different and so many newborns have sensitivities as their digestive systems continue develop. The foods you eat could cause many different reactions. I recommend keeping a food journal over the first few months of motherhood so you can easily identify specific foods that may be causing problems (through your milk). Ok – back to the hunger – the HANGER. A breastfeeding mom needs to be snacking constantly. Not only are hormones rebalancing and mood swings happening, but it is very important to keep the milk supply up. Keep a large water bottle nearby at all times and drink as much as you can. If you haven’t mastered baby wearing yet, then you will be snacking one-handed throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is to have premade snacks on hand. I like to spend a few hours once a month making freezer meals and snacks to ensure I’m eating well throughout the days (not to mention that I have 4 other small children who are always eating). I typically make a few of the snacks ahead of time each Sunday. What are my go-to snacks? I’m glad you asked. *As always, eat as organic as you can afford, clean your food well, shop from local farmers, and grow what you can. Think high protein, and skip anything processed, filled with ingredients you cannot pronounce, or contain food dyes.
- Fresh Fruit
- Veggies with Hummus
- Dried Fruit
- Nuts (almonds are the best for milk supply)
- Cheese (although, I stay away from dairy for the first few months because tiny tummies can’t digest it well)
Easy to Have On-Hand
- Almond Milk (or chocolate almond milk!)
- Bacon and Sausage
- Celery and Almond Butter
- Apple Slices and Almond Butter
- Yogurt (again, I avoid dairy)
- High Quality Jerky
- Pretzels and Hummus
- Popcorn (Air poppers are easy – add some brewers yeast sprinkled to it! – it’s great to boost your supply)
- Leftovers – especially protein leftovers like meats and beans, etc.
The Make-Ahead Snacks
Energy Bites: Janea’s ‘Booby Bite’ recipe for energy balls is easy and perfect for one-handed snacking.
Lactation Cookies: I pinned a dozen recipes for you try! Let me know your favorite. I love Natalie’s recipe at TastesLovely (they are dairy free)
Hard Boiled Eggs Smoothies (or frozen popsicles): include plenty of greens. I don’t like leftover smoothies, so I freeze them into popsicles – or use WereParents’ recipe to make an ice-cream:
Cooked Meats (grilled chicken strips, pulled pork, smoked turkey) Quinoa (I make a batch of this to be mixed with some roasted veggies and hummus!) Roasted Veggies Baked Oatmeal Bars: The36thAvenue’s recipe is delicious!
Now snacks are not enough to live on. You do need to eat meals too! Skipping meals will not be a productive way to diet while breastfeeding. Make sure to take advantage of friends and family who want to bring you food! Once the meal train ends, start stocking your freezer with dinners to make life easier.