One common problem for breastfeeding moms is that they are constantly hungry, but don’t have the time and energy to prepare healthy food. It is so easy to reach for the junk food when your hands are full and your stomach is empty! I reached out to lactation consultant Andrea Tran to help us find some ideas for easy, healthy snacks for breastfeeding Moms.
Make your snacks count!
Snacking is essential for the breastfeeding mama. 500 calories. That’s how many calories a breastfeeding mom is advised to eat in addition to her pre-pregnancy dietary needs.
Yay! Grab me a bag of Oreos! Or at least 9-10 Oreos. They’ll have the calories, but good nutritional value? Not so much. You want to make those calories count.
New moms are busy. They are crazy busy. The truth is that eating healthy is not difficult. You just need to know what are good choices. Then it becomes easy.
It doesn’t feel easy when we are standing in the grocery aisle staring at sugar-laden granola and protein bars. The snack chip aisle is even worse. Just because something is shaped like a vegetable doesn’t mean it really is that vegetable. And who needs all that salt and fat?
Challenges of healthy snacking:
- Get 500 extra calories
- The calories should have good nutritional value.
- The food needs to be quick and easy to prepare.
- They need to taste good! Let’s face it, something that tastes like sawdust is not going to be eaten more than once.
- The snacks should be portable, so if you are running errands you can throw them in your purse or an insulated lunch bag.
- Bonus points if they are lactogogues (good for your milk supply).
The good news is that there are lots of things to choose from. Here is a list of 10 things that you can snack on throughout the day, that work for the times when you are on the go. They will also give you energy and calories to keep making lots of milk!
10 Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms
String cheese is easy to eat and easy to carry around. You can eat it while you drive or push a stroller. They come in a variety of flavors.
Greek yogurt that is mixed with frozen cherries that have thawed. Pick full fat yogurt for a good calorie count. The thawed cherries will have a delicious juice that gives the yogurt a nice flavor without added sugar. To save on time thawing the cherries you can pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let’s be real, when mama wants to eat, she wants to eat now!
Nuts and/or dried fruit. Pick your favorites. If you are organized you can make individual bags of a mix. If you’re not organized you can just eat from the bag.
Hard boiled eggs. You can make a dozen all at once and keep them in the refrigerator. If a dozen seems like too many, do half a dozen. Hard boiled eggs are super simple and quick in an Instant Pot.
Organic turkey jerky provides you with protein and that is an instant energy booster. Gotta love a snack that requires no prep.
If you have time, oatmeal muffins. Oatmeal is good for your milk supply. Go easy on the sugar. Adding dried cranberries will help make them sweeter. You can also add fresh blueberries. Make a double batch and freeze some. That will allow you to grab one or two as you are ready to walk out the door and they will be thawed by the time you are ready to eat them.
Is there any fruit yummier or healthier than blueberries?
Speaking of blueberries, make a big batch of blueberry pancakes for breakfast and eat the extras for snacks. You can use protein pancake mix. I have an easy protein pancake recipe mix that uses protein powder instead of pancake mix.
- ½ mashed banana
- 1 egg
- 1 T almond milk
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 scoop protein powder
- Or, in place of the blueberries you can use chocolate protein powder for a yummy, healthy, chocolatey snack.
Fruit is the perfect grab and go snack. If you are not on the go you can dip apple slices into nut butter for some extra nutritional value. It tastes good too.
Nut butter is a great snack. You can just get a scoop with a big ole tablespoon or you can buy individual serving packets to throw into your purse.
YOUR FAVORITE LACTATION RECIPES
Energy bites can easy to throw together and will provide you with snacks for a few days. Pinterest has hundreds of recipes. Look for something that has oatmeal, brewers yeast and flaxseed for milk production boosting properties. Some recipes have chocolate chips, which of course can add sugar. Choose dark chocolate chips for their antioxidant properties.
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When you are growing another human being you want to make sure you are using good ingredients. That is what your diet is. That doesn’t mean those ingredients shouldn’t taste good. These snack ideas give you a lot of variety, nutrition and taste. That is the perfect breastfeeding diet trifecta!
What are your favorite healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms?
I would love to hear from you in the comments!
About the guest poster
Andrea Tran has been a lactation consultant (IBCLC) for 25 years. You can find her on Breastfeeding Confidential, where she provides education and support to breastfeeding moms that is inclusive, accepting and non-judgemental.