BEST BREASTFEEDING SNACKS FOR BUSY MOMS
Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories per day (Source). Any nursing mom will tell you that snacks are an essential part of her diet. To help you meet your milk production and weight loss goals, I’ve come up with the best breastfeeding snacks.
Many mothers report that they suddenly feel ravenously hungry and very thirsty as soon as they sit down to nurse. Always have your water bottle nearby, mama! Keep your breastfeeding basket and diaper bag stocked with non-perishable snacks.
I’m going to show you some great ideas on how to get healthy, nutritious, satisfying snacks into your daily routine. These snacks are all low in sugar and high in fiber, and they’re also easy to make and pack, so they’ll be ready when you need them.
I’ve got you, mama. I know you want snack ideas that are tasty, easy to prepare, easy to eat, and healthy. That is, healthy most of the time. I also include some that are decadent treats.
FINDING THE BEST BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
No one has a perfect diet, but there are some things you generally want to look for in good snacks for breastfeeding.
- Easy to prepare – cause what new mom has time to spend hours in the kitchen?
- Tasty. If it doesn’t taste good, you are not going to eat it.
- Nutritious – most of the time. We all need an indulgent treat now and then.
- Can eat with one hand since you’ll often be holding your baby with your other hand.
- Support your milk supply
- Can be prepared in bulk. It is a huge time saver if you can prepare things that will last several days or be frozen and thawed when looking for some good snacks to eat while breastfeeding.
- Are not loaded with sugar
- Have some fiber, so it stays with you for a while.
- It won’t bust your grocery budget.
EASY BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
My criteria for easy breastfeeding snacks is that they require no preparation.
This can include foods that you prepared before, as well as packaged snacks.
- Baby carrots – eating a handful of raw baby carrots is super-easy and healthy. Don’t we all feel more virtuous after eating fresh fruits and vegetables?
- Dried fruit
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
QUICK BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
The qualification for quick breastfeeding snacks is that it will take minimal time to prepare it. This can include something that you have prepared before and have in your refrigerator or freezer.
It also includes packaged snacks like individual bags or bars.
A quick breastfeeding snack could also be something you can pick up at Starbucks, like their protein packs.
If you want to include some superfoods in your snacking repertoire Dole Acai Bowls with fruit and granola are super yummy.
HEALTHY BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
Some of the easy breastfeeding snacks also fall under the category of healthy breastfeeding snacks. But there are some healthy snacks for nursing moms that do require a little bit of preparation.
- Cucumbers have to be sliced. Leave the peel on for a nutrition boost. You can slice up several cucumbers and keep them in a container in your fridge. One of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers is with some Kite Hill herbed cream cheese made from almond milk with a grape tomato on top.
- Apple slices with your favorite nut butter. I love Justin’s Almond Butter.
- Raw cauliflower – cut up a whole head of cauliflower, and it will last several days.
- To spice up fresh veggies, mix some curry or your other favorite seasoning into some greek yogurt to dip your vegetables in.
- Hummus is another great thing to eat with veggies or whole grain crackers.
- Plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Plain greek yogurt with frozen cherries. Let the cherries thaw for a bit. The juice makes this an extra delicious snack for nursing moms.
- Chia pudding. Make it with canned coconut milk. Vanilla will give it a flavor boost. Add some raspberries or nut butter.
- Cheese and crackers
- Hard-boiled eggs. Boil half a dozen, and you are set for the week.
BEST SNACKS FOR NURSING MOMS TO MAKE IN BULK AND FREEZE
These are some yummy snacks that do require some preparation. The good news is that you can make a bunch and then pop them in the freezer. Just thaw them when you need them.
- Protein bites
- Blended fruit popsicles
- Quiche bites
BEST PACKAGED SNACKS FOR BREASTFEEDING
While homemade is best, there are times when you are short on time and you need something nutritious and delicious.
You need to carefully read labels when you’re looking for the best lactation snacks to buy. You want to avoid things that have a lot of sugar, and you definitely don’t want to buy something with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
- Trail mix
- Larabars – the Cherry Pie is my favorite. I really like that it is made with only three ingredients: dates, almonds and cherries.
- Nutruit Snack Packs are vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, high fiber, and non-GMO ingredients. They are a great option for packaged nutritious snacks.
- RX Bars are made with simple ingredients listed right on the front of the package.
- Chickpea snacks come in a variety of tasty flavors and are great when you want a quick snack that is crunchy. Saffron Road Organic Crunchy Chickpea Snacks has a delicious selection of flavors.
Hippeas Organic Chickpea Snacks are made as puffs so you feel like you’re indulging in junk food but they are healthier than traditional puffs. They also have an enticing variety of flavors.
BEST PROTEIN BARS FOR BREASTFEEDING
Protein bars are the perfect snack when you are trying to increase your protein intake. But many of them are laden with sugar.
These recommendations don’t have too much sugar that they end up being more dessert than healthy snack.
- Think! bars have 15-20 gms of protein and 0-2 gms of sugar. They come in a variety of tasty flavors.
- Orgain bars are organic, plant-based and have 10 gms of protein and 5 gms of sugar.
- Aloha Organic bars are plant-based and have 14 gms of protein and 5 gms of sugar.
BEST LACTATION SNACKS THAT DON’T NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED
To combat the wave of hunger that hits you as soon as you sit down to breastfeed, keep a selection of non-perishable snacks in your breastfeeding baskets.
- Individual packets of nut butter. My favorite is Justin’s.
- Trail mix
- Meat sticks – Duke’s Hickory Peach BBQ Smoked Shorty Sausages didn’t last long at my house. They were positively addictive.
- Dried Fruit
- Chickpea snacks
- Bobo’s Bites
- Fruit leather
- Packaged bars. In the previous section, I shared with you what my favorites are.
BEST SNACKS FOR BREASTFEEDING AT NIGHT
Your milk production is actually greatest during the nighttime hours. Your hunger is not likely to take a break during those middle-of-the-night feedings.
You don’t want to have to brush your teeth after a late-night or early-morning snack.
Stick to foods like apples, carrots, and celery. You can put them in a food container and leave it next to your bed or nursing chair.
Unsweetened apple sauce is another good option.
Drink some water afterward to help protect your teeth.
You definitely don’t want to eat anything sticky like dried fruit or jerky for nighttime snacks.
SNACKS TO INCREASE MILK SUPPLY
If you are trying to boost milk production snacks can include foods that are lactogenic.
You can buy milk boosting bars, or you can make your own.
Look for or include ingredients that have a reputation for supporting a good milk supply.
- Brewer’s yeast
These are some snacks that you can buy that have many of these ingredients.
SNACKS THAT CAN DECREASE MILK SUPPLY
If you want to maintain or increase your milk supply, you will want to make sure you don’t eat any foods that can counter your efforts.
However, if you are struggling with producing too much breast milk, you might want to incorporate some snacks that can decrease milk supply.
Some foods can cause a decrease in a mom’s milk supply. Two of these, sage and parsley, are not the kind of things you typically find in snack foods.
Peppermint also can cause a drop in milk production. You could add some peppermint oil to some protein bites. For an occasional tasty treat, you could eat some peppermint cookies.
BEST SNACKS WHILE BREASTFEEDING THAT ARE A LITTLE BIT DECADENT
Sometimes you just need to satisfy your sweet cravings. As long as it is in moderation it shouldn’t wreak havoc with your diet if you indulge in a delicious treat once in awhile.
Heavenly Hunks are organic, have milk boosting oatmeal, and come in a variety of flavors. These are made with quality ingredients but the amount of sugar in them makes them a once in a while type of treat. I love these, but they are addictive, and it is very hard to eat just one.
Mommy Knows Best makes cookie and brownie mixes with ingredients that support your milk supply.
HACKS FOR THE BEST BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
Eating healthy is vital for a breastfeeding mom. It can be time-consuming, which can make it tempting to grab easy snacks that are not quite so nutritious.
Here are some hacks to make it easier to make better choices.
- Make a double batch of protein bites and freeze them in bags. Each week, you can take out a new bag and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick, healthy snack.
- If you need ideas for different recipes check out the Energy Bites cookbook. It is packed with recipes that are nutrient dense and tasty.
- Make several sandwiches with your favorite nut butter and fruit spread on whole grain bread. Cut them into quarters and put them in the fridge.
- Make a loaf of banana or zucchini bread. Slice it, freeze the slices, and thaw when needed. You can also make muffins and thaw them.
- Use an Instant Pot to hard boil eggs. It makes it super quick and easy to do them in quantity.
- If you have a preschool-age child they can help you roll protein bites.
- Keep a box of protein bars in your diaper bag.
- If you have a friend who is also breastfeeding who lives nearby, you can both make enough snacks to share. This will give you variety without having to make double the recipes.
- Sign up with Amazon for their Subscribe and Save option for your favorite snacks while nursing.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BREASTFEEDING SNACKS
Somewhere along the way, snacking got a bad rap. As a breastfeeding mom, you need to embrace snacking because it will help you consume the calories you need and satisfy the hunger that is so common in nursing moms.
And, as long as most of your snacks are healthy, it is okay to indulge once in a while.