Looking for easy healthy breastfeeding snacks? I’ve been there (x3), and as a dietitian, I’ve got several recommendations for good snacks for breastfeeding.
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It’s no joke that new moms get used to eating with one hand. Initially, I thought that was a funny cliche, but I can vouch that it’s absolutely true, especially when going from 2 to 3 kids.
Keeping healthy breastfeeding snacks on hand is absolutely necessary. The breastfeeding hunger is a ravenous hunger that I can’t even compare anything to.
So, having a variety of good snacks for breastfeeding is essential!
Honestly, I’m eating more (and I’m hungrier) than during my marathon training as a mom.
I used to think that was bananas but now, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it makes sense. Because running and breastfeeding can work.
My body is changing and producing food for a little human. That takes A LOT of work!
I breastfed Camryn for two years, Hannah for 18 months, and now we’ve got little man. So, postpartum snacks have been quite an ongoing topic for me.
Snacks for new moms are important. So are postpartum freezer meals.
It’s great that people bring freezer meals for moms, but healthy snacks (like these 3 ingredient vegan peanut butter cookies) for new moms should also be included.
New moms are so busy learning to care for a newborn that they often aren’t taking care of themselves. And feeding themselves is important, whether they are or are not breastfeeding.
And, dinner is just really random, though I tried to eat from our stash of freezer meals for moms.
I’m as intuitive as they get for snacks, since most of the time what sounds good is carbs. So, I’m sharing some of the best snacks for breastfeeding in terms of nutrition, convenience and portability.
Good Snacks for Breastfeeding 101
When thinking about good snacks for breastfeeding moms, using nutrition knowledge and making sure I’m getting some protein/fat in there is important, or else I’ll continue snacking all afternoon.
Which sometimes I do, and that’s okay. But here are some of my favorite, more sustaining nursing snack options!
Here’s what to think about in a postpartum snack:
- Calories – In the early postpartum period, our calorie needs are higher. We’re trying to replenish the marathon that is birth. Looking for low calorie snacks isn’t going to cut it. You need calories for energy to survive the blur that is the newborn stage. I generally recommend 200-300 calories for a snack.
- Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are the body’s quickest source of energy. So while you likely aren’t sleeping a ton in the early weeks and months, carbohydrates can give you more energy during the day and prevent your blood sugar from dipping too much. Opt for complex carbohydrates and whole grains when available.
- Protein – Protein is the satiation factor, plus it tends to offer an array of micronutrients, from zinc to iron to B-Vitamins and more (depending on which sources you choose!) See more about my favorite protein powders here.
- Fat – Do people still think eating fat will make you fat? Fat is essential in the diet and is very important for our brain health, too. Focusing on mostly unsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids (I love this liquid omega 3 for absorption) boasts several nutrient benefits, and if breastfeeding, can carry over to the baby.
- Fiber – Whether you’re on an iron supplement due to blood loss postpartum, or the hormone imbalance or stress is causing constipation, eating enough fiber is imperative postpartum. Fiber-rich foods, like fruits, veggies and whole grains, also offer several important micronutrients as well. Fruits, veggies, oatmeal bites and bars are great sources of fiber.
- Antioxidants – It makes sense that there is inflammation in the body. We just carried a baby for 9+ months and gave birth. Our hormones are very confused, and we have to focus on healing. Making sure to include an array of colors on your plate for natural dietary antioxidants.
- Hydration – Of course, it’s always important to stay hydrated and include electrolytes too, especially if it’s the hot summer months (use these summer hydration tips) or you’re waking up with night sweats in the early weeks (I know I was)! I prefer to make homemade electrolyte drinks and skip the extra sugary Gatorade and Powerade, though I have heard that certain flavors may help with milk production.
Here are several easy healthy breastfeeding snacks to help you stay nourished.
Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks and Ideas
You can buff them up with galactagogue ingredients, or any flavors, spices you like.
Plus, they are hydrating, and getting enough liquids is important for breastfeeding. Use these pregnancy smoothies as inspiration – they are very nourishing!
2. Energy Bites
Sometimes I add cocoa powder for a chocolate taste. I eat them on their own or pair with a meal!
Oats are also a great lactogenic food to help with milk supply! I use these a lot for breastfeeding snacks at night.
Coconut fan? Try these lemon protein bites– sweet and filling.
3. DIY Trail Mix
A healthy homemade trail mix is super easy to make yourself. I mix peanuts or almonds, cereal, dried fruit (usually raisins or mango), m&m’s and sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
So easy! Personalize to your liking.
4. Vegan Cheerio Bars
You can even take it a step further with these vegan peanut butter cheerio bars, like homemade trail mix bars.
So satisfying and giving you enough carbs, fat and protein to support milk production!
5. Hemp Seed Protein Bars
Easy to make in bulk and freeze!
I always get my nut and seed ingredients through Thrive Market.
6. Yogurt/Cottage Cheese
Talk about pumping up the protein – greek yogurt and cottage cheese are both good snacks for breastfeeding and great ways to get enough satiating protein.
Plus, both are high in bone building Vitamin D and calcium.
I usually add cereal on top because I cherish a little crunch. I was limiting dairy for a while, but I’ve slowly added it back in and I’m watching to see what happens.
You can also make this chocolate coconut cream pudding for a vegan chocolate pudding.
But, if you are sensitive to dairy, there are so many options out there!
Plus, these are single serving so super easy for grab and go or eating with one hand.
7. Edamame or Roasted Chickpeas
I buy frozen edamame and let it thaw, or microwave it for a few minutes. I’ve also bought the dry edamame and snack out of the bag.
For roasted chickpeas, I generally do a savory spice mixture – rinse and drain the chickpeas, then dry them and lay out on a baking sheet. I bake at 400 for 40ish minutes.
I like to use salt, pepper, garlic powder/salt, cumin, and paprika. These BBQ Roasted Chickpeas are a family favorite!
8. Muffins with Nut Butter
Muffins are good snacks while breastfeeding because they are one handed!
Some of my favorite muffin snacks for breastfeeding moms, including these almond flour banana muffins, are:
- Sweet Potato Zucchini Muffins
- Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
- Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins
- Dairy Free Pumpkin Muffins (for dairy free breastfeeding moms)
- Strawberry Chickpea Flour Muffins
For premade, easy protein muffins, I love using these minute muffins. I love it because it has extra protein, and if you mix in milk (dairy or soy), that can up the protein even more.
Typically, I slather with nut butter and eat when I want something extra soft or comforting, usually after dinner or for a late afternoon snack with a slab of dark chocolate.
9. Leftover Oatmeal Cookies
Not your typical sugar-rich cookie, these leftover oatmeal cookies are fiber and protein-rich.
Made with a handful of staple pantry ingredients, these cookies are soft, gooey and make for the best breastfeeding snack.
10. No Bake Cookie Dough Bites
Just take them out of the freezer and enjoy as a good snack for breastfeeding.
11. Overnight Oats
Sometimes, snacks need to be more filling, similar to a meal. These high protein overnight oats do the trick, with hint of apple and cinnamon.
But, really, switch in any fruits you have – fresh or frozen both work beautifully!
I mentioned I love throwing granola on yogurt or in milk, but it’s great as it’s own too! I love this granola so much, but making your own is easy, too!
13. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is another favorite because you can make it in advance!
Chia seeds are nutrient-dense superstars (see more on chia seeds for kids), and help you absorb liquid to aid in hydration. I love adding bananas, but again, choose any fruits and flavors that suit you.
14. Hard Boiled Eggs
Easy to make in advance, and full of protein, B vitamins, choline and more. I love pairing a hard boiled egg with dried fruit or toast.
While fruit on its own isn’t sustaining, pair it with yogurt, eggs, or throw it in a smoothie or smoothie bowl. This strawberry banana smoothie bowl is my favorite.
Fruit is full of antioxidants to help nourish your postpartum body and help support your health.
16. Hummus and Veggies and Crackers
If you’re more of a savory fan, hummus and veggies never fails. They are a good snack to eat while breastfeeding.
Pick any crunchy veggies in season, or if you prefer, toss hummus on a tortilla or wrap and layer with egg or tuna salad.
Thrive Market has some great whole grain cracker options, too!
17. Tuna packets
Are you getting ample omega fatty acids and EPA and DHA? So important, not only for overall health, but also your brain and growing baby.
An easy way to do it (without cooking!) is to buy those shelf-stable tuna or salmon packets, that you can eat as is, or pair with some crackers. Easy healthy breastfeeding snack!
Beef jerky isn’t just for meatheads anymore. It’s an easy, portable, one-handed snack that is good as a breastfeeding snack. Pair with fruit or some carbohydrates for more sustenance.
Also, love Thrive Market‘s jerky, and you can get turkey or salmon options, too. Jerky, nuts and protein bars are some of the best packaged snacks for breastfeeding.
19. Storebought Protein Bars
I usually keep a few in my nightside table for breastfeeding snacks at night.
Hope these ideas help for quick snacks for breastfeeding moms.
What’s your go-to satiating, satisfying snack?