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20 Good Snacks for Breastfeeding

Are you constantly hungry and looking for good snacks for breastfeeding? I’ve been there (x3), and as a dietitian, I’ve got several recommendations for good snacks for breastfeeding.

Mother nursing baby

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Easy snacks for breastfeeding moms is imperative.

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.

I breastfed my oldest for two years, my middle for 18 months, and now we’re 6 months in with the youngest.

Anyone with a newborn knows it can be hard to take care of yourself, let along feed yourself.

Breastfeeding can be a time-consuming and demanding activity, especially in the first few weeks or months after birth.

But, when you are holding a baby, have a baby sleeping on you, or are nursing and you want a snack, we have several ideas for one handed snacks for breastfeeding.

Tips for Eating with a New Baby

When you are breastfeeding and holding baby’s head with one hand, you might find it challenging to eat with the other hand.

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. Even if not breastfeeding, postpartum snacks are going to be crucial.

baby sleeping on mom

To make eating while breastfeeding easier, you can try:

  1. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
  2. Preparing easy-to-eat snacks that can be eaten with one hand, such as those listed below.
  3. Keeping healthy snacks and a water bottle nearby when you sit down to breastfeed. I loved the mother’s cart and still use it now.
  4. Asking for help from a partner, family member, or friend to hold the baby while you eat.
  5. Using a nursing pillow to support your baby, allowing you to have both hands free to eat. Or, put baby in a bouncer or swing so you have a break.
mom on couch with baby napping

The Best Snacks for Breastfeeding

Keeping those tips in mind, the best snacks for breastfeeding are easy to grab and easy to hold.

In fact, many of them can be eaten with one hand!

Keeping grab-able, healthy, protein-rich breastfeeding snacks on hand is absolutely necessary.

I definitely learned that in going from 1 to 2 kids, and of course, going from 2 to 3 kids.

mom breastfeeding baby in bed

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.

Thank goodness for Thrive Market – I can’t tell you how much I’ve relied on them for my easy breastfeeding snacks, as well as some of the homemade options below.

Honestly, I’m eating more (and I’m hungrier) than during my marathon training as a mom.

Running and breastfeeding can work well together with a little planning.

overhead view of baking sheet with protein granola spread out and wooden spoon with granola on it

Good Snacks for Breastfeeding 101

When thinking about good snacks for breastfeeding moms, using nutrition knowledge and making sure I’m getting some carbs, protein/fat in there is important, or else I’ll continue snacking all afternoon.

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.

I love so many of the healthy options on Thrive Market. I signed up to be a member mainly for the snack choices – highly recommend it!

The best way to stock up on healthy storebought snacks that fit your dietary lifestyle is to use a service like Thrive Market and have them sent monthly. Then you never have to use the grocery store for these staples and they’ll always be stocked!

thrive market block

Many of these snacks below also double as breastfeeding night snacks, but I have a separate post on those since those strictly need to be shelf-stable, and able to live on your nightstand!

What to think about in healthy breastfeeding snacks:

  • 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

1. Smoothies

Lactation smoothies and greek yogurt smoothies are so easy and filling, and easy to sip while you’re nursing. For that reason, they are one of the best snacks for breastfeeding.

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.

peanut butter coffee smoothie in clear glass with straws
Delicious Peanut Butter Coffee Smoothie

Use these pregnancy smoothies as inspiration – they are very nourishing!

2. Energy Bites

These are so easy and have so many variations! I usually stick with general oats, peanut butter, honey, flax seeds, and chia seeds, but you can get fancy.

Sometimes I add cocoa powder for a chocolate taste. I eat them on their own or pair with a meal!

If you’re looking for specific recipes, I love no bake vegan protein bites and chocolate coconut bites!

I’m a sucker for chocolate and peanut butter, what can I say?

Oats are also a great lactogenic food to help with milk supply! Coconut fan? Try these lemon protein bites– sweet and filling.

toast with egg and avocado and fruit on white plate

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!

If I ever have extra breastmilk, I’ll use some in these breastmilk popsicles to serve to the baby.

overhead shot of trail mix bars on parchment paper and counter top

5. Hemp Seed Protein Bars

My favorite and best granola bars for breastfeeding are these pumpkin hemp seed protein bars and healthy carrot cake bars.

Easy to make in bulk and freeze!

Pan of Homemade Hemp Protein Bars

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.

When I was trying to avoid dairy, I tried Ripple Yogurt and Kite Hill yogurt, but nothing is the same as good old full fat greek yogurt to me.

You can also make this chocolate coconut cream pudding for a vegan chocolate pudding.

vanilla ripple yogurt

Plus, these are single serving so super easy for grab and go or eating with one hand while breastfeeding.

yogurt topped with cereal, friot and peanut butter

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 BBQ 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.

barbecue chickpeas on baking sheet

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 are:

gluten free blueberry muffin in muffin wrapper

For premade, easy protein muffins, I love using these minute muffins.

I love them because they have 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. 

Plus, oats can help with milk supply!

leftover oatmeal cookies on baking sheet with toppings

Yes, that’s what I said. No bake cookie dough bites blend sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peanut butter and maple syrup for the best homemade cookie dough bites that you freeze!

Just take them out of the freezer and enjoy as an easy snack for breastfeeding moms.

no bake cookie dough bite with chocolate chips with bite taken out

Daily Harvest also has some delicious pre-made bites that you just stick in the freezer!

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!

Lemon blueberry overnight oats are very refreshing too!

lemon blueberry overnight oats in mason jar on white counter

12. Granola

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!

My go to recipes are this pb2 granola, cinnamon maple granola or pumpkin seed granola.

hand holding chunky granola

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.

This banana chia pudding is a great template to begin with. Chocolate coconut milk chia pudding is delicious, too!

Banana chia seed pudding topped with banana slices and coconut flakes in mason jar | www.bucketlisttummy.com

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.

blue toddler plate with pineapple, tomato, hard boiled egg and shredded cheese

15. Fruit

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.

two strawberry banana smoothie bowls with fruit toppings

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!

Homemade hummus with veggies

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!

18. Jerky

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.

amazon stock image of think beef jerky

19. Storebought Protein Bars

I am pretty much obsessed with Perfect Bars and these individual packets of Rx Nut Butters are pretty darn delicious (extra protein from the egg white).

I usually keep a few in my nightside table for breastfeeding snacks at night.

perfect bar

20. Pouches

Pouches can be GREAT for a quick snack. The thing is, most pouches DO NOT have protein, so you’ll want to pair with something like nuts, seeds, nut butter or jerky.

My favorite pouch that does have 5 grams of protein are these Noka pouches. Great flavors and ingredients! They also have specific nut butter pouches.

One Handed Snacks for Breastfeeding

While many of the above options can be eaten with one hand while breastfeeding, here are some specific one-handed snack options.

  • Granola bars or protein bars – some of my favorites are Perfect Bars, Kind bars and Clif Bars. I recommend getting these all on subscribe and save.
  • Toast or rice cakes with nut butter (the nut butter makes it more satiating)
  • Smoothie pouches
  • Fresh fruit – bananas seem to be the easiest for one hand!
  • Cheese sticks or babybel cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Homemade oatmeal bites – carrot cake bites or chocolate almond balls
  • Leftover pizza from the night before (I’ve done this too many times!)
  • Single serving yogurt containers or yogurt pouches (or make your own with these homemade DIY yogurt pouches)
  • Daily Harvest bites – keep these in the freezer, so good frozen! Plus, get up to $60 off your order!
  • Smoothies (see above)

Other Tips to Keep Eating Easy

While snacks for new moms are important, so are postpartum freezer meals. Do some meal prep while you’re pregnant or have friends drop off meals if you can.

Dinner may just be really random, but if you have a stash of freezer meals for moms, it helps tremendously.

It may be leftovers thrown over veggies, pasta (thank god for Banza), take out, waffles, air fryer turkey burgers, etc.

Anything that gets YOU (and kids) fed. Because if you’re not fed, everything else falls to the wayside.

Remember to prioritize YOU getting fed, mama. Hope these ideas help for quick snacks for breastfeeding moms.

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  1. All of these are such good ideas. I love quick yogurt cups, and I haven’t had cottage cheese in forever, but it’s so good with peanut butter and fruit.

    1. I’m really getting more into cottage cheese – the texture used to freak me out but now i love it 🙂

    1. I should also add superhero muffins for my favorite muffin, but those take a little more time. But they are so satiating 🙂

  2. My favorite go-to snack is yogurt with granola. When I am on the go, I often make half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Like you, I love trail mix and Clif bars too 🙂

    1. There’s nothing like a PBJ, I should have included it because it’s the OG. I feel like Clif Bars get a bad rap but I recommend them to clients and athletes all the time

  3. “Trail mix” has been big for me with my work days. I stash just some nuts and dried fruit in my pocket and munch as I go. I try not to get caught with a customer with my mouth full, haha.