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5 Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks

Looking for easy healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms? I’ve got you covered.

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.

Keeping healthy breastfeeding snacks on hand is absolutely necessary. The breastfeeding hunger is a ravenous hunger that I can’t even compare anything to.


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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.

My body is changing and producing food for a little human. That takes A LOT of work!

I breastfed Camryn for two years, and I’m almost up to a year with Hannah, so postpartum snacks have been quite common for me.

Mother nursing baby

Snacks for new moms are important. So are 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.

This is because 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.

Either way, they need to stay nourished.

I’ve gotten better at delegating some time for meals and actually taking time to sit down and eat them…sometimes.

Most of the time, my breakfast is strawberry baked oatmeal of some sort, lunch is eggs with toast, and dinner is just really random, though I tried to have lots of freezer meals for moms.

baking dish and two plates with strawberries and baked oatmeal

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

I’m as intuitive as they get for snacks, since most of the time what sounds good is carbs.

Bowl of cereal, and protein granola on yogurt are my two favorites for easy breastfeeding snacks, or just whipping out a pumpkin no bake cookie.

Good Snacks for Breastfeeding

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!)
  • 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!
  • 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 5 easy breastfeeding snacks to help you stay nourished.

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

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

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 vegan trail mix bites and here’s a 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! I use these a lot for breastfeeding snacks at night.

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.

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!

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

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

I always get my nut and seed ingredients through Thrive Market.

Thrive Market
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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.

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

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.

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!

I’ve done cinnamon sugar before and they were sweet and delicious! I’ve found that they don’t hold their crunch after too long, but I’ll snack on them all day and add them to salads and stuff.

Muffins with Nut Butter

Some of my favorite muffin snacks for breastfeeding moms, including these almond flour banana muffins, are:

gluten free blueberry muffin in muffin wrapper

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.

Other Ideas

Other ideas – hard boiled eggs, anything with peanut butter, and 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
snack ideas for new moms graphic

Hope these ideas help for quick snacks for breastfeeding moms.

What’s your go-to satiating, satisfying snack?

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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.