25+ Nourishing Postpartum Snacks
- July 27, 2021
- Last Updated: February 26, 2023
- 0 Comments
Postpartum snacks don’t get the credit they deserve. This post will review some of the best postpartum snacks, whether you want homemade options, or storebought easy postpartum snacks.
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Since I’m such a big proponent of snacking (and an avid snacker myself – remember that my nickname in college was “snacks”?), I figured detailing a post on healthy postpartum snacks would be beneficial.
I remember two days after having our VBAC home birth, our lovely doula, Lindsay, came by with lentil soup.
A great anti-inflammatory soup (great for hydration, too!) to help with recovery and healing.
I was all about it – and many of these freezer meals for postpartum.
And then my husband made me my beloved baby french toast for the morning and I felt well fed and well cared for.
You see, postpartum is no time to slack on nutrition, especially for those nighttime nursing sessions – make some of these breastfeeding night snacks to munch on.
Your body is doing some major healing, and postpartum snacks come in handy between nursing sessions, meals, middle of the night, etc.
I’m currently in my second postpartum period. Well, Hannah is almost one year old, but it’s still postpartum for me.
Similarly, I still think of my running as postpartum running even though I’m a year out. Thankfully, it is much different than my running in the third trimester, and what I’m eating makes a big difference.
What to Include In Postpartum Snacks
Nutritionally speaking, let’s talk about what makes up the best postpartum snacks.
While we generally think of mostly fruits and vegetables as “healthy,” postpartum snacks will need to be more energy-dense usually.
Fruits and veggies won’t provide the fat for your hormones and cell membranes, the protein for cell and muscle repair, or the overall calories you need.
Note that the quantities of what’s listed below may change depending on what phase of postpartum you are in, and if you are bresatfeeding, chasing around other kids, resuming activity, etc.
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 a couple of times a day, maybe more if breastfeeding.
- 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, but know that all foods can offer energy.
- 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)! Here’s more about determining your protein needs.
- Fat – Eating fat doesn’t 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, no bake oatmeal bites, and homemade trail mix 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. Make 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 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.
Healthy no bake snacks and examples of athlete snacks are great for many of the above because you make them once and then reap the benefits later.
Plus, you can even make a bunch to freeze for later.
I thrived on these as breastfeeding snacks and I’m thankful I did some meal prep for baby.
I also relied on tons of greek yogurt smoothie recipes and even smoothies for pregnancy as the best snacks for breastfeeding because they can help meet your hydration needs too.
Breastfeeding makes you SO thirsty! Lactation smoothies were so thirst quenching and helped with milk production.
Lastly, a great resource on all things pregnancy and postpartum nutrition is Lily Nichols, who is the author of Real Food for Pregnancy.
Healthy Postpartum Snacks and Ideas
A study published in the Journal of Prenatal Medicine defines the postpartum period as having three distinct phases:
- Initial or acute period – 6-12 hours after delivery
- Subacute postpartum period – 2-6 weeks after delivery
- Delayed postpartum period, which can last up to 6 months
Personally, as a mom, I think we’re always “postpartum” to some extent, but we are likely much more vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies in the early stages if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Preparing healthy snacks for moms should be the norm!
While this post will mostly focus on the best postpartum snacks, I have a whole post on the best freezer meals for postpartum, too, where I share many postpartum recipes.
And breakfast can be hit or miss because you’re likely exhausted from the sleep deprivation and have no energy to make anything.
You can adapt some of these ideas for breakfasts for athletes because energy needs will be similar to a high training athlete for recovery.
The main gist is to aim for a balanced plate, quality protein and ample healthy fats and antioxidants. All of this will help support repair and recovery!
Healthy Postpartum Snacks
These healthy snacks for new moms can work as healthy snacks while breastfeeding or just when you need quick, portable options with a new born or little ones!
Pumpkin zucchini muffins are perfect for fall, and a healthy muffin recipe for babies, toddlers and adults! Who knew dairy free pumpkin muffins could taste so good!?
Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Zucchini Muffins are a tasty, portable snack option for your little ones. These zucchini and sweet potato muffins are full of veggies and provide a dairy-free option for those who need it
These chocolate almond balls are easy, incredibly delicious and make for a great snack on the go. A touch of collagen makes these collagen bites a high-protein snack to hold you over.
Strawberry Banana Chickpea Flour Muffins are light and fluffy, yet high in protein. These chickpea flour muffins are gluten-free and ready in 30 minutes. They are perfect for on-the-go snacks and kids.
BBQ roasted chickpeas are the perfect crunchy snack, or easy to throw on salads, stir fries and more. Barbecue chickpeas are full of that barbecue flavor you know and love.
These cherry chocolate chip baked oatmeal cups are a fun new way to take oatmeal on the go, great for snacks, quick breakfasts and kid-friendly.
This bright hued sweet potato beet smoothie is the best post workout smoothie recipe. Made with mango, beets and sweet potatoes, it's antioxidant rich, and helps replenish and restore your muscles to expedite recovery.
This Peanut Butter Coffee Smoothie is an easy, delicious coffee protein smoothie with a kick of caffeine. Enjoy it with breakfast or as an energizing snack!
For the best gluten free zucchini muffins, look no further than these zucchini almond flour muffins made with almond flour, oats, almond butter and spices. A delicious and satisfying snack for the whole family.
Apple pie overnight oats are a tasty high protein overnight oats recipe to start your day! Perfect for those warm fall mornings, or any time of year!
These vegan trail mix bars are great for athletes on the go, as a pre or post workout snack. Made with oats, maple syrup, peanut butter and nuts, raisins, and hemp seeds, these wholesome vegan trail mix bars are easy make ahead snacks!
No Bake Peanut Butter Cherry Trail Mix Bites are the perfect pre-run or on-the-go snack! Full of flavor, fiber and a hint of sweetness, they are kid friendly, gluten free and vegan.
Protein granola is an easy vegan granola snack, made with peanut powder and seeds. Whip it up for an easy shelf stable snack, or add it as a crunchy topping to oatmeal, yogurt or ice cream.
This Pumpkin Peanut Butter Granola boasts 3 forms of pumpkin and is the perfect crunchy pumpkin granola recipe. It makes a great on-the-go snack or topping.
This Coconut Cinnamon Maple Granola is made with oats, maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut, and makes for a delicious tasty treat that's good on its own or in any oatmeal, yogurt, or trail mix.
Frozen cookie dough bites made with sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peanut butter and maple syrup are the best homemade cookie dough bites. Just take them out of the freezer and enjoy these no bake cookie dough bites frozen!
Pumpkin no bake cookies are quick, easy and delicious, made with only 8 ingredients and can be vegan, dairy and gluten free!
Coconut Flour Oatmeal Cookies with chocolate chips are made with a delicious blend of gluten free coconut flour and oats, for a soft, tasty treat!
These pb2 cookies are so easy to make, and delicious to enjoy. Made with peanut flour, oat flour, eggs, maple syrup and some spices, you can't beat the soft, and delicate finish of these powdered peanut butter cookies.
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal cookies only require 3 pantry ingredients and are ready in under 20 minutes! Plus, these 3 ingredient vegan peanut butter cookies are the best as an easy, quick dessert.
Banana chia pudding is like a healthy banana pudding in a glass, filled with nourishing ingredients like bananas, chia seeds, milk and shredded coconut.
Cherry Chocolate Coconut Milk Chia Pudding is a great way to use those summer cherries. Great as a breakfast, snack or dessert, this coconut chia seed pudding recipe with cherries and chocolate is an easy vegan dessert. Add whipped cream if you'd like!
This Strawberry Baked Oatmeal is a healthy summer oatmeal staple. This meal prep oatmeal is great for saving time, and you've never tasted a baked oatmeal with strawberries like it before!
Blueberry Banana Bread with chia seeds makes a great base for a sweet breakfast or on-the-go snack. Made with fruit, chia seeds, oat flour and half the sugar, it's a wholesome, healthy option for the whole family.
This Healthy Sweet Potato Bread with Blueberries will quickly become your favorite holiday staple and will impress your guests. This sweet potato quick bread combines the flavors of fresh, fall sweet potatoes with wild blueberries to create a slightly tart yet sweet, moist, fluffy bread.
Let me know what some of your favorite lactation snacks or healthy snacks postpartum were!