If you’re nursing your baby or pumping for bottle feeds, you know that it can be an all-consuming process, especially in the early months. Not to mention, keeping your milk supply up requires a tremendous number of calories. Breastfeeding moms’ bodies are, ostensibly, running a constant marathon, and this means proper nutrition is vital. One of the best ways to ensure you stay nourished is to keep wholesome and nutritious snacks available. This way throughout the day you can grab them to help you feel satisfied and to sustain proper breastmilk production. Below you will find 10 of our favorite lactation snacks!
10 Great Lactation Snacks for Mom
Here are a few ideas for easy and healthy snacks. Some of these are even known to encourage breastmilk production:
Many lactation consultants recommend oatmeal because it helps to increase milk production for many nursing mothers. It’s also one of the most filling foods you can eat. While it may not come to mind as a typical snack food, it’s a healthy and hearty option for mamas who need to keep their bodies in peak milk-producing shape. If you prefer, you can also make a batch of oatmeal cookies to keep on hand!
Milkmakers were some of my favorites when I was breastfeeding. You can order them here!
You can always purchase a ready-made trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, but it’s also easy to make your own. Add your favorite types of nuts and fruits, then get creative with additions like seeds, chocolate chips, bite-size breakfast cereal or popcorn, too. Dried apricots are a particularly smart addition, as they contain phytoestrogens to assist with milk production.
Dressed-Up Yogurt (my personal favorite lactation snack!)
This is an easy one to keep readily available in your fridge, and it’s full of vitamin D and calcium. However, some types of yogurt contain a lot of sugar, especially those with fancy flavors. Opt for a plain vanilla yogurt that’s low in sugar, then dress it up with your own toppings. Granola, fresh berries, and chia seeds are healthy options, or you can mix in a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet tooth. With yogurt, your options are nearly endless.
Eggs, Any Way
Eggs are a great source of protein, which is useful for breastmilk production. They also contain vitamin B2 to help your body maintain its energy supply. They’re also easy to make in bulk ahead of time to store in the fridge. If you aren’t the type to eat a plain, hard-boiled egg, you can chop one up to add to a salad. You could also make a quick scramble, omelet with your favorite veggies and cheese, or whip up a tasty batch of deviled eggs.
Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
Lactation snacks should be the perfect mix of healthy and filling, and that’s certainly true of this option. Peanut butter contains needed protein and will help you stay full longer, and pairing it with a fruit adds vitamins to nourish your body as it recovers from pregnancy and birth. Apples are a particularly good choice because they are rich in zinc, a powerful antioxidant that boosts both mom and baby’s immune systems. To up the nutrition factor and reduce your consumption of hydrogenated oil, choose a natural peanut butter with minimal ingredients.
Dark Chocolate and Raspberries
If you have a sweet tooth, it’s alright to indulge it once in a while! Choosing dark chocolate is always a healthier option than milk chocolate because it’s high in antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Red raspberries pair nicely with dark chocolate taste-wise, but they’re also a smart choice because they are known to have helpful anti-inflammatory properties.
Energy Bites (+ a great recipe for this lactation snack!)
My absolute favorite lactation recipe is these delicious little energy bites. They are easy to make and you can customize them to your taste. Eating Bird Food has a great recipe for no-bake lactation bites that are jam-packed with nutrition. They contain rolled oats, Brewer’s Yeast, peanut butter or almond butter, dark chocolate chips, and Medjool dates.
If you’re looking for a simple lactation snack that packs a complex, nutritious punch, this is it. Pumpkin seeds are full of both iron and protein, and they also contain nutrients that are thought to support ”“ and even increase ”“ breastmilk production. Pumpkin seeds are like a blank slate for flavor, too, and there are dozens of recipes for roasting them at home on your own. Try maple, whiskey bacon or garlic parmesan for full flavor, or keep it simple with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Banana and Flax Seed Smoothie
This snack requires a bit more prep time, but it’s worth its weight in potassium, protein, and fiber. Just throw two bananas, a few ounces of your favorite milk and flax seeds into your blender. You can add cinnamon and vanilla for an extra kick of flavor, too, and a handful of nuts or a scoop of your favorite nut butter for even higher protein content.
Cottage Cheese with Pineapple
Looking for an easy to prepare snack? Cottage cheese contains calcium to support bone health, and it’s also great for maintaining a strong immune system. Pineapple adds a wonderful, complimentary sweetness, while also helping you get your daily dose of fiber. If you aren’t a fan of the consistency of cottage cheese, try a whipped variety that offers the same nutrition and taste with a smoother consistency.
These green soybeans are absolutely packed with protein, fiber, and vitamin K, which is important in helping your body regulate calcium. You can buy edamame pre-cooked, shelled and ready to eat, or you can buy them still in the pod. These are easily prepared in a pot of boiling water. Add a dash of pink Himalayan salt sprinkled on while they’re still warm for a little extra flavor.
Many nursing moms struggle with self-care during baby’s early months. It’s easy to grab snacks that lack nutrition when you’re tired, busy or feeling overwhelmed. Remember, though, that you need more calories than you do when you aren’t lactating, and your baby consumes whatever you eat in your breastmilk. It’s important for both of you to get proper nutrition during this special time in your lives, so make it a priority to keep healthy lactation snacks readily available to grab as need during the day ”“ or after those middle of the night feeds!
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