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Trust us when we say a nursing mother’s postpartum body relies on a whole lot of snacking.
When I was pregnant with my first, a friend told me to prepare myself for the breastfeeding hunger I was bound to experience. I figured this was just some excuse to indulge in shame-free snacking and brushed off her advice.
Boy, was I wrong!
I remember experiencing the type of hunger pains I felt while nursing only a few other times in my life.
I was ravenous and constantly searching for any type of snack I could get my hands on.
Had I been more prepared (and taken my friend’s advice), I probably would’ve discovered there are some great fresh and pre-packaged breastfeeding snacks to satisfy cravings and benefit the nursing experience.
Want to know which items to add to your weekly grocery list? Stay tuned for our top choices for when you want easy snacks for breastfeeding moms!
Are Breastfeeding Snacks Different Than Other Food Options?
Something you might not realize about nursing is that it burns a significant number of calories. In fact, studies show breastfeeding moms require around an extra 450 – 500 calories a day.
With that said, the most important thing is to make sure you’re getting the correct number of calories for your body–even if you’re not eating specific “breastfeeding snacks.”
One of the best things about easy snacks for breastfeeding moms is that there are many different options. Whether you’re interested in fresh fruit, store-bought items, or dairy breastfeeding snacks, you’re sure to find something that works for your tastes and needs.
So yes, if you want to make your postpartum snack a giant cheeseburger while nursing, go for it.
Satisfying Your Cravings: Are Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks Your Only Choice?
You might assume the only type of food you should eat while nursing is healthy breastfeeding snacks.
When the cravings hit, though, there’s no reason to deny yourself a little treat!
There are actually companies that specialize in not-so-healthy treats for nursing mamas. MilkyMama, for instance, has an emergency chocolate brownie that has tons of benefits while breastfeeding but will still satisfy your sweet tooth.
Keep in mind, though, that other options might provide more significant benefits to your breastfeeding journey.
Increasing Your Milk Supply and Other Reasons to Invest in the Best Postpartum Snacks
What are the benefits of seeking particular items geared towards breastfeeding mamas, you might be asking? Are some snacks better than others?
In short, yes.
Some benefits you’ll receive from various postpartum snacks include:
1. Boosting Your Milk Supply
More than 21% of breastfeeding mothers cite concerns about milk supply as the primary reason they discontinue nursing.
While figuring out how to increase your milk supply might seem daunting, there are actually specific breastfeeding snacks that can help you overcome supply issues. Protein-rich foods, for example, are widely used to increase breastmilk levels.
2. Avoiding Symptoms of Dairy Allergy in Breastfed Babies
3. Increasing Energy
Dealing with mom fatigue is a normal part of the postpartum period. Breastfeeding, however, tends to be a bit of an energy suck (no pun intended) on its own. By choosing healthy breastfeeding snacks, you can naturally enhance your daily energy.
Are Homemade Breastfeeding Snacks Better Than Store-Bought?
By making your own homemade breastfeeding snacks, you might be able to minimize the number of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients that make their way into your food.
We realize that not every postpartum mama has time to make their own snacks, which is why there’s no shame in buying store-bought snacks!
While you should certainly round your diet out with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and plenty of water, buying a bag of pre-packaged lactation snacks is still a good option.
The Best Breastfeeding Snacks to Fit Your Needs
So, where do you start when it comes to healthy and easy snacks for breastfeeding moms? Which staples should be a part of your weekly grocery list?
Whether you’re looking for dairy-free breastfeeding snacks or low-carb postpartum snacks, we have plenty of suggestions to help you round out your nursing-friendly meal plan.
1. Fresh and Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks
If you’re hunting for healthy breastfeeding snacks, fresh produce is going to be your best friend.
For example, green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and swiss chard, are considered a breastfeeding superfood. They’re packed with vital nutrients that will give you the energy boost you’re looking for. Plus, they’re versatile! Throw them in smoothies, salads, or stir-fries for fresh, healthy breastfeeding food you’re guaranteed to love.
Fruit is also a great idea. Bananas help keep you filled up, and fresh berries and watermelon help with hydration, as breastfeeding can sometimes leave you feeling dehydrated.
2. Quick and Easy Breastfeeding Snacks at Night
During the first few months of your little one’s life, you’ll spend a fair amount of time doing nighttime feedings. Just because it’s the middle of the night, however, that doesn’t mean you won’t still be hungry.
Undefining Motherhood’s founder, Katy, LOVES to create snack stations around the house. Make yourself a snack station wherever you breastfeed! That way, when it’s 3 am and you need some protein, you’ll have a banana and a granola bar within reach. (Pro-tip: make sure you also store an extra phone charger and some books or magazines in your snack station, too!).
If you’re looking for some fast breastfeeding snacks you can add to your snack stations for those late nights or early morning feeds, consider these foods:
When I was still breastfeeding, these pouches of Blue Diamond Almonds were some of my favorite breastfeeding snacks.
Because they were easy!
Whether in the middle of the day or late at night, I would grab a handful of these to snack on while feeding our littles.
Not only do they come in tons of great flavors, but they’re also a “lactogenic nut,” meaning they can help boost your milk supply.
Are you someone who loves dried fruit? If so, why not keep a package of dried apricots on your nightstand for easy night-time breastfeeding snacks?
These are jam-packed with great vitamins and nutrients, plus they can also help with breastmilk supply.
3. Low-Carb Postpartum Snacks
If you’re trying to watch your carbs while breastfeeding, some great lactation snack options fit this need:
Made with nuts, seeds, and other antioxidant superfoods, the chewy clusters by Supernola Clusters are a yummy and healthy breastfeeding snack.
These products offer the best of all worlds when it comes to breastfeeding benefits. Since they include so many top-notch ingredients, you’ll get energy boosts, healthy calories, and assistance with milk production.
Plus, they come in convenient packages that make them easy to throw in your traditional diaper bag or backpack!
Whether you want a low-carb breakfast option or a breastfeeding snack, eggs will be your best friend when it comes to postpartum snacking. If you like boiled eggs, we recommend boiling a dozen and storing them in the fridge. If you have time, go ahead and pre-peel them so that they are grab-and-nurse friendly.
Eggs are ideal for milk production and building up your caloric intake while nursing. Plus, some studies believe eating eggs while breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s chances of developing an egg allergy later on.
3. Greek Yogurt
When it comes to low-carb breastfeeding snacks, Greek yogurt is a favorite among many new mothers (Chobani is one of my personal favorites!). Not only does Greek yogurt make a great on-the-go snack that fills you up, but it also helps boost milk supply.
Studies show that women can lose 3 – 5% of bone mass while nursing and Greek Yogurt can also help by boosting your calcium intake.
4. Dairy-Free Breastfeeding Snacks for Anyone with Milk Allergies
For mamas with dairy allergies or mamas of babies with dairy allergies, finding easy snacks for breastfeeding moms that are dairy-free is crucial. Thankfully, there are plenty of great options!
These lactation bars by Munchkin Milkmakers are not only a dairy-free breastfeeding snack, but they’re also gluten-free!
This product is specifically crafted to help women increase their breastmilk supply.
Plus, they come in this amazing chocolate chip flavor that’s sure to satisfy those sugar cravings you might be facing!
One of our top picks for a healthy breastfeeding snack is smoothies. Not only can you pack them full of great breastfeeding superfoods, like spinach, strawberries, or yogurt, but they’re also an ideal way to utilize this breastfeeding-friendly protein powder by Milk Drunk.
The best part about this protein powder, however? It’s 100% dairy-free!
No matter if you’re interested in dehydrating your own jerky or buying a store-bought package, this dairy-free breastfeeding snack is perfect for anyone looking to add some extra protein to their nursing diet.
Really, though, any type of meat could count as a dairy-free option. Some women like to snack on ham or turkey roll-ups to help them gain some additional energy.
Pair with some cucumbers and carrots, and you’ve got a decent little snack going on.
5. Gluten-Free Postpartum Snacks
With more and more people adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, it’s essential to find snacking options for nursing moms that fit this bill. Luckily, there’s a great deal of them! Here are a couple of our favorites:
These gluten and dairy-free breastfeeding snacks have earned almost 6,000 positive reviews on Amazon. Boobie Milk Bars include a wide range of milk-increasing ingredients, such as flaxseed, oats, turmeric, and cinnamon.
They’re also shelf-stable and individually packaged for a convenient postpartum snack, whether it’s day or night.
Add them to your snacking station so you don’t have to yell for your partner to bring you one.
Another one of our favorite gluten-free postpartum snacks is these Navitas Organic Power Bites.
They contain a plethora of berries, nuts, and seeds to help increase calories, boost milk production, and keep your energy high all day long. Yum!
Choosing the “Right” Breastfeeding Snacks for Moms Isn’t Easy
Finding easy snacks for breastfeeding moms is both a simple and complicated task because there are so many of them!
Whether you’re looking for fresh, healthy fruits to increase milk production, or dairy-free breastfeeding snacks to help with lactose intolerance in breastfed babies, there are a seemingly endless number of choices to pick from.
Don’t be afraid to indulge those cravings from time to time, but overall, stick to nutritious foods that will benefit you and your little one.
What were your favorite breastfeeding snacks while you were nursing?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.