Healthy breastfeeding snacks and simple tips from my own experience as a nursing mother
Every nursing mother is concerned about maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet to ensure the well-being of herself and the baby. Eating healthy snacks that are rich in vitamins and minerals can help achieve this goal.
It is important to avoid highly processed and low quality sugary snacks, as they can negatively impact both the mother’s and the baby’s health.
Another good thing to keep in mind when picking out snacks is to balance protein with a carb and healthy fat. The carbs give you energy, the protein keeps the carbs from spiking your blood sugar which helps keep you from crashing, and the healthy fats help you digest the carbs better. Balancing these three things will help you feel great as a nursing mom.
Here are some of my favorite snacks that I enjoy guilt free as a gluten free nursing mama.
Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks
If you are wanting a sweet treat, a good dark chocolate is delicious if you are okay with a little bit of caffeine.
The bit of sugar helps lower your stress, too. This a good thing to keep in your purse to hold you over when you are out and about and need something small, but quick.
Nut Butters and Bread
Nut butters like almond butter and peanut butter paired with some toast or fruit are a great option for new moms who need quick snacks.
Slice some fresh avocados on some Texas style sourdough toast for a great snack.
Not only is cheese is a great source of protein, but also has healthy fats and good carbs in it, too. Cheese goes well a lot of things like fruit, carrots, or bread to make a well-balanced snack.
This my absolute favorite snack right now. I have been shopping for fruit that is in season because it’s usually cheaper and better quality and pairing it with some cheese.
Try these organic dried mangoes! There aren’t any additives or added sugars. Dried fruit like this would make a great homemade trail mix.
Here’s a great recipe for new mom’s who need extra calories but don’t have time to think about making food. Dump one pound of dry roasted peanuts and your favorite dried fruit into a bowl and stir it up. Portion it out into little zip locks so you can grab and go or keep in the diaper bag.
You could also throw in some sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for more variety.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans….Pick your favorite and pair them some cheese or fruit. You could add these to your trail mix, too.
Chia Seed Pudding
Soak some chia seeds overnight and get a simple pudding that you can make at home. This website has a some recipes you can try.
Baby carrots are a great choice because they are delicious and take no prep except opening the bag. It is also one of those nutrient-dense snacks since it is a vegetable. Pair it with your favorite cheese for the perfect snack that is easy to make and take anywhere.
This was one of my favorite go-to snacks while I was expecting, too. It’s also good with peanut butter.
Eggs are a great snack that is filled with protein that will satisfy you. Try this egg sandwich recipe! It’s super simple and only takes about five minutes to make.
I could binge on crackers and eat an entire box if I’m not careful. This was one of my favorite snacks from childhood.
If you are sourdough fan, try this simple sourdough discard cracker recipe. It’s a great way to use your starter as a new mom without much hassle and make an easy snack, too.
I’m not a fan of store bought whole grain crackers. They aren’t healthy snacks to me because whole grains can be hard to digest, but if you grind the whole grains, ferment them, then bake some crackers with them, then I’m all for it. Sourdough crackers a perfect for those with gluten intolerance, too since the gluten is partially broken down.
Pair it with some fresh fruit for a satisfying snack. This is a good snack for breastfeeding mothers because dairy is rich in protein, fats, and carbs which is the perfect combination to be satisfied and fueled while you are feeding a little one.
You do have to plan ahead a little for this snack, but it is well worth it. Try this easy fried potatoes recipe and sprinkle on some cheese for extra goodness and protein.
Cream Cheese Toast
Slather some cream cheese on some sourdough toast for a satisfying quick snack not to mention the extra health benefits from the fermented sourdough.
Yogurt with Fresh Berries
Add fresh or frozen berries and fruit to some plain greek yogurt. You want plain greek yogurt because it won’t have any added sugar in it so you can control the quality and amount of sugar especially if you like less sugar in your snacks.
You could also try it with some chocolate chips. If you get good quality chocolate and can resist eating the whole bag of them, this can be a healthy delicious snack.
Greek yogurt also tends to be higher in protein (like 13 grams of protein) and is a good source of healthy fat and carbs, too. Eat it with natural sugars and reap the benefits of the probiotics as well.
Keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruit and your fridge with some good milk and you’ll always have a wholesome easy snack on hand. You could add some collagen for extra nutrients, too.
Don’t throw away that little bit of food from supper. Stick it in the fridge and enjoy it tomorrow!
What foods to avoid while breastfeeding?
There aren’t necessarily any foods that you should avoid while breastfeeding. I do avoid caffeine, but that is because it keeps me up at night, and I don’t need that in this season of life.
As long as you get foods with good quality ingredients then you shouldn’t have to avoid any foods. Sometimes there is the concern that dairy is being passed through your milk and upsetting your babies stomach. I had this problem, but when I switched to higher quality dairy that is either fresh from the farm, minimally processed, or without extra ingredients like dies and anti-caking agents, we had no problem.
Find out more about food freedom through Pro Metabolic Eating if you have some concerns over foods affecting your little one. I started this when I was nursing a two month old baby and had no problems. In fact, it gave me a lot of answers to things like baby acne and diaper rashes. If you would like to now more, you can reach me through the comment section down below. (Don’t worry! It won’t be public unless I approve it.)
Breastfeeding Snacks at Night
Through Pro-Metabolic Eating, I found the perfect solution that cures that starvation in the middle of the night without actually eating anything. Since my baby was two months old, I take a cup of salted orange juice to my night stand every night.
I came across this in How to Heal your Metabolism. Babies are notorious for waking up in the night and needing you for one reason or another and when you have a hard time to going back to sleep because you are starving, it’s no fun.
This little trick of adding a pinch of salt to some orange juice cured that for me and here is why. Cortisol is the stress hormone that wakes you up and the sugar lowers the cortisol while the salt keeps your blood sugar from going up from the sugars in the orange juice. It works like a charm and I have never looked back to snacking during the night.
As a mom, it is helps to eat several snacks throughout the day to avoid burn out and to feed your baby. I found Pro-Metabolic Eating as a nursing mama and it changed how I viewed food and has helped me find more energy, be less stressed, and not starving all the time.
If you want to know more about what I have changed about the way I eat as a nursing mama, read The Pro-Metabolic Diet: What is Healthy Eating for You?