Snacks will be an essential part of your breastfeeding diet. However, busy and new moms often find it always challenging to eat healthy snacks for breastfeeding.
Being a breastfeeding mom doesn’t mean you have to have the perfect diet, but making an effort to eat healthily will make a difference in how you feel.
And, if you’re looking for a breast pump to help you stock up your breastmilk, check out our post on Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2.
To make healthy snacking more manageable, I’ve come up with general tips, hacks, and some specific options that are tasty and easy to grab on the go.
4 Tips For Choosing Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms
1. Just say no to junk food in the house
It’s easier to make healthy choices when you are not tempted by unhealthy food options every time you open your pantry. Instead, keep healthy snacks in reach so you can grab them quickly when needed. You can have a basket next to your nursing chair with snacks that don’t need refrigerated.
2. Have easy to grab snacks
Because you will often be holding your baby, you want to have easy breastfeeding snacks to grab and eat with one hand. Things like string cheese and whole fruit work well.
Keep healthy snacks in your purse or diaper bag for on the go. You can’t always rely on good options when you are out and about, so be prepared!
3. Keep an eye on the sugar content in snacks.
Avoid salty snacks like potato chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels. Sugar-laden snacks are going to cause your blood sugar to crash and make you feel tired.
Plus, if you are trying to lose the baby weight, sugar is not your friend. If you are craving something sweet, try some fruit. You should also avoid processed foods with corn syrup.
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4. Take healthy to work.
This tip makes good breastfeeding snacking more convenient. You will have something on hand to eat without making a run to the vending machine or snack shop. Make it easy to drink lots of water by having a water bottle close and sipping from it often.
My Favorite Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding
Nursing moms often find they have an increase in hunger while breastfeeding. Sometimes it is difficult to find healthy snacks, but there are a few tricks that can make finding the right snack easy!
Two of my best breastfeeding snacks are granola bars and energy balls. These are great for an on-the-go snack.
Making your homemade snacks, such as granola, may sound daunting, but it’s effortless:
- Throw together oats, honey, or agave syrup, and slivered almonds together in a bowl with coconut oil or olive oil.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes (or until golden brown).
- Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Make your trail mix by mixing some unsalted peanuts, cashews, and pistachios with dried cranberries or cherries. To make sure you are getting lots of protein, try eating yogurt with some granola or a hard-boiled egg.
Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Using Greek Yogurt
Snacks that are high in protein are a favorite of breastfeeding moms. One protein-packed choice is Greek yogurt. A little easier option is to grab a container of plain Greek yogurt and some dried fruit for dipping.
Another tasty and good breastfeeding snack that uses Greek yogurt is to mix in some frozen cherries. Let the cherries thaw so the juice flavors the yogurt.
Use a dollop on a fruit salad to sneak in some extra protein. Mix it with granola to make a crunchy, healthy breakfast whole grain cereal or mid-day snack. You can also blend it with honey to create a yummy fruit dip for some fresh strawberries or bananas that you cut up into bite-sized pieces.
A personal favorite is yogurt and granola in one container!
Blend your Greek yogurt with oats or wheat germ until the texture is smooth and creamy. Then add in some nuts for protein, dried fruits like raisins or cranberries, cinnamon, honey, or another healthy sweetener of your choice. Mix it all and place the mixture into a sealed container to store in the fridge for later use.
High Protein Snacks
High protein snacks are a healthy choice for the breastfeeding mom because protein helps boost milk supply. Protein takes a while to digest and will keep you full and satisfied.
If you’re on the go, it’s easy to whip up a super healthy protein shake with some milk, oats, other grains, peanut butter, banana, honey, and ice cubes. Smoothies made with protein powder, fruit, and vegetables pack so much nutrition that they qualify as a bonafide meal.
Other high protein snacks for the breastfeeding mom who is trying to make healthy choices:
- Nut butter – the individual packets make a shelf-stable snack that you can eat with one hand. Choose a variety of nut butter to keep things interesting. Almond and cashew are delicious.
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hard-boiled eggs – If you have an Instant Pot, you can make a dozen to keep in your fridge for a quick healthy snack for days.
- No-bake peanut butter
- Peanut butter with jelly or banana slices on whole grain toast
- Peanut butter on celery or apples
- Cottage cheese
- String Cheese
- Cheddar cheese slices or cubes
Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms Trying To Eat More Veggies
For the mom trying to eat lots of vegetables, spending some time prepping for a few days worth of snacks will be a time saver.
- Choose colorful vegetables, such as red, yellow, orange, and green peppers
- When roasting some asparagus for dinner, make extra for snacking.
- Cucumbers with some herbed cream cheese and a tomato
- Baby carrots and hummus
- Cooked beets
- Throw some spinach into a smoothie.
- Kale chips
- Sweet potato
Healthy Snacks That Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings
Sometimes you just want something sweet. These sweet healthy breastfeeding snacks will satisfy your craving but don’t sabotage your efforts to eat healthily.
- Fruit flavored seltzer water
- Dark chocolate
Other Tips For Healthy Snacking
You can make your mini pizzas with whole wheat English muffins and jarred marinara sauce with some artichoke hearts. Freeze them and just pop one into your toaster oven for another tasty treat. It may feel like your indulging, but you are just eating another healthy snack with quality ingredients.
Be a Savvy Breastfeeding Mom and Read Labels.
Don’t be fooled by snacks that are masquerading as healthy. Things like yogurt-covered nuts and pretzels often have a lot of sugar in them. Additionally, lactation cookies and snack bars are another thing that frequently has large amounts of sugar.
Many of these breastfeeding snack ideas require little preparation time. However, if it’s within your budget, you can take advantage of the many prepared foods at the grocery store.
- Cooked beets
- Sliced apples
- Sliced cheese
- Cubed cheese
- Sliced deli meat cheese platters
Don’t feel bad if you indulge in a less than healthy snack once in a while. But by careful shopping and planning that won’t happen that often.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. I hope these ideas make it easier for you to create and eat healthy snacks while breastfeeding. The bonus will be that your little one will see you making good choices and will be more likely to want those same healthy foods when they want their favorite snacks.