If you are breastfeeding, you are the sole source of nutrition that your baby will get during his first few months after birth. If your diet is not packed with the right nutrients, your baby will suffer by not getting the nourishment he needs. By including healthy snacks breastfeeding moms need into your eating plan, it will help you with meeting calorie requirements.
Nursing moms need about 500 more calories per day than non-breastfeeding moms. This includes vitamins A, C, and K, and DHA which is a healthy fat that assists with your baby’s vision and brain development. When we talk about snacks, we are not referring to processed snacks that are loaded with sodium, fat, and sugar, which do not have sufficient nutrients. The snacks we are referring to are healthy snacks that are quick to make, balanced, and energizing.
Before we share our top breastfeeding snacks with you, first have a look at common questions that moms ask when nursing.
***Disclosure -The links in this post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link.***
Are there any vitamins that nursing moms must take?
Vitamin D is essential because it promotes healthy bones for you and your little one, and this is mostly achieved from some sun exposure. If you are not living in a sunny area, particularly during winter, you may have a vitamin D deficiency and a Vitamin D supplement is recommended. However, first check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Another important vitamin that you need is calcium since you will be losing this when you are breastfeeding. Try to have at least four servings per day. You can boost your calcium intake through dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yoghurt or non-dairy sources like tofu, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and sesame seeds.
Which foods should you not include in your diet when breastfeeding?
Apart from restricting the amount of oily fish you consume, there are not any other foods that should be avoided when nursing. You can also have some caffeine and alcohol, but only limited quantities.
How many additional calories do I need when nursing?
Nursing moms need approximately 500 extra calories per day as opposed to non-nursing moms. However, not all women are the same, and your energy requirements generally changed when breastfeeding.
The number of calories you need will be contingent on your baby’s size, age, and appetite and your own BMI (body mass index). Other factors also play a role, for instance, how active you are, whether you breastfeed your baby exclusively or if you are feeding multiples or twins.
Can I diet when breastfeeding?
You can adopt a healthier lifestyle when breastfeeding. We do not recommend losing a lot of weight when you are nursing. You must make sure you are getting all the nutrients that your baby and you need. The fat that you have piled on during pregnancy is used for making breast milk. Breastfeeding will assist you with losing some of the weight you have gained.
If you notice your weight dropping or escalating with more than a kg per week, you need you think about whether you are following a nutritious and balanced diet and if this is the case, where can you make adjustments. You can also consult with your healthcare provider for some advice.
How can I find the time for making healthy food?
We know it can be tempting to snack on sweets and biscuits and you are more focused on feeding your baby than worrying too much about yourself. However, you are not doing yourself or your body any favours. Opt for nutritious meals that are quick and easy to make, for instance chicken stir fry, or scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast.
Porridge like oats is an excellent option for the mornings because it gives you a slow release of energy and is generally recommended for nursing moms. Keep some fresh veggies and fruits in the fridge or a bag of unsalted nuts for a quick snack in between.
Must I drink more water when nursing?
You will be constantly thirsty while nursing, and it is vital to stay hydrated. You should be aiming for about six to eight glasses of water per day under normal circumstances, and more when you are breastfeeding. Sip on a glass of milk, water or unsweetened juice while feeding your baby.
I am a coffee lover – should I be avoiding caffeine?
Just like anything else that you drink or eat, it will be passed to your baby through your breast milk. You can still enjoy a good cup of joe, but we recommend limiting your daily intake when you are nursing. Try not to exceed 200 to 300g of caffeine per day (equivalent of four mugs of tea or two mugs of coffee). Remember, that caffeine is also found in certain drink like colas, and in foods like chocolate.
What is considered the perfect breastfeeding snack?
Here are three basic requirements of the perfect breastfeeding snack:
It must be nutritious
Any nursing snack must be nutritious because your post-pregnancy needs increase after giving birth. For at least a few months after delivery you must avoid your favourite unhealthy snacks to ensure your baby is getting the nutrition he requires. For as long as you are nursing, you must follow a balanced and healthy eating plan. Opt for nuts, veggies, whole grain, fruits, etc. to give you an extra boost of energy.
It must be quick and easy to prepare
Being a mommy to a new-born is a full-time task, between nursing, nappy changes, and taking care of everything else that needs your attention. There generally is not time to prepare complicated and time-consuming snacks. The perfect nursing snack must entail minimal effort and less time to prepare.
It must be supporting lactation
Some foods like oats are thought of to promote milk supply and lactation. Therefore, it is essential to include some foods in your eating plan that assist with lactation. If your milk supply is dwindling, you must consume more lactation-boosting foods.
14 Quick snacks breastfeeding moms should be eating
To obtain maximize energy, it is recommended to have a snack at least every two to three hours. Here are some quick snack ideas for nursing moms.
Nuts and oats waffles
Both nuts and oats are great sources of slow-releasing fats and fibre.
- 1 ½ Cups whole wheat flour
- ½ Teaspoon of salt
- 2 x Large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 x Cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 x Teaspoons baking powder
- 2 x Tablespoons sugar
- 1 x Cup melted butter
- 1 x Cup chopped nuts
- 2 x Cups of milk
- Optional: sliced peaches
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, butter, and sugar.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and make sure you mix well.
- Fold in the nuts and oats.
- Bake in preheated waffle iron until they are golden brown.
- Top with peach slices if desired.
Carrots and string cheese
String cheese is not only delicious but also easy to eat straight of the packet. Enjoy some organic baby prewashed carrots with it for instant and easy snacking.
Apple slices with peanut butter
Rinse and cut your apple into slices and dab some peanut butter on each slice. Because standard peanut butter usually contains hydrogenated oils and added sugar, look for all-natural peanut butter that only contains salt and peanuts. You can also enjoy sunflower, almond, or cashew butter.
Protein bars & milk
An eight-ounce of unsweetened almond milk or cow’s milk is an ideal companion for all-natural protein bars. Many brands are specially formulated for women. Others contain minimally processed ingredients. You can also try some delicious Mrs. Milk lactation oat bars.
Dried fruit and nuts trail mix
Dried fruits and nuts are ideal energy sources and contain essential nutrients like potassium and fibre. Trail mix is a quick and easy made snack to make. Simple combine equal parts of dried fruits and nuts. You can add additional crunch by chucking in some air-roasted popcorn, toasted coconut, and mini pretzels. Eat one handful once or twice daily, or as recommended by your physician.
Rice cake with banana
Bananas are nutritious and contains minerals, vitamins, and fibre. Making a rice cake and adding some banana slices on top is a quick and tasty snack. Simply take one rice cake, add some banana slices on top with a hint of cinnamon and enjoy.
Pineapple with cottage cheese
Not everyone enjoys cottage cheese because of the texture. However, did you know that some of the ingredients in cottage cheese can support bone and immunity health? If you do not like the chunky texture, you can buy the smooth or whipped variants. You can enjoy it on a slice of whole grain toast and add some fresh pineapple for flavor, fibre, and sweetness.
They are usually found at grocery stores, but if you do not find them at your local one, you can order them online. Lactation cookies are usually made with brewer’s yeast, whole grain oats, wheat germ, and flaxseed. All these ingredients are known for boosting breast milk supply. If you are a chocolate lover, you can buy dark chocolate chip lactation cookies.
You can also make your own lactation cookies. They are delicious and easy to make.
Granola bars are handy snacks to keep in your handbag or on hand. They can curb hunger and is an easy snack to enjoy while expressing, nursing, or walking. Check for granola bars that contain whole oats because they are great for milk production. Steer clear from granola bars that are loaded with artificial sugars or sweeteners. Always opt for products that are all-natural.
Hummus with celery
Rinse and chop the celery in pieces, the dip the stalks into hummus. Celery and hummus are the perfect effortless snack that is packed with nutrients and it is delicious.
Dark chocolate with raspberries
For moms with a chocolate craving, this is the ideal nursing snack. Keep in mind that dark chocolate is a healthier choice because it is packed with antioxidants that helps with nullifying the harmful effects of free radicals that are present in the human body.
Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate and can be enjoyed with most fruits. However, raspberries and dark chocolate is the perfect pairing since it has anti-inflammatory properties. Simply blend dark chocolate and add some raspberries to it. You can also buy ready-to-eat dark chocolate treats with low-sugar content.
Air-popped popcorn is a healthier choice, low in calories and high in fibre that makes you feel full for longer. Bonus tip: if you want to boost milk supply, simply sprinkle your popcorn with a hint of brewer’s yeast.
Cottage cheese with fresh veggies or fruit
Cottage cheese is a good healthy choice for lactating mothers because it is rich in protein. Moms can add variety with this snack choice by enjoying different fresh veggies and fruits with it. Cottage cheese also contains calcium that boosts immunity and is promoting bone health. Fresh fruit toppings like pineapple adds a bit of crunch and sweetness, plus it provides dietary fibre to your snack.
Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
Greek yogurt is the perfect snack for nursing moms because it contains double the amount of protein than regular yogurt. Add Greek yoghurt to one or two tablespoons of wholegrain cereal and a tablespoon of roasted nuts like pecans, peanuts, or almonds. Add berries, half a banana or orange as a side.
We hope you have found some inspiration from these 14 snacks breastfeeding moms can benefit from. Not only are they tasty, but also healthy and quick and easy to prepare. Avoid snacking on unhealthy snacks that are loaded with sodium, sugar and other ingredients that are not providing your baby and yourself with