Why do I need healthy snacks for breastfeeding? Does it really matter?
Yes! Fueling your body adequately is an important component of breastmilk supply. As a new mom, I know the stress that comes alongside breastfeeding. Am I making enough milk? Are they latching well and getting enough? Are they gaining enough weight? Is it ok for me to eat this food or take this OTC med?
Less than 24 hours after being discharged from the hospital with my son, we ended up in the ER because he was dehydrated. It took a week for my milk to come in and at first, I had to pump often to help increase my supply. I was so stressed and every time he was fussy or upset, I questioned whether I was providing enough milk for him. My supply improved and he was gaining weight and healthy, but those first couple weeks were overwhelming.
There are many factors that go into milk supply, some of which we can control, and others we can’t. Being well nourished and hydrated is only going to help with supply and this is something we can control. We need to nourish our bodies so that we can nourish theirs.
I want to note that we are firm believers in the fed is best mentality. Breastfeeding is a journey that some choose to take, and even then it may not work out. Supplementing or switching to formula for your mental or physical health, or for baby’s growth may be the best thing you can do for your little one. So whether you are in need of healthy snacks for breastfeeding or while pumping, or you’re a busy new parent who needs convenient, energy dense snacks while juggling a little one, I’ve got you covered! With a little bit of meal prep, these snacks are convenient, especially for all us parents who need a one-handed snack!
Baby is here and you feel like prepping snacks is just not in the cards right now? No worries! There are plenty of ready to eat snacks that you can order for your next grocery store pick up. Keep scrolling for our minimal prep snack list!
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Healthy Snack Recipes for New Moms
My general guideline for a tasty, balanced smoothie is:
1 cup frozen fruit + 1/2 cup frozen vegetable (cauliflower or spinach are my favorites) + a protein (1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp hemp hearts, 1 scoop protein powder, etc) + a fat (1-2 Tbsp nut butter, 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, 1/2 avocado) + a liquid (1/2 to 1 cup water, coconut water, or desired milk)
This basic make ahead recipe is extremely versatile. Use whatever milk you prefer, and the toppings are endless. My favorite toppings include chopped nuts, shredded coconut, fresh fruit, almond butter (or any nut butter), and granola.
Ready to Eat Breastfeeding Snacks from the Store
Healthy snacks for breastfeeding don’t need to be complicated. Here are a few of our favorites that you can get from the store!
- Belvita biscuits* topped with nut butter
- Energy dense snack bars like Perfect Bars*, RXBARs*, or Nut Butter Clif Bars*
- Flax/whole grain tortilla chips with guacamole cup
- Whole milk Greek yogurt topped with nuts/nut butter/coconut flakes/granola
- Oatmeal packet topped with nuts/nut butter/fruit/desired toppings
- Pretzels with hummus
- Avocado toast
- Epic jerky bar* with piece of fruit
- Kodiak pancake cup* topped with nut butter
- Wrap with tortilla, deli meat, cheese
- A slice of leftover cold pizza
- High fiber cereal with milk
- Bean snacks like Biena* or Bada Bean Bada Boom*
- Trail mix
- Snack plate with crackers, popcorn, cheese, olives, nuts, etc
If you are on the breastfeeding journey, consuming adequate calories is important, so we hope our snack list was helpful for you! Eating balanced meals and snacks, and eating often, is crucial in fueling your body for all the work it is doing to provide your baby with adequate nourishment. Certain eating patterns and specific foods may affect supply, so check out our Lactogenic Foods blog for more information!
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.