Newborns rely on their mothers for their growth and development during the early months of their life. As a nursing mom you are eating for two people, which means you may need more calories.
But, you also have to eat twice as carefully to ensure both you and your baby are getting the best nutrients. A baby’s healthy growth depends on the quality of the milk supply that he receives from his mother.
So, even if you are not able to eat three regular meals per day, munching on healthy breastfeeding snacks will keep you fit and active. You should focus on eating snacks that will make you feel good and boost your breast milk production.
With all that said, I created this list of healthy packaged breastfeeding snacks and healthy nighttime snacks for nursing moms to help you pick the best foods!
What Is a Healthy Breastfeeding Snack?
Not all snacks are considered healthy for a breastfeeding mom. Try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible because they usually have added preservatives and sugar that will actually make you feel more sluggish.
Snacks that have the following features can be a great choice:
- Boosts lactation: Some foods are considered milk-boosters and promote a healthy milk supply. If you have any problem with milk production, then a healthy snack may help you increase milk production.
- Keeps you energetic throughout the day: A healthy breastfeeding snack gives your body the right amount of energy to keep going throughout the day.
- Full of nutrients: Instead of having artificial flavors and ingredients, a healthy snack has all the essential carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins that you need to feel good and energetic.
- Easy to make: When you have to take care of a baby who enjoys getting all of your attention, you barely get time to make elaborate meals. During busy days, a quick breastfeeding snack or a quick, healthy meal can be the right food for you!
What Makes a Good, Healthy Snack For Nursing Moms?
Usually snacks are treats rich in sugar, fat, and sodium and lack basic nutrients. Nursing mothers need to be choosy when grabbing snacks to kill their untimely cravings.
This leads us to lactation snacks which are healthier alternatives to regular snacks. The following qualities will provide you with a healthy breastfeeding snack.
- Protein + Fats + Carbs: This snack equation is the most reliable for all the lactating mothers out there. Munching on snacks that are enriched with nutrition will help you stay energized throughout your hectic day. This will also boost your milk supply, fulfilling your child’s nutritional requirements.
- Super easy to use: With a newborn constantly keeping you at your toes, you won’t have sufficient time to prepare luxury meals for yourself. On the contrary, you need grab-and-go packaged snacks in situations where your stomach is growling with hunger, and you have a baby to put to sleep.
- Improve milk production: Healthy breastfeeding snacks can improve your lactation, supporting your child’s growth. Include foods in your healthy breastfeeding snack list that can increase your milk production.
The Best Packaged Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks for Weight Loss While Breastfeeding
With a newborn your balanced and routine life can become a total mess. But, consuming healthy grab and go breastfeeding snacks to satisfy your cravings will give you the energy to feel happy with your little munchkin.
Staying nourished with healthy foods can actually help you lose weight while breastfeeding too! Here is my list of healthy packaged snacks that you can eat single-handedly to save you time, while also keeping yourself nourished.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend products I use and love and recommend to my clients.
A bag of trail mix can give you instant energy and help you feel full. On average, ¼ cup of trail mix gives you about 175 calories.
I recommend Power Up trail mix that has Omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, and fruits, including almonds, cranberries, and dried mangoes. Nuts will help you fight hunger, whereas dried fruits are a source of fiber and vitamins.
Almonds are also an excellent source for increasing breast milk. All the ingredients in this non-GMO trail mix balance out the dietary needs of lactating mothers and keep them powered up during tough baby nursing sessions.
Granola bars come in a variety of flavors. You can combine your favorite flavor Granola bar with yogurt or simply munch on the bar during walking or nursing your infant.
They not only kill your uncontrollable hunger but are an ideal nutritious snack for lactating mothers. The Cascadian Farms organic chewy chocolate granola bars contain whole grain oats, brown sugar, whole grain brown rice flour rice crisps, real chocolate, and whole grain wheat.
They are also free of artificial preservatives or colors. This chocolate granola bar is a perfect snack for a breastfeeding mom.
Cheese crackers are packed with protein and give you an instant dose of energy. Late July organic cheese sandwich crackers with their natural flavor are a good source of nutrients.
Crackers can savor your taste buds and the cheese will give you protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Popcorn is filled with fiber, but has low calories. It is an easy source for killing your appetite while also helping you maintain calories.
If you prefer taste over calories, you can sprinkle some cheese, paprika, cinnamon, or thyme to enhance the flavor of your bowl of popcorn. And if you prefer popcorn that’s already popped, Skinny Pop is my favorite healthier brand of popcorn.
Yummy in taste and loaded with energy, Happy Mama lactation cookies are the best snacks to fill your tummies when you cannot grab a proper meal. These cookies are prepared by using brewer’s yeast, oats, sea salt, and flaxseeds.
These lactation snacks offer a healthy blend of nutrients, including DHA, iron, and vitamin D. DHA supports a baby’s brain and eye health, while vitamin D gives breastfeeding moms strong bones.
If you’d rather make your own fresh baked cookies, this is my favorite brand of cookie mix by Mommies Know Best.
Feeling drained due to lack of sleep or skipping meals? Well, a scoop of peanut butter is all that you need to increase your energy levels.
Pair it with celery sticks or crackers for the perfect snack. Natural creamy peanut butter by Kirkland is my absolute favorite.It is a perfect lactation snack that is prepared with roasted peanuts and provides 7g of protein per serving.
Having a high supply of protein in your breastfeeding snacks helps nursing moms remain active throughout the day. Simply apply peanut butter on a piece of wheat bread, and you have a healthy snack to eat.
If you don’t eat peanut butter, opt for Nuttzo instead – it’s the perfect peanut-free blend of other nuts and seeds.
Who doesn’t enjoy a bite of chocolate? When you are nursing, a snack such as dark chocolate sounds and looks extra tasty and delicious.
Dark chocolates are high in antioxidants that fight the damaging effects of free radicals within the human body. Equal Exchange dark chocolate is not only delicious to eat, but these chocolate bars are completely paleo, kosher, vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.
If you need to further enhance the flavor of your dark chocolate try it with some raspberries. This way you will get some extra vitamins for your body.
If you are always on the run make sure you have a stock of Mamma Chia organic chia squeeze pouches in your refrigerator. These pouches contain high-quality chia seeds filled with all the vital nutrients required for a breastfeeding mom.
They will provide a nursing mom with all the essential fats, proteins, calcium, and iron. So, these snacks not only give mothers nourishment, but they also give them a boost of energy.
These are also a toddler favorite in my home – my son loves these and they are great chilled and on the go.
Dairy products are always an excellent source for vitamin B and protein. Eating a bowl of yogurt now and then will strengthen your bones and provide you vitamins.
Opt for the full-fat or whole milk varieties. Chobani Greek yogurt is rich in vanilla that is blended with warm cinnamon, with no artificial flavors, less sugar, and more protein (about 12g), this yogurt is an ideal breakfast snack for lactating moms.
Easy & Healthy Nighttime Breastfeeding Snacks
For a breastfeeding mom, it is important to eat a balanced and healthy diet. The following are some of the best healthy breastfeeding snacks that you can easily prepare to have on hand.
They are especially helpful for a quick nighttime snacks and they are super-delicious.
Boiled Egg and Whole Wheat Crackers
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 12 crackers
- Black pepper
Place eggs in room temperature/slightly cool water. Keep them in the water until the water boils. Then remove pan from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Once they have fully cooked, let them get cool then crack and peel their shell. Now make round slices. Place each slice on a whole wheat or brown rice cracker. Sprinkle black pepper or any other spice that you like. Another protein-rich breastfeeding snack is ready to help you overcome your hunger.
Nut Butter and Walnut Stuffed Dates
- 16 Medjool dates
- 8 walnuts (almond is another option here)
- ¼ cup of peanut butter or almond butter
Make a cut in the dates and discard their seed. Now fill the empty space with peanut butter fully. Place half of the walnut on the peanut butter. You can make this snack ready with 16 dates and then use it for one whole week. This breastfeeding snack will give calories that you need to produce nutritious milk.
- 2/3 cup cold almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon honey (or any other natural sweetener)
- 1 to 2 ice cubes (if you want it chilled fully)
- Cream, sliced fruits, or nuts as a topping
Add milk, cocoa powder, honey, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend them until they have a smooth and even consistency. Pour the milkshake in a glass. Garnish it with slices of fruits, nuts, and cream. Drink it until you are full. This breastfeeding snack will take only a few minutes to get ready and will provide your body with healthy calories.
Plain Yogurt with Fresh Berries & Honey
You will need:
- 6 oz plain full-fat yogurt or cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey (you can change the amount it based on how much sweetness you like)
- 1/2 cup of fresh berries (you can add dried fruits and nuts like walnuts as well)
- Hemp seeds (provides extra protein and healthy fats)
Put the yogurt in a clean bowl. Cut blueberries and strawberries in 3 to 4 pieces. Place them on the top of the yogurt. Pour honey on the berries. Mix them thoroughly.
Yogurt will give you lots of animal proteins and berries will provide antioxidants, essential vitamins, and minerals.
Apple Cheese Wraps
- 1 whole apple
- 2 slices of cheddar cheese
- 2 slices nitrate-free organic turkey
- 1 lemon
Cut the apple into slices that are about a half-inch wide. Rub lemon on apple slices. It will protect them from turning brown with time. Cut the cheddar cheese into pieces of the same size or a bit smaller size than that of the apple slice. Now cut slices of turkey as well, large enough to wrap around a slice of apple and cheese.
Calories Required By A Breastfeeding Mom
Doctors recommend nursing and breastfeeding moms increase their calorie intake as a nutritious and healthy diet will positively affect the supply of milk. For a breastfeeding mom, it is usually recommended to eat an extra 300-500 calories per day.
Of course, this will vary based on maternal factors such as how much weight you gained during pregnancy and your pre-pregnancy weight. Also, this number will change based on how often you’re breastfeeding your baby.
The more you’re nursing, the more calories your body will use to make milk. If you’re concerned about your supply, be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s diaper output for any changes.
Keep Yourself Hydrated – Drink Plenty of Water
Along with eating all those healthy breastfeeding snacks, keeping your body hydrated is also something breastfeeding moms must do. Breast milk is 90% water, and to compensate your body for the water utilized for preparing milk, a breastfeeding mom needs to consume at least 16 glasses of water.
Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day. You can add honey, lemon, or cucumber as well to get more healthy nutrients and change up the taste.
You can keep a bottle of water with you and drink water before and after every nursing session. This will give you a healthy milk supply and will also keep your body hydrated.
Picking healthy breastfeeding snacks are vital for nursing moms. Whether you need easy packaged snacks or would like to make some snacks that you can even eat at nighttime, there are many great options for you.
As a nursing mom, you are eating for two people, which means you may need more calories but you also have to eat twice as carefully to ensure you’re both getting the best nutrients. Focus on eating healthy snacks that will make you feel good and boost your breast milk production.
For even more help with eating a balanced diet while breastfeeding or getting your body back after having a baby, check out the L.E.A.N. Mamas program.
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