Top 5 Power Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms

When I was breastfeeding Sofie, I was always hungry. Why? Because women emit anywhere between 425-700 calories per day into their breast milk, which is great for baby but also leaves you feeling depleted and constantly craving food. Take care of yourself and eat smart with nutrient-dense snacks that make your milk healthy while fueling you with a much-needed boost of energy.

If you can make snacks ahead of time (say, on the weekend while someone else cares for the baby), they’ll be on hand for easy grabbing during the week. Here are five ideas:

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Photo: Nathalie Dulex

  1. Nut Butter on Whole-grain Bread

    This combination of protein and whole grains really takes the edge off hunger. Nut butters are delicious and come in a variety from peanut to almond to cashew (although avoiding peanut butter may decrease your child’s chances of a peanut allergy). Try these delicious and healthy nut butters — I love the chocolate almond! Toast the bread, spread on the nut butter and top with sliced banana for some extra potassium.

  2. Avocado Drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar

    This is one of my favorite snacks anytime. Full of healthy, monounsaturated fats, the avocado is high in fiber and vitamin C. The balsamic vinegar perks it up with just the right bit of tanginess. And it leaves you feeling full. If you have the time, make a BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich) on whole-grain bread. Yum!

  3. Yogurt with Fruit

    Two cups of fruit per day is a general guideline for nursing moms. Apples, bananas, berries and grapes are yogurt-friendly options that also provide necessary vitamins. The yogurt provides the extra calcium you and baby need. Lactating women need 1,000-3,000 mg of calcium per day in order to build baby’s bones and maintain their own supply.

  4. Hard-boiled Eggs

    The perfect snack in itself. Sprinkle a little sea salt or a spice like turmeric on the egg for some added flavor (turmeric has the added benefit of naturally reducing inflammation). And don’t be scared of the yolks. Eggs are not the cholesterol-scary food they were once considered to be. Rather, egg yolks are one of the most nutrient- and vitamin-rich foods in the world! Baby’s gonna love that.

  5. Veggies and Dip

    Raw vegetables are an easily prepared snack from carrots to celery to peppers. They’re packed with vitamins and are portable for nursing moms on the move. Pair them with a nutrient-dense dip like hummus (from protein-rich chickpeas), salsa, pesto (basil provides iron and vitamin A) or yogurt with chives.


 This post is featured on Natural Living Mondays and Let’s Get Real.

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10 Responses to Top 5 Power Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms

  1. Actually, these are great snacks for anyone. I need to try the avocado with balsamic vinegar. Never heard of that but it sounds yummy. I nursed both of my kiddos for quite a while. It’s such a good thing!

  2. These sound like good snacks for EVERYONE!

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  5. I used to keep snacks like breakfast cookies at the chair where I nursed, so I snacked when she did. Unless she konked me out, then I just slept. Thanks for sharing with Let’s Get Real (I’m co-hosting this week)!

  6. Avocado with balsamic sounds really good. I’ve love the two, but have never had them together. I’m having BLT’s tonight. I may just have to add avocado and a little balsamic to the mayo. Thanks for the idea.

  7. These are great tips. Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party. Pinning to our group board.

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  9. Jennifer says:

    These are great snack options! I’m currently breastfeeding my 5mo, and it’s amazing how much calories you need…I often opt for a spoonful of coconut oil downed with a glass of raw milk.

  10. Mary says:

    I’m honored to be asked to help out when our son and daughter-in-law have their first child in October. I will mostly be cooking, cleaning and doing laundry so the new parents can enjoy time with their new baby. Our daughter-in-law is planning to nurse so am looking for recipes that go easy on the garlic, green peppers and other things that might affect her milk. Hoping to have some freezer meals ready to go. I have some ideas but would certainly welcome any thoughts from you all. Many thanks.

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