Breastfeeding Snacks: 42 Easy and Healthy Options

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Breastfeeding Snacks: 42 Easy and Healthy Options

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The phrase “eating for two” during breastfeeding is “partially” true. Although a lactating woman doesn’t need to consume food twice her requirement, she must consume an additional 500 calories a day to compensate for the approximately 500 calories burnt due to breastfeeding (1) (2).

Most breastfeeding moms are preoccupied with meeting the baby’s requirements, such as feeding, changing diapers, or putting them to bed, that they find it challenging to take out time to eat a balanced and nutritious meal.

Thus, we bring you a list of healthy breastfeeding snacks you can whip up in no time. However, before we dive into the list, here is a question that may pop up in your mind.

What Makes A Good Breastfeeding Snack?

This is a question stamped on every nursing mother’s mind. Here are some key points you must remember while looking for a good breastfeeding snack.

  1. It must meet your calorie requirement. As you handle multiple tasks, you need a snack that will replenish the energy spent. Complex carbohydrates such as oats, whole wheat, and brown rice, beans, lean proteins, etc., would keep you full longer and provide you with sustained energy (3).
  1. It should be nutritious. This should be a priority as you do not need empty calories. Vegetables, nuts, and fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals. These foods ensure that both you and your child receive an optimal dose of nutrients (4).
  1. It should be hydrating. Your body requires water to produce breast milk. A hydrating food not only quenches your thirst but also keeps you full longer. Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and milk are good options (5).
  1. It should partially contribute to increased milk production. A few foods are effective in increasing milk production. Such foods are termed “galactagogues.” Oats, barley, chickpeas, lentils, moringa leaves, garlic, fennel, dill, almonds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, dates, ginger, turmeric, carrots, yams, beets, dark green leafy vegetables, and brewer’s yeast are well-known galactagogues (6) (7).

Now that you know what makes a good breastfeeding snack, here are 35 breastfeeding snacks that can be made at home. We have also included a few healthy store-bought snacks that you can nosh on during breastfeeding.

Homemade Breastfeeding Snacks

Nothing compares to a good homemade breastfeeding snack. These snacks contain no preservatives and can be made of ingredients readily available at every home.

1. Greek yogurt and granola

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (preferably low-fat)
  • 1-2tsp desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mixed berries — raspberries, blueberries (optional)

How to prepare

  • Take 1/4th cup of granola and pour in the Greek yogurt.
  • Add in berries of your choice and relish.
  • You can alter the granola flavor for a refreshing taste each time.
  • Also, for the vegan variant, you can substitute Greek yogurt with coconut yogurt.

2. Lactation cookies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 2/3 cups oat or wheat flour (can be gluten-free)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (can be gluten-free)
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast (preferably debittered)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp salt

How to prepare

  • Mix the flaxseed meal with water. Let it sit for five minutes. You can also substitute them with three eggs. Whisk them well before use.
  • Now add melted and cooled coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract into the beaten egg. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • In another bowl, mix oat or wheat flour, rolled oats, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, cinnamon powder, and salt.
  • Sieve the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Add some nuts or dark chocolate chips.
  • Scoop cookie dough of the desired size onto a parched baking tray. Bake at 350 °F for 10-13 minutes or until the sides are golden.
  • These homemade lactation cookies stay fresh for a week under room temperature.
  • You can also freeze them in a Ziploc bag for two months.

3. Hard-boiled eggs and whole-grain crackers

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 2 eggs
  • 2-4 whole-grain crackers
  • 1tsp of chives (optional)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)

How to prepare

  • Add 3-4 cups of water in a saucepan, enough for the eggs to submerge.
  • Add in the eggs once the water starts to boil.
  • Cover with a lid for ten minutes.
  • Turn off the stove and discard the water.
  • Pour in cold water to hasten the cooling process of the eggs.
  • Once the eggs have cooled, peel off the shell.
  • Cut the eggs into slices. Sandwich them in between crackers.
  • You may add in chopped chives or any other seasoning of your preference.

4. Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 cup of nuts — pecans, cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc., (raw or home-roasted)
  • 1 cup of dried fruits (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of seeds — sunflower, pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of broken pretzels or aired popcorn (optional)
  • A pinch of salt or nutmeg (optional)

How to prepare

  • In a big bowl, combine all the preferred ingredients.
  • Store it in a clean mason jar or a Ziploc bag.
  • It can be stored for a month.

5. Whole wheat bagel with hummus

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 small whole-wheat bagel
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas (optional)

How to prepare

  • Cut the bagel in half and spread some hummus.
  • You can also add some chickpeas on top for extra protein.

6. Air-popped popcorn

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • Seasoning of your choice

How to prepare

  • Place a non-stick pan over the stove and heat it over medium flame.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water to check if the pan is hot enough. If the water evaporates immediately, your pan is ready to pop the corn.
  • Add in corn kernels and close the lid.
  • Shake it every two to six seconds.
  • The kernels would start to pop after two or three minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat when you don’t hear a pop for five or six seconds.
  • Transfer the lightweight air-popped corn into a bowl and toss in seasonings of your choice.

7. Dark chocolate and berries

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup raspberries or strawberries

How to prepare

  • Chop up the dark chocolate and add it to a bowl of raspberries.
  • You can also melt the chocolate and dip the raspberries or strawberries in it. Freeze it for some time and voila! you have a travel-friendly snack.

8. Edamame

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • Edamame
  • Salt (optional)

How to prepare

  • Boil raw edamame for a few minutes until they’re tender.
  • Sprinkle some salt and relish the high-protein snack.
  • Pre-cooked and ready-to-eat edamame can be consumed as such.

9. Banana and rice cake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1-2 rice cake (organic)
  • 1 banana
  • 1tbsp all-natural peanut butter (optional)
  • 1tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

How to prepare

  • Take a rice cake and spread peanut butter over if preferred.
  • Peel and slice the bananas.
  • Place the chopped slices on the rice cake.
  • Drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

10. Crackers and cheese

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 2-4 whole-grain crackers
  • 2 cheddar cheese slices
  • Vegetables (optional)

How to prepare

  • Place slices of cheese in between two whole-grain crackers. Add vegetables as per your preference.
  • This is a quick snack filled with complex carbohydrates and protein, provided you have both the ingredients available.

11. Apple slices and peanut butter

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 apple (cored and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • Berries (optional)

How to prepare

  • Spread some peanut butter or any nut butter of your preference on the sliced apples.
  • Add some chopped berries for additional nutrition.

12. Veggie egg muffins

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup diced vegetables
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

How to prepare

  • Break and whisk the eggs in a bowl.
  • Add in diced vegetables of your choice. Carrots, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, mushroom, and spinach go well with eggs.
  • Pour this batter into muffin trays.
  • Bake them in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 °F.
  • You can store them in a freezer for five days. Avoid onions or other watery vegetables to increase the shelf-life.
  • If you’re a cheese lover, place a cube of cheese in the center of the muffin before baking.

13. Cherry tomato and mozzarella basil bites

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 4-5 mozzarella balls
  • 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 4-5 basil leaves

How to prepare

  • Place a mozzarella ball and a basil leaf in between two tomato halves. Pierce a toothpick to hold them together.
  • Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the top.
  • Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

14. Oat and nut waffles

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) or flax eggs
  • 2tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • Sliced peaches for serving (optional)

How to prepare

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another.
  • The eggs can be substituted with flaxseed powder for a vegan version. To prepare flax eggs, mix two tablespoons of ground raw flaxseed powder with five tablespoons of water. Let it sit for five minutes.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients carefully.
  • Mix the ingredients well.
  • Pour the mixture over pre-heated waffle iron and cook until the waffles are slightly golden.
  • Take them off the iron and drizzle some maple syrup or honey. Serve alongside some sliced peaches.

15. Milk and protein bars

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • One protein bar
  • A glass of milk

How to prepare

  • This simple yet nutritional snack only requires you to sit back and enjoy.

16. Hummus and celery

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/4 cup hummus (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 celeries

How to prepare

  • Wash the celeries and slice them into sticks
  • Dip them into hummus and enjoy a delicious healthy snack within minutes.

17. Oatmeal protein balls

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1–1/2 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 2–3tbsp honey or maple syrup

How to prepare

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor and powder it until you get a crumbly texture.
  • Make balls out of them or spread them on a parchment sheet to create protein balls.

18. Antipasto kabobs

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 2-3 deli meat (2 inches in length each), rolled or folded
  • 2-6 flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves
  • 2-3 pieces preserved artichoke hearts
  • 2-3 pitted olives
  • 2-3 mini mozzarella cheese balls
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 mini wooden skewers
  • A pinch of oregano
  • 1-2tsp of extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare

  • Roll or fold the deli meat.
  • Arrange all the ingredients in order on clean and dry skewers.
  • Arrange them on a plate, drizzle some olive oil, and sprinkle some oregano.

19. Cottage cheese and pineapple

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (preferably low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple (crushed or sliced)

How to prepare

  • Shred the cottage cheese into a bowl.
  • Top it with sliced or crushed pineapple.

20. Granola bars

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1-1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1-1/2 cups quick oats
  • ¾ cup natural almond or all-natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup nuts and berries
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 3tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2tbsp brewers yeast (optional)
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract

How to prepare

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Melt the almond or peanut butter in a saucepan. Add the maple syrup or honey into it. Pour this heated mixture along with other wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • The mixture should be crumbly. Finally, add nuts, berries, and chocolate chips gently.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Spread the granola mixture evenly on parchment paper.
  • Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  • Cut the well-set granola into squares of the required size.
  • These granola bars stay fresh for four days at room temperature and up to two months when frozen.

21. Pitted dates stuffed with peanut butter and walnuts

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 2 Medjool dates (halved)
  • 1tbsp all-natural peanut butter
  • 4 walnuts

How to prepare

  • Spread peanut butter into each halved date.
  • Place a walnut on each date and savor this simple, nutritious snack filled with the goodness of healthy fats and sugars.

22. Pretzels and cheddar cheese

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • Pretzels
  • Cheddar cheese (any form)

How to prepare

  • Cut the cheese and eat along with pretzels.
  • You may also dip them in cheese sauce.
  • Alternatively, add some butter or popcorn oil to a pan over medium heat.
  • Toss in some pretzels and sprinkle some cheddar cheese powder.
  • Toss until the oil is absorbed along with the cheese.

23. Tuna and apples

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 2-3 chunk light tuna (water drained)
  • 1 small apple (cored and diced)
  • ¼cup minced red onion
  • ¼cup olive oil or mayonnaise
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp fresh basil or celery (minced)
  • Salt and pepper

How to prepare

  • Cut the tuna into small pieces.
  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper as per taste.

24. Cucumbers with cream cheese and smoked salmon

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese of any flavor
  • 1-2ounces smoked salmon
  • Chives or dill (minced)

How to prepare

  • Cut the cucumber into slices.
  • Top them with cream cheese and strips of smoked salmon.
  • Garnish with minced chives or dill.

25. Dried fruit

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • A handful of dried fruits of your choice

How to prepare

  • The only preparation needed is for you to open up the jar or pouch.
  • Go for unsweetened dried fruits as they are healthier than sweetened dried fruits.

26. Banana blender muffins

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs or 2tbsp flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp salt

How to prepare

  • If you plan to use flax eggs, mix two tbsp of flaxseed meal in 5tbsp of water. Stir well and let it sit for five minutes.
  • Now, blend all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Scoop the batter into muffin tins and place them in a preheated oven.
  • Bake at 350 °F for 10-15 minutes.

27. Toast with peanut butter and banana

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1tbsp all-natural peanut butter

How to prepare

  • Toast the bread slightly.
  • Spread the peanut butter evenly on the toasted bread.
  • Slice bananas and place them on the toast for a wholesome and quick snack.
  • You can also add a few frozen or fresh berries on top.

28. Fruit and yogurt smoothie

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries

How to prepare

  • Toss all the ingredients into a blender jar and whip them up for a quick and healthy smoothie.

29. Watermelon ‘fries’ with yogurt dip

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 cup chopped watermelon for fries
  • 1 cup plain or flavored Greek yogurt
  • Seasonings

How to prepare

  • Add your favorite seasoning to yogurt. It can be as simple as salt, pepper, or a complicated yogurt dip made of lime juice, honey, and chili powder.
  • Place the chopped watermelon pieces on top of the yogurt and relish.

30. Hummus and veggies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • Vegetables of your choice
  • Hummus of your preferred flavor

How to prepare

  • Carrots, radishes, bell peppers, avocado, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes, go well with hummus.
  • You can also eat hummus with baked sweet potato, sliced or baked zucchini, and steamed cauliflowers.

31. Vanilla overnight oats

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla flavored)
  • 1-2tsp of honey or maple syrup

How to prepare

  • This is a recipe that needs to be prepared beforehand.
  • In a mason jar, pour in rolled oats, almond milk, and preferred sweetener.
  • Stir it well and stack it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

32. Whole wheat waffle with applesauce

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 whole-wheat waffle
  • 1-2tbsp unsweetened applesauce

How to prepare

  • Prepare whole-wheat waffles the usual way. You may also use frozen ones.
  • Pour the delicious unsweetened applesauce over the waffle to enjoy a quick snack filled with complex carbohydrates.
  • You can also top it off with some fruit yogurt, coconut cream, or berries of your choice.

33. Pumpkin smoothie

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/3 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • A pinch of cinnamon

How to prepare

  • Toss all the ingredients into a blender and whisk them.
  • That is all it takes to get a healthy glass of smoothie filled with complex carbs, carotenoids, and good fats.
  • You can also add a few nuts or dates of your choice and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

34. Roasted pumpkin seeds

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1 cup pumpkin seed
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

How to prepare

  • Place a parchment sheet on a baking tray.
  • Spread the pumpkin seeds evenly on the sheet.
  • Drizzle some olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder and salt.
  • Bake at 350 °F for 10-15 minutes. Stir it every five minutes for even roasting of the seeds.
  • These roasted seeds can be stored for up to two weeks.

35. Dark Chocolate and almonds

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/2cup almonds
  • 1/2cup dark chocolate chips

How to prepare

  • Crush the almonds into chunks. Roast them over medium flame until they turn brown.
  • Spread the toasted almonds evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Melt chocolate on a double boiler.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the roasted almonds. Let it cool. Break them into even pieces and store them in a jar.
  • You can prepare these homemade, preservative-free chocolate in batches. Sprinkle some sea salt in the melted chocolate for enhanced flavor.

36. Avocado chocolate pudding

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 1tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4tsp vanilla essence

How to prepare

  • Blend all the ingredients in a jar and transfer them into a bowl.
  • This snack, filled with good fats and antioxidants, can be prepared within minutes.

37. Roasted chickpeas

Image: Shutterstock

You will need

  • 1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Seasonings

How to prepare

  • Wash the cooked chickpeas and remove any loose skins.
  • Spread a parchment sheet on a baking tray. Fill up the baking tray with chickpeas.
  • Drizzle olive oil over them and add a generous amount of salt.
  • Toss them until all the chickpeas are evenly coated.
  • Roast in an oven at 350 °F for 20 minutes or until the chickpeas are crispy.
  • Mix them every five minutes for even roasting.
  • These healthy munchies stay fresh for two days.

Store-Bought Breastfeeding Snacks

No time to cook snacks? Here are a few healthy breastfeeding store-bought snacks.

1. KIND cinnamon oat bars

The Cinnamon oat bars by KIND are filled with oats, a natural galactagogue. This bar would reduce your hunger cravings and also increase your milk supply. Its gluten-free and low-sugar content makes it a great munchie even for midnight snacking.

2. That’s It apple blueberry bars

As the name suggests, this bar is filled with apples and blueberries. Tickle your sweet tooth with this bar filled with naturally concentrated sugar.

3. Trader Joe’s seasoned kale chips

With no artificial preservatives, Trader Joe’s seasoned kale chips are a healthy snack for savory lovers. The tahini sauce with kale makes these chips a good source of iron and calcium and the ideal healthy pickup snack for breastfeeding moms.

4. Alaska Smokehouse king salmon jerky

The Alaska Smokehouse salmon jerky is a healthy and tasty snack that is designed to meet protein needs. Each serving of the jerky provides 15 grams of protein.

5. Sahale Snacks mango tango almond trail mix

The trail mix by Sahale is a treat for food lovers who like sour foods. It has peanuts, almonds, and banana chips perfectly balanced in the tanginess of mango. Filled with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, this a quick and healthy snack for lactating moms.

As a nursing mother, nourishing yourself is extremely important. Even if you don’t find time to eat a wholesome meal, gorging on healthy snacks could make a huge difference. We hope we have done our share in bringing the best breastfeeding snacks to you.

References:

MomJunction’s health articles are written after analyzing various scientific reports and assertions from expert authors and institutions. Our references (citations) consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

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