This easy Lactation Cookie recipe is full of healthy ingredients to help mamas keep up their energy, even on the longest of days—and are So Darn Delicious. Plus, you can make them ahead and stash them in the fridge or freezer for a one-handed snack that’s ready and waiting.

Lactation cookies recipe with peanut butter and chocolate on white plate

Feeding babies and toddlers is exhausting, no matter how you do it. I know that I’ve always felt that nourishing myself in the postpartum days was more challenging than I expected, and I needed to eat frequently in order to avoid feeling shaky or unwell.

I always tried to keep easy to eat snacks on hand that would fill me up and offer plenty of nutrients. And this has continued into the toddler years because, quite frankly, being a parent is exhausting work and we often don’t take enough time to nourish ourselves.

When I was stocking my freezer with freezer meals before having my own kids—or when friends have kids—this simple lactation cookie recipe is one of my go-to recipes for nourishment. They are great cold, straight out of the fridge with milk or coffee, and they taste decadent enough that they offer a moment of reprieve…no matter what’s happening around you.

I call this my “tired mama cookie”. And while you can of course share them with a child or a partner, they are particularly great for the postpartum months. The recipe is made with wholesome ingredients, the cookies are easy to eat with one hand, and there are no hard-to-find ingredients needed—which means that you don’t have to special order anything or run around to multiple stores.

They are, hands down, my very favorite meal option for a tired parent. And they have fat and protein which are key to stabilizing blood sugar, which can be a challenge for so many moms.

Of course, even if you don’t have a new baby to welcome, these cookies are perfect as an everyday treat as a toddler snack or breakfast cookie. These store well in the freezer for up to 3 months, so you can make them ahead as needed.

(You may also like Lactation Smoothie, healthy oatmeal recipes, healthy pregnancy snacks, and Pregnancy Smoothie.

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How do Lactation Cookies work?

The idea behind the concept of a lactation cookie is that the ingredients will help milk supply and milk production. It is more factual to say that they “may help” milk supply, because there are no guarantees and also, breastmilk supply is impacted by a whole host of factors. That is important context, especially given how much pressure falls on new moms to nurse their babies.

That said, no lactation cookie or lactation bite is magic. This batch includes some ingredients that may help with breastmilk supply, but they’re also loaded with whole grains, healthy fats, and protein—all of which new parents need.

Ingredients You Need

This lactation recipe is made with basic ingredients you likely have in the pantry (or can easily pick up at the store) and basically have no filler—each ingredient serves a specific purpose.

ingredients in lactation cookies
  • Rolled oats: Oatmeal provides fiber, B vitamins, and complex carbs for long-lasting energy. (They may also help to boost milk supply.)
  • Shredded coconut adds flavor and fat to help prevent blood sugar crashes by balancing the natural sugars in the cookies. Many new moms are particularly sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations due to fatigue and increased energy demands, so this is really helpful.
  • Ground flax seed helps bind the batter and adds good-for-you fats (omega 3) and fiber (which can be especially helpful in the early postpartum days!). It may be called “flaxseed meal” at your store.
  • Bananas chip in natural sweetness for flavor and quick energy, and potassium. You’ll want to use really ripe ones for the best flavor.
  • Nut butter adds protein and satisfying fats, as well as Vitamin E. You can use peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter.
  • Chocolate chips add just enough indulgence to help a mama through tired days.

TIP: To make these as gluten-free cookies, simply use certified gluten-free rolled oats. Feel free to add a pinch of salt and cinnamon for more flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process in making these lactation cookies so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

how to make lactation cookies step by step
  1. Mash the bananas with a potato masher or a fork.
  2. Add the bananas to a medium bowl and stir in the rest of the dry ingredients to make the cookie dough.
  3. Chill batter in the fridge while the oven heats. Portion and flatten.
  4. Bake and let cool.

TIP: You can make these large and small to fit the various appetites in your house (if you plan to share them with the kids, which you of course can, but have every right not to if you want them all for yourself!).

Frequently Asked Questions

Do lactation cookies actually work?

Lactation cookies usually contain oats and sometimes Brewer’s yeast which may help breastmilk supply. There is no guarantee and there are so many other factors at play.

How often should I eat lactation cookie bites?

You can enjoy them as much as you’d like unless your medical provider gives you other advice. If the ones you’re planning to eat have supplements or herbs or ingredients you’re less familiar with, you may want to check in with your medical provider.

What should I pair with lactation cookies?

A key to nursing and feeling halfway decent as a new mom is to drink a ton of water. So that is a great option. They’re also an easy meal if paired with milk, a smoothie, or drinkable yogurt. At any other time, you can can enjoy these with coffee for yourself, milk for the kids, or even alongside a smoothie.

lactation cookies on baking sheet

Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies

The flavor combination of peanut butter, ripe banana, and chocolate is super delicious and the peanut butter lends moistness and comforting healthy fats. You can make these with almond butter or sunflower seed butter if you prefer.

Using nut butter instead of say, oil or butter, helps to create an egg-free batter that holds together well and stores for days in the fridge…while also adding protein.

Vegan Lactation Cookies

Because I know that many families struggle with allergies, and some babies are sensitive to foods their mamas eat, these lactation cookies are naturally free from dairy, eggs, and gluten. And you can use nut-free Sunbutter instead of peanut or almond if needed. If you need to omit the coconut, substitute more oats instead.

Lactation cookies recipe with peanut butter and chocolate

Tips for Boosting Breast Milk Supply

Oats are thought to possibly improve breastmilk supply know that and the protein and fats are key ingredients to help provide mamas with the nutrients their bodies need at such an exhausting time. And water is a big key, as is frequent on demand nursing.

I was on the fence about calling this a lactation cookie because I know just how crazy we can feel when it seems like our milk supply isn’t high enough. And I don’t want anyone who’s frantically trying to increase their milk supply to feel like they have to take care of and feed a newborn AND make themselves special cookies.

Or to go out and buy hard-to-find supplements or herbs that may or may not help.

So know this: The hard facts on any foods or supplements actually increasing supply are slim at best. There is a lot of anecdotal information, a lot of shared wisdom. But I also know that no matter what you may or may not do, sometimes your supply just is what it is.

You can drink lots of water, take care of yourself with solid nutrition including lots of protein and healthy fats, ask for help when you need it, and relax about your supply. (Here are some additional tips on improving your supply.)

So use formula if you need to supplement. Fed is best.

How to Store

Once cooled, you can store the lactation cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Best Tips for Success

  • Make these easy lactation cookies for yourself or a new parent friend, or share with the rest of the family. (They’re safe for everyone.)
  • Warm the peanut butter and honey to make them easy to stir into the other ingredients.
  • Use sunflower seed butter or another nut butter in place of the peanut butter if desired.
  • Swap in dried fruit for the chocolate chips if desired.
  • To make these without coconut, simply use additional oats instead.
  • To make these gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats.
  • Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to help you portion out the cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet so they hold together well.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it so please comment below to share!

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Lactation cookies recipe with peanut butter and chocolate
This easy Lactation Cookie recipe (with chocolate chips) is so good for breakfast, treats, or afternoon snack. They're egg, dairy, and gluten-free and are great to share with the kids, too.
4.96 from 48 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 204kcal
Servings 12


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  • Mash the bananas until smooth.
  • Add the bananas to a medium bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Chill batter in the fridge while the oven heats to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop out 1/4-cup portions onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten to about ½-inch thick.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until set and golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.



  • To make them smaller: Portion into 1-tablespoon balls, flatten, and bake for 16-18 minutes.
  • To make them without flaxseed, substitute and equal amount of whole-wheat flour.
  • Warm the peanut butter and honey to make them easy to stir into the other ingredients.
  • Swap in dried fruit for the chocolate chips if desired.
  • To make these without coconut, simply use additional oats instead.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
  • Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to help you portion out the cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet so they hold together well.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 204kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published January 2018.

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4.96 from 48 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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  1. Would I freeze it before or after baking? If after, what will the consistency be if I just let it in room temperature?

    1. I prefer to bake first, then freeze. Once baked, they are fine at room temperature or chilled. Consistency is the same.

  2. 5 stars
    Do you have a suggestion for reducing the honey without compromising the cookie texture? I slightly reduced the amount of honey and chocolate chips (dark), but I would still prefer a less sweet cookie. Increase the banana?

  3. 5 stars
    I don’t even have a baby but I made them for a friend and thought they were so good, I make them like once a month for myself now!

  4. 5 stars
    Love these! I made and ate a bunch of these while I was pregnant and completely forgot about them after I had the baby. Baby is 6 months now and I’m sooo excited to start making these regularly again! I never have coconut on hand, so I’ve always just replaced it with oats as recommended. Also I use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter.

  5. 5 stars
    I have tried a lot of lactation cookie recipes and this one is the best so far! I love the ingredients and the shredded coconut gives it a little sweetness. I have made these for friends postpartum and they always ask me for more. They also freeze really well. LOVE!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this recipe so so so much – do you think I can make it into something more like a granola bar? Like just press the whole mixture into a pan and bake and cut? Or will it not be as good in the middle parts?

    1. Hi- I think that would work, though I suspect that the center pieces would be softer than the outside. I am guessing that if you use an 8×8-inch pan it might be 24-28 minutes. I would let it cool in the pan to help too. Let me know how it goes!

    1. It would change the flavor a lot and not be as sweet, so you may want to add additional spices like cinnamon and/or additional sweetener depending on your flavor preferences.

  7. 5 stars
    Sooo yummy – I’ve made them 4 times now and my baby is 4 months old but honestly they are just so delicious I love them just as “cookies”! My toddler also loves them too thank you for another amazing recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Would subbing maple syrup for the honey work okay? Or would the lack of stickiness impact the texture?

    Thanks for all you do!!!

    1. I think since the banana and peanut butter are super sticky, it should actually work okay to make that sub! And you’re welcome!

    1. You can. It can sometimes taste bitter, so I probably wouldn’t add more than 2-4 tablespoons to the batch to avoid that.

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