Feeding yourself well when you’re taking care of a baby—whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding—can be seriously difficult. These snacks for breastfeeding moms and new moms are easy to eat with one hand, are nutritious, and will help fuel you…even if you aren’t getting much sleep.

breastfeeding snacks on blue background

Breastfeeding Snacks

Being able to fuel yourself quickly and efficiently when you’re feeding a baby (and changing diapers and getting the baby to nap!) can be a challenge, so these snacks are all easy to eat and nutritious. They are great ones to keep on hand and in mind during the first months of taking care of a new baby.

This is especially true if you have a baby and a toddler in the house—then you’ll definitely need good snacks to feed yourself!

Healthy Snacks for Moms

Convenience can tag-team with healthy fuel if you stock your pantry and fridge with healthy snacks for yourself. I love to keep a mix of shelf-stable store-bought snacks and homemade snacks on hand so I have options throughout the week.

I recommend keeping at least one snack in your diaper bag for yourself at all times—a snack bar or nuts is a great option—and a few things in the fridge.

You may not always be able to cook yourself a meal during the day, but you can grab a healthy snack to eat with one hand!

chia pudding with granola in white bowl

Nutrients New Moms Need

New moms need fat, protein, complex carbohydrates, produce, and fiber—all of the same nutrients we need otherwise, but you may find that you feel better if you’re eating more protein and fat than usual.

Conventional wisdom says to eat about 400 extra calories, but that can be such a moving target that I would highly recommend ignoring that and eating enough for your own body.

So eat when you are hungry, which may look like shifting how you eat to 4-5 mini meals rather than 3. And know that this may change and fluctuate as baby grows and has growth spurts.

It’s a little unpredictable, which is why listening to your own body rather than aiming for an arbitrary amount of calories, can be a great outlook.


Tips for Managing Hunger

It can be really hard to stay on top of your own hunger when your tiny person has such pressing needs. And your blood sugar may be wonky due to less-than-ideal sleep, hormones, and hunger. So the best advice is to eat small meals frequently that include a mix of protein, carbs, and fat.

This can be hard to do, but it will help you feel your best.

I had a harder time with this with my third child (and still am experiencing this!) so I pretty much just made myself eat every 3 hours regardless of whether or not I was hungry to make sure I didn’t have a blood sugar crash.

It sounds odd to eat by the clock, rather than my hunger, but that’s what I needed to do in order to feel OK most days.

Hydration When Breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to drink a lot more fluids than you might realize to replace the liquid that the baby is getting. There’s no-one-size-fits all amount for everyone to drink, but keep a bottle of water nearby at all time to help you easily drink anytime you feel thirsty.

And if you find yourself getting chronic headaches, drink a lot more! (And also stretch out your neck and upper back!)

These hydrating foods may help you keep up the liquid intake, too.

Lactation cookies recipe with peanut butter and chocolate

Best Lactation Cookies Recipes

Lactation Cookies, which usually include a mix of oats, fat, fiber, and protein, are a great one-handed snack to keep stocked. I love my Lactation Cookie recipe since they are a great way to use up over-ripe bananas, and they are easy to vary—with chocolate chips or dried fruit, depending on what I have on hand.

They also freeze well, so these are a great snack to make before the baby comes when you’re trying to prep!

Best Store-Bought Snacks for Moms

These are my favorite snacks to buy or order to keep on hand to nourish myself between meals. They’re all great sources of quick energy for moms.

avocado toast with eggs on plate

Best Homemade Snacks for New Moms

These easy recipes are great ones to make for breastfeeding moms, as they contain a balanced mix of carbs, fat, protein, and fiber.

Favorite Coconut Chia Pudding
I like to use canned full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and creamy texture, though you can use “light” coconut milk if that’s what you can find at your store.
Favorite Coconut Chia Pudding
Easy Lactation Smoothie
Blend up a nutritious and satisfying Lactation Smoothie and customize it with add-ins and flavors you prefer. This is an easy meal for any tired mama!
Easy Lactation Smoothie
Favorite Lactation Cookie Recipe
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.
Favorite Lactation Cookie Recipe
Lactation cookies recipe with peanut butter and chocolate
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam
Use Sunbutter to make these nut-free. You can cut these into smaller bars if desired. If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!)
With just a handful of nutritious ingredients, you can bake up super easy Banana Oatmeal Muffins to share with the kids. For the best flavor and sweetness, use bananas with a lot of brown spots. Bonus: These store so well in the fridge for days!
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!)
banana oatmeal muffins
Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
This overnight oats recipe makes two toddler-size breakfast portions (or 1 mama-size serving). Double it to make additional servings. 
Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
These mini Spinach Egg Muffins mix up in minutes and are one of our go-to easy meals. They're packed with iron and protein, and you can make them ahead and stash them in the fridge until you need them for the kids.
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers), and it works really well.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
These healthy spinach muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
spinach banana muffins on pink plate
4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs
With just four simple and affordable ingredients, you can make tender Baked Chicken Meatballs to share with the kids. Bonus: You can tuck a veggie into the mix, and they are perfect to batch-cook and stash in the freezer!
4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs
baked chicken meatballs on cookie sheet.
Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)
Be sure to blend this super smooth for the best texture. Use any or none of the optional ingredients. See the Notes for how to make this with regular milk.
Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)
No-Bake Chocolate Granola Bars
With about 10 minutes of prep time, you can make the most delicious homemade granola bars to last for many snack times to come. These bars are easiest to slice after chilling a bit, so plan to let them firm up in the fridge before you cut them.
No-Bake Chocolate Granola Bars
chocolate granola bars in stack with milk jug.

TIP: Hard-cooked eggs and avocado toast are great options too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good snacks for breastfeeding?

Some easy, nutritious snacks for breastfeeding include nuts, nut butter, yogurt, cheese, sandwiches, smoothies, chia pudding, grilled chicken, energy bites, trail mix, and granola bars.

What to snack on at night while breastfeeding?

Nuts, trail mix, granola bars, half of a sandwich, protein bars, nut butter, and bananas are all easy middle of the night snacks.

What foods increase milk for breastfeeding?

Aim to eat enough calories, drink plenty of water, and eat a mix of nutrients including fat and protein to cover your bases. Some find that oatmeal can help increase lactation, too.

Best Tips for Breastfeeding Snacks

  • Aim for snacks that have fat and protein to help fuel you and balance blood sugar.
  • Eat as often as you are hungry, and regularly even if you don’t feel hungry, to keep your energy up.
  • Be sure to hydrate throughout the day and night.
  • Keep easy-to-eat snacks nearby where you tend to feed baby so you can grab one as needed.

I’d love to hear your favorite snack ideas, so please comment below to share.

This post was first published May 2019.

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