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.
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!
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.
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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.
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.
- Cheese stick
- Yogurt (with fat, to help keep you satisfied longer)
- Cottage cheese
- Super Fat nut butter packs
- Kind Protein Bars
- RX Bars
- Go Macro Bars
- Bananas with or without peanut butter
- Dry Cereal (like Peanut Butter Puffins)
- Trail Mix
- Roasted Chickpeas
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.
TIP: Hard-cooked eggs and avocado toast are great options too.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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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