04 May Healthy Sugar Free Snacks for Nursing Moms
If you are a new mom who has chosen to breastfeed your baby, you’ve probably noticed that you own appetite has increased, and that you’re feeling hungry more often than before. (Not to mention how great it feels to have some room again for food in your stomach!) It is completely normal to want to eat more than usual because producing breastmilk is hard work that requires a lot of extra energy, about 300 to 500 calories per day. But with recovery, a newborn to care for, and getting the hang of nursing itself, it is near impossible to also cook yourself three squares a day. So what’s a nursing mom to do?
One word: snacks!
Stocking up on breastfeeding friendly snacks is a must for any new mom. Hunger can strike seemingly out of nowhere, so having plenty of snacks ready to go in the fridge is key. Luckily, there are many healthy snacks that can be prepared ahead, and stored in the freezer for that early postpartum period.
The key to healthy snacking while nursing is choosing nutrient-dense foods with lots of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats that will help keep your energy levels up, and help your body produce ample milk for your baby. Avoid empty calories from sugars and refined flours, which won’t nourish your body. There are many common foods that are lactogenic, meaning they boost milk supply. They include:
- Whole grains, especially oats and barley
- Seeds, such as sesame, flax, chia, and sunflower seeds
- Nuts, like almonds and cashews
- Brewer’s yeast
My favorite make-ahead snack that incorporates many lactogenic foods is nut butter energy balls. They are easy to make, can be flavored in different ways with various nut butters, dried fruits, oats, and seeds. They keep really well in the freezer, and you can pop out a few at a time to always have on hand. I also like to make oatmeal lactation cookie dough ahead and freeze it. That makes it easy to bake up a batch after the baby comes. Other great make-ahead snacks include homemade granola bars, and protein dense muffins made with nut butter and seeds. After baby comes, it’s also easy to make overnight oatmeal or chia seed pudding to enjoy throughout the day — no cooking required!
Need more ideas? Take a look through our recipe gallery for lots of sugar free, nutrient-packed recipes!