21 Snack Ideas for nursing Moms that Will Satisfy Hunger Throughout the Day.
Eating several healthy snacks throughout the day is a great way for breastfeeding moms to feel satisfied and get the extra nutrients their bodies need while lactating.
Breastfeeding mothers have increased nutritional requirements than non-lactating women. Most women, who consume a balanced diet, can meet the increased requirements through their food intake. (source)
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What are the increased nutritional requirements for breastfeeding moms?
Breastfeeding and lactating women need higher amounts of certain dietary requirements. The actual recommended amounts will vary for each individual woman based on a number of factors, but you can find some general guidelines below.
- Calories: Producing milk takes energy, which uses up calories. True calorie needs will differ depending on your age, weight, height, activity level, and breastfeeding status. On average, breastfeeding women need about 2130 to 2730 kcal per day for the first six months and 2200 to 2800 kcal per day once babe is over six months old.
- Protein: Breastfeeding moms need an additional 25 grams of protein per day. Lean protein choices are best for heart health and preventing weight gain. Chicken, turkey, eggs, low-fat cheese, beans, and nut butters are all great options.
- Vitamins: Most vitamins are secreted into breast milk. Breastfeeding moms have an increased requirement of these vitamins to supply them for themselves and their babies. The recommended dietary allowances are increased for lactating women for vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate.
- Minerals: Zinc and selenium are secreted in breast milk as well and recommended dietary allowances of these minerals are increased for lactating women. Iodine needs are also increased in order to support proper infant growth and neurological development.
21 Healthy and Easy Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
When I was breastfeeding, I felt hungry ALL THE TIME. I would eat all day long. I would eat to feel satisfied and then start to feel hungry again an hour later. Snacks were my best friend!
So I made a list of my favorite snacks to help control hunger and wanted to share them with you.
These are all easy to prepare, healthy, and satisfying snacks for breastfeeding moms who are hungry all the time!
1. Fruit and cheese
This is my favorite easy snack when the hunger pains hit. I buy blocks of cheddar and swiss cheese and cut them up to make it super easy to grab a few slices when I want them. I love pairing cheese with an apple or pear.
2. Crackers and peanut butter
Another of my go-to snacks. I love using Whole Grain Ritz crackers and Teddie’s All Natural peanut butter. You can also substitute another nut butter like Sunbutter or Almond butter in place of the peanut butter.
3. fruit and Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is full of protein and it also has healthy amounts of selenium, riboflavin, B12, and folate. Cottage cheese is great plain with some cinnamon sprinkled on top but for added flavor, try adding fresh or canned fruit. I love fresh strawberries or raspberries or canned pinneapple with my cottage cheese.
4. Rye crisps and cheese
Rye crisps are a great alternative to crackers or bread. I love these Finn Crisps made with 100% whole grains and high in fiber (which will help with any postpartum constipation)! Eat them with sliced cheese or spread on some cream cheese for an easy, satisfying breastfeeding snack.
5. Crackers and hummus
Hummus is a delicious snack, with the added benefit of having a good amount of protein and fiber. These single servings are so convenient for an easy, healthy snack. I love spreading hummus on whole-grain crackers or making hummus and crackers sandwiches.
6. Yogurt, fruit and nut parfait
Mix up a healthy parfait using plain Greek yogurt combined with fruit and a handful of slivered almonds. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries taste delicious layered with Greek yogurt.
7. Banana and peanut butter
Banana and peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations. This snack will give you a healthy dose of protein, fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
8. Cut Up Veggies and hummus
Hummus adds a nice punch of protein to a snack of veggies and is a little more nutritious than dipping vegetables into bottled salad dressing. I love hummus with cucumbers, carrots, celery, and tomato.
Oats, the wonder food for breastfeeding moms! Many women swear by oatmeal as a way of increasing milk supply. Whether it does or doesn’t, oatmeal is still a pretty healthy and filling snack for breastfeeding moms. Steel-cut oats helped me feel fuller longer. They have a different, chewier texture than regular rolled oats because they are less processed.
10. Graham crackers and peanut butter
Graham crackers and peanut butter is another great tasting combination (if you couldn’t tell, I kind of love peanut butter). This is a nice option when you’re craving something sweet.
11. Tuna and crackers
Even though I know it has great health benefits, I’ve never been a fan of fish. I do, however, love tuna. Tuna is a great source of vitamin B12, niacin, and selenium, as well as protein, so it’s great for breastfeeding moms. I love these packets and can eat the tuna right out of the bag or spread it on crackers.
12. Rice cake and Melted cheese
I go through periods where I just crave this snack all the time. So simple to make – just stick a slice of cheese on a rice cake and throw it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds for melty, crunchy goodness.
13. Beef jerky
Jerky is an easy way to get some extra protein into your diet and it can fill you up in between meals. These single serving bags are great to grab and go. But, it doesn’t have to just be beef. Turkey jerky is also full of protein to help satisfy your hunger while breastfeeding.
14. Avocado and tomatoes on toast
Avocados contain a variety of vitamins and minerals plus a lot of fiber. Spreading some avocado on whole grain bread with sliced tomatoes is a delicious, healthy and filling snack for breastfeeding moms.
15. Cheese and apple Bagel
This has always been one of my favorite snacks to eat! Slightly toast a bagel (or an english muffin or bagel thin), place some thinly sliced apples on top and them cover with a slice of cheese (swiss and cheddar work great). Then, broil in the oven just a few minutes. So delicious. And you can eat the rest of the apple for the fiber and antioxidants, of course!
16. Rice cake and peanut butter
I believe that peanut butter goes with everything. The creamy goodness of peanut butter tastes great on top of these rice cakes, which are only made with one ingredient (whole grain brown rice) so there’s no added sugar or other crazy ingredients.
17. Guacamole and veggies
Guacamole is a tasty way to get in more vegetables and the fiber will help keep you fuller longer. Carrot sticks or baby carrots taste great with guacamole. These single-serving portions make it super easy when you don’t have a lot of time to eat.
18. Pita bread with hummus
Hummus spread on pita bread is an easy, tasty snack for breastfeeding moms. I like to stick the pita bread in the toaster or broil quickly in the over for an extra crunch.
19. Cinnamon yogurt dip with fruit
This is my hack when I’m craving something sweet and really just want to eat a jar of frosting. Mix some cinnamon into plain Greek yogurt to make a “dip” and serve it to yourself with fruit on the side for dipping. I like to use apples and strawberries but any fruit will work.
20. Hard boiled egg
An egg is always a quick and easy option when you’re feeling hungry. A hard-boiled egg will give you lots of protein to help keep you feeling satisfied.
If you’re a fan of eggs and don’t have an egg cooker, I highly recommend purchasing one like this. It gives you a super easy way to make hard-boiled (and other types) eggs.
21. Almonds and dried apricots with mini chocolate chips
Make a mini trail mix with almonds, apricots and chocolate chips. Almonds are high in vitamin E and fiber while apricots have many antioxidants including vitamins A and C. Add some mini chocolate chips for a sweet treat.
Final Thoughts on Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
Feeling hungry? Breastfeeding women need higher amounts of nutrients including calories and protein than when they aren’t breastfeeding. I hope this list of 21 easy and healthy snacks helped give you some ideas for great ways to satisfy your hunger while nursing your baby.
What other healthy, easy snacks helped keep you full while you were breastfeeding your baby? Let me know in the comments!
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