If you’ve ever breastfed, you know the experience can be a surprising combination of delightful, difficult, awkward, pleasant, painful, exhausting, terrible, or all of the above. But no matter what, it’s likely to make you hungry — and for good reason. Your body burns 300 to 500 calories per day producing milk. Then there’s the fact that feeding yourself and your baby can be quite the challenge, especially in the early days when nursing sessions are nonstop (and therefore, having a free hand or two to whip up a snack can feel pretty impossible).
But fear not, mama: There is hope. These breastfeeding snacks are nutritious, delicious and filling. The best part? Most of them can be stashed in/on/around your nightstand, for the easiest of access.
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Whole grain snack bar © Provided by SheKnows Brainiac Foods.
Where have these been all of our lives? Easy to grab for breakfast or a pick-me-up snack, these bars pack a punch of health and yumminess. This apple cinnamon bar is made with oats, puffy quinoa, pea crisps and chia so there’s Omega-3’s, choline and prebiotics to support your brain, eyes and gut. But then there’s organic apples, agave, cinnamon and sea salt to really make this little bar delicious.
KiwiCo's New Yummy Crate Gets Kids Excited About Cooking — & You Can Pre-Order It Now
The sizzle of a skillet, the simmering of stews, the smell of cookies wafting out of the oven — this is what I remember about being in the kitchen with my mom when I was a kid. She always had me with her in the kitchen on my little step stool, where I would help her mix up batters, peel potatoes, and make salads. But when I had my own kid, I didn’t know where to start. It can be a challenge to figure out how to introduce your child to the kitchen, no matter their age.
Brainiac™ Brain Bar Apple Cinnamon $23.99 for 12 Buy now Sign Up
Dehydrated cheese (yes, really) © Provided by SheKnows Whisps.
If you find yourself craving potato chips or Doritos but don’t want to fill your baby’s breastmilk with, well, Doritos — Whisps are the answer. In fact, you may never go back to the unhealthy stuff again, since these snacks pack even more flavor, plus protein, thanks to being made with 100% cheese. Yep, that’s it! They’re gluten-free and low-carb to boot. Buy: Whisps Cheese Crisps 24.49
Super granola © Provided by SheKnows Supernola.
There’s regular granola, and then there’s Supernola. These yummy pouches are a delicious mix of superfoods like maqui, golden and goji berries, plus nuts and seeds for 8 grams of long-lasting protein power. Buy: Supernola Superfood Clusters $35.88 for 12
Pretzels © Provided by SheKnows FitJoy.
Crunchy and salty, pretzels are the perfect low-calorie treat. And these grain-free versions (made with cassava flour) from FitJoy are ideal for the gluten-free, dairy-free, or just plain hungry and healthy breastfeeders out there.
These Spicy Cactus Snacks Are Guaranteed to Satisfy Your Crunchy Cravings
Nemi is on a mission to create ultra-crunchy cactus snacks that soothe your growling stomach and bust stereotypes about Mexican culture. After suffering some health issues and having to lay off her favorite snack, potato chips, Trillo says she started hunting for a new munchie that had the same crunch and savory flavor options, but with a healthier nutrition profile. Finally, it clicked: She would make her own better-for-you snack that could highlight her home country's beloved nopales and overturn stereotypes of Mexican cuisine.
Buy: FitJoy Gluten Free Pretzels - 5 oz Bags, 2 Pack $15.74
Granola bars © Provided by SheKnows KIND Snacks.
While any granola bar will do the trick, we’re particularly fond of KIND bars which are sweet, salty and a good source of protein and fiber. They’re available in a variety of flavors (some have dark chocolate, cranberries, coconut, caramel, cherries, peanut butter and more). Plus, most KIND bars contain almonds — which support lactation and increase milk production. Buy: KIND Bars - 12 count $12.68
Roasted chickpeas © Provided by SheKnows Saffron Road.
While roasted chickpeas may sound strange, don’t be fooled: This crunchy snack is salty, savory and full of protein and fiber. Bonus: From BBQ to chipotle to falafel, these bad boys come in a wide selection of flavors. Try the variety pack and get four different and deliciously satisfying tastes. Buy: Saffron Road Organic Chickpea Snacks - Variety Pack of 4 $20.89
Trail mix © Provided by SheKnows Target.
Portable, bite-sized snacks are best when breastfeeding, especially when they’re packed with Omega-3’s like this trail mix from Target. So keep this container on your coffee table, end table or put a couple of handfuls in a plastic zip bag to throw in your purse or diaper bag when you’re out and about. The heart-healthy fats will quell your morning hunger pangs or late-night cravings.
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Good & Gather Omega-3 Trail Mix $11.99 Buy now Sign Up
Popcorn © Provided by SheKnows Orville Redenbacher.
Who can resist the smell of just-popped popcorn wafting through the house? Popcorn is high in fiber and will help you feel full while getting through your day. This version by Orville Redenbacher is 100% whole grain and is topped with just a hint of sea salt. Buy: Orville Redenbacher's Naturals Simply Salted Microwave Popcorn, 6 count $5.48
Lactation cookies © Provided by SheKnows Upspring.
Made with brewers’ yeast, wheat germ, flaxseed, and whole oats, these lactation cookies reportedly help increase breastmilk production. But, if we’re being honest, we eat them — like these Oatmeal Salted Caramel cookies by UpSpring — en masse because they’re just plain good.
UpSpring Lactation Cookies $19.99 Buy now Sign Up
Protein-packed crackers © Provided by SheKnows Simple Mills.
These are way better than those neon orange crackers you ate in elementary school. Simple Mills’ cheese crackers are made with a nut and seed flour blend for a protein punch, plus real organic cheddar cheese. Pop some of these in your nightstand drawer: Midnight You will be thankful. Buy: Simple Mills Farmhouse Cheddar Crackers $4.65
© Provided by SheKnows viennetta14/AdobeStock. - Credit: viennetta14 - stock.adobe.com viennetta14 - stock.adobe.com
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Unlike some of the other snacks on this list, pre-made smoothies do need to be stored in your freezer or fridge, but if you keep them in single-serve containers, you can grab a cup or bottle before snuggling up with your wee one.
Apples & string cheese
© Provided by SheKnows MSPhotographic/AdobeStock. - Credit: MSPhotographic - stock.adobe.com MSPhotographic - stock.adobe.com
Fruit and cheese pairings are common, but apples and string cheese are a particularly good choice because they’re portable (and neither requires any prep). They also give you that perfect fiber-protein punch.
© Provided by SheKnows Ian/AdobeStock. - Credit: Ian 2010 - stock.adobe.com Ian 2010 - stock.adobe.com
Speaking of portable, bananas are the ultimate single-handed snack. They are hearty, healthy and will quell any sweet craving. A real win-win.
Berries & yogurt
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In case you haven’t noticed a pattern yet: High protein — and high fiber — snacks are a breastfeeding mama’s best friend. So another way to get a protein and fiber boost is to grab a cup of yogurt and top with a handful of berries.
Hard boiled eggs
© Provided by SheKnows Brent Hofacker/AdobeStock. - Credit: Brent Hofacker - stock.adobe.com Brent Hofacker - stock.adobe.com
Whether store-bought pre-packaged or boiled at home, eggs are the perfect mini-meal. They’re a low-fat, inexpensive protein choice, and since eggs contain choline, which helps with infant brain development, they’re great for pregnant and nursing moms.
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Babies benefit from it. So, can you? Find out whether grown adults should really be consuming breast milk, according to experts. So, what's the verdict? Here, experts weigh in on breast milk's potential (if any) health benefits for adults, be it consumed as a liquid or packaged in a pill. What Does the Research Say About the Benefits of Breast Milk for Adults? As you might guess, the research on the potential benefits of breast milk in adults is, well, extremely limited.
You can also feel free to keep some candy on hand to satiate that inevitable sweet tooth, you deserve it!
A version of this story was originally published in July 2019. © Provided by SheKnows Breastfeeding Snacks
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