As a breastfeeding mother, one of your number one concerns in life becomes ensuring your newborn receives adequate nutrition. It is no wonder some mothers put their own health on the back burner, so their baby has their undivided attention.
Even if you do eat well and do not forget to eat in the first place, the fact is that it can be difficult to keep up with your own nutrition and regular eating schedule when you are busy taking care of your little ones.
Preparing meals gets bumped down to the last thing on your to-do list when you are busy with a newborn, and say you do find the time- it might be time for your baby to eat too.
One handed eating is at rescue! Snacks can make life a lot easier.
Having a breastfeeding infant in one arm makes eating full course twice as difficult, not even thinking about preparing heavy meals!
While the proper nutrition for your infant is of tremendous importance, it needs to be a priority for you, too. Not only does your diet determine the content of your breast milk for your baby, but it will affect your energy levels and overall wellness.
Mothers burn a high number of calories while breastfeeding, and nutrients like calcium become more critical with bone density loss.
For a breastfeeding mother on-the-go, choosing healthy snacks to eat in interval will help you with a steady stream of energy and avoid the fatigue that comes from heavy meals, even if you do have the time or help required to prepare them.
However, one handed eating is really the thing to master. As you turn to snacks, your life gets a lot more easier.
Only make sure you are opting healthy snacks to eat while you are breastfeeding. Your breast milk is the only nutritional source for the little one you are holding in your arm.
Snacks for breastfeeding mothers
A quick look into healthy snacks for breastfeeding new moms as you follow along in later section, a more detailed look into nutritional values of each snack, preparation while you breastfeed and making your snacks even more interesting!
The following snacks will not only make this stage in motherhood easier but will give you the nutrients you need to stay healthy for both you and your breastfed baby.
Peanut butter bread
Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter on 1 slice of whole-grain bread. Top with sliced banana.
As a new mom, you will experience shifts in hormone levels that can cause changes in your appetite and cravings. Bread is always helpful to have nearby because it is simple and quick, and you can choose from a variety of nut butter or fruit when it comes to the topping.
You can keep a loaf in the freezer to ensure freshness, and toast one slice at a time whenever you get hungry.
Bananas are high in potassium, which is important for electrolyte balance, and electrolyte balance is important for fluid balance in the body. Increasing potassium slightly while breastfeeding can reduce bone loss and the risk of heart disease for moms.
Peanut butter provides protein, which is necessary for building and repairing your body’s muscles and tissues.
Breastfeeding mothers should get at least 65 grams of protein each day; two tablespoons of peanut butter is around 8 grams of protein.
Place a half-dozen eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for 10-12 minutes.
Having a rapid egg cooker is a helpful kitchen appliance to have around, but boiling eggs is just as easy; once you turn the heat off, there is no need to worry if you become distracted by other things while they sit in the water.
Eggs will need time to cool before getting de-shelled anyway. You can de-shell them all at once, or simply place in the fridge once they are done and grab one at a time for a quick protein fix as you go.
Eggs contain all nine amino acids, which will promote muscle growth in the baby, as well as help you regain strength and energy. Eggs are rich in choline, phosphorus, zinc, and folate, which will help with your baby’s brain development.
Zinc supports cellular processes, including the synthesis of breast milk.
Choline is one of the most critical nutrients for your diet while breastfeeding. It supports your baby’s brain development and growth, so you need more choline during lactation than any other time of your life.
Folic acid is responsible for the production of new cells in your body and nourishing your baby with folic acid will promote healthy brain development throughout childhood.
Berry chia overnight oats
Mix 1/2 cup of oats with 1/2 cup of chia seeds in a jar and pour in one cup of milk. Let the milk set in overnight and keep refrigerated. Fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries, is optional, but will not keep as long if prepped with the oats, so it is best to add on top each time.
If you are going to meal prep at all, this is one of the easiest and healthiest snacks to make. That is also an excellent option for breakfast to kick start the day.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which supports your infant’s vision and brain development. Breastfeeding lowers DHA levels, so it is important to replenish this nutrient.
Yogurt with flax seed
Mix one tablespoon of ground flax seed with 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat greek yogurt.
Yogurt is high in calcium, and breastfeeding mothers should get about 1,000 mg per day because breastfeeding contributes to as much as 3 to 5 percent bone density loss.
Calcium is stored in the bones, and you need it in breast milk for your baby as well. This loss of bone mass is temporary, though, and about six months after breastfeeding you can recover it.
Flax seeds are also a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and considered a super food.
Mix 1 cup of breakfast cereal with about 1/2 cup of milk.
Most breakfast cereals, such as Special K and Multi-Grain Cheerios, are fortified with vitamin D. While cereal may not always be the best option for breakfast because there are options that are higher in protein. But there are many nutrients that come from this simple snack.
Vitamin D is responsible for absorbing calcium. It is equally as important when it comes to bone strength for you and your baby. Breastfeeding mothers should get at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
Keep in mind that babies do not get enough vitamin D from breast milk, which is why supplementation might be necessary for your infant. If your infant is exclusively breastfed and not getting at least 400 IU a day, they will be at a higher risk for a condition called rickets.
Tofu or chicken and broccoli
Pan cook tofu or chicken. Add in broccoli half-way through or cook separately in a steamer basket or steamer bag.
Tofu is another excellent source of protein, while broccoli is high in vitamin C and iron.
Vitamin C is essential for absorbing iron. That is what makes this the perfect lean, filling, and nutritious snack for breastfeeding women.
Salmon and quinoa
Pan cook salmon while quinoa cooks separately in a small pot.
Lean proteins such as low-mercury fish are recommended for breastfeeding moms. Salmon is particularly beneficial because it contains iodine, which is a critical nutrient during breastfeeding. Iodine is responsible for healthy thyroid function; thyroid hormone levels impact your child’s brain development.
Quinoa is rich in magnesium, which is critical for breastfeeding mothers. A diet low in magnesium can lead to headaches, poor digestion, and decreased levels of focus and energy. It can also lead to trouble sleeping, which is already difficult for new mothers who need their rest and energy. For even more magnesium and flavor, add avocado.