Best Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
Are you looking for the best snacks for breastfeeding moms to help keep you energized throughout your breastfeeding journey?
Then our guide on the best snacks for nursing moms is for you!
Moms will tell you that pregnancy hunger is nothing compared to breastfeeding hunger, especially as you are starting your breastfeeding journey. That’s why you’ll need to have plenty of snacks for breastfeeding moms on hand to feel satisfied throughout the day.
One of the first things nursing and pumping moms notice after birth is continuously being hungry. This is because your body needs the energy to create a breast milk supply for your baby, so it relies on food to give it that energy.
Feeding your body healthy snacks with the proper nutrients to give your body the fuel you need is essential. However, balance is everything; never feel bad about indulging in your favorite snacks from time to time. A healthy 80/20 balance will keep your body nourished and your cravings and splurges in line.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best snack ideas for breastfeeding moms.
And if you love this guide on good snacks for breastfeeding moms, then make sure you check out our guides on best lactation supplements, best breast pumps for low milk supply, my Brest Friend vs Boppy nursing pillows. Or even these breastfeeding tips for new moms.
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Best Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
Let’s dive in and take a look at our top picks for the best snacks for breastfeeding mothers.
List of 30 Best Snacks For Nursing Moms
1. Lactation Cookies
Lactation cookies include ingredients known to increase breast milk production, such as brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, whole grain oats, and flaxseed. In addition, many have dark chocolate chips to help with cravings and flavors.
If you want to save money, making lactation cookies at home is easy!
You may also like this guide on coffee for breasting moms and how it impacts your milk supply. Or our guide on when to start eating lactation cookies!
2. Trail Mixes
Trail mixes are easy to grab at the store or make your own at home. All you have to do is mix nuts and dried fruits in equal parts. Then, toss in some popcorn, sunflower seeds, mini pretzels, or even toasted coconut if you want extra crunch.
Don’t pass by some chocolate, either! We all love a bit of sweetness in our trail mixes.
3. Protein Bars
We all need easy snacks for breastfeeding moms, and protein bars are a great option. Toss them into your purse and diaper bag, so you have them on hand whenever the hunger pangs hit you.
Some great brands include:
4. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is readily available at nearly every store, and you have abundant flavor options. However, be careful because some brands of jerky are higher in sodium than others, and too much sodium will cause you to feel dehydrated more quickly.
5. Granola Bars
Granola bars are a typical snack for parents to have on hand; they’re portable and affordable. They satisfy your hunger, and the bars are easy to eat while pumping or nursing.
Granola bars with whole oats are ideal for nursing moms because they increase your milk production. Whole oats are also great for your heart health; avoid brands loaded with sugars. All-natural ingredients are best for your overall health.
6. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is an excellent option if you need a bit of sweetness when you’re snacking and nursing. Whether you want raisins, cranberries, or dried apricots, your local store will have plenty of options. They taste delicious when added to trail mixes as well.
However, watch the sugar intake when eating only dried fruit. You may be surprised by how sugary these fruits are!
7. Whole Grain Crackers & Sliced Cheese
Grab some whole-grain crackers and sliced cheese for an easy snack. Many stores sell trays of cheese slices for crackers, so you don’t have to cut them yourself. These taste great when paired with a sandwich or even a cup of soup for lunch.
8. Bagels with Cream Cheese
Large bagels are higher in calories, so if you want only a snack, pick a smaller bagel or half a side. However, they work great in place of bread for sandwiches.
Bagels covered with cream cheese are a great breakfast or snack, or try spreading hummus over the top. Butter, jelly, or peanut butter are all fantastic toppings if you have a sweet bagel.
9. Rice Cakes
Sometimes, we need a snack with a crunch, and rice cakes come in all sorts of flavors at the store. If you’re in the mood for a savory snack, grab some white cheddar rice cakes – yum! If you want some sweetness, try the caramel apple rice cakes; they are utterly delicious!
Are you binging Netflix shows while nursing? Make some popcorn! While air-popped popcorn is healthier, all popcorn is high in fiber and low in calories. In addition, it’s easy to customize your popcorn with seasonings or different toppings.
Pretzels are a low-calorie treat with the perfect crunch. These are a go-to choice when you need a salty snack, and pretzels pair well with other foods. For example, cheese and deli meats taste great with pretzel sticks.
Oatmeal is one of those foods that help to increase your breast milk production. So, whether you want to make packets of oatmeal for breakfast or bake up some oatmeal bars, these are healthy and improve your overall milk production.
13. Hard Boiled Eggs
Grab a dozen eggs at the store and hard boil them. They store well in the refrigerator and make delicious snacks with cheese or crackers. Then, you can toss the hard-boiled eggs into your lunch salad for a boost of protein.
14. Dark Chocolate with Berries
Sometimes, moms need to indulge in their sweet tooth from time to time; it’s ok! Dark chocolate is a healthier alternative to milk chocolate because it has higher levels of antioxidants that counteract damage from free radicals.
Dark chocolate pairs well with berries, such as strawberries and raspberries. The flavor pairing is divine.
15. Fresh Fruits
Fruits are always an excellent choice for snacks for breastfeeding moms. You have plenty of delicious options, and tossing apples and bananas in the diaper bag is easy.
Fruits contain many nutrients and minerals like vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and more. If you want something extra, try chopping up fruits together for a DIY fruit salad, or make a yogurt fruit dip.
Applesauce is a cheap snack, so you won’t break the bank if you indulge often. It’s also a portable snack; the cups are easy to toss into a lunch bag with a spoon.
17. Apple Slices & Peanut Butter
Apples are an excellent and healthy snack, but you can take it to the next level by adding peanut butter.
Start by washing and cutting your apples. Then, spread some peanut butter over the top of the apples. Make sure you keep an eye on the ingredients in the peanut butter since many brands contain too much-added sugar and hydrogenated oils. All-natural peanut butter is preferred; look for brands with only two ingredients – peanuts and salt.
18. Turkey & Cheese Wraps
If you need a more substantial snack to hold you over until the next meal, turkey and cheese wraps are an excellent option. Layer deli meat and sliced cheese – whatever is your favorite – in a tortilla and wrap it up. Try spreading some cream cheese on the tortilla as well; it’s delicious!
19. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Nothing beats the classic; there is no bad time for a PB&J sandwich. Spice it up by trying different jellies and jams at the store, or go for crunchy peanut butter rather than creamy!
20. Tuna with Crackers
Getting the right amount of protein into your diet may feel tricky, but grab some tuna packets at the store. They’re ready to go and easy to transport with you. Spread the tuna over crackers, toasted bread, or apples – yes, really!
21. Summer Sausage with Crackers
Do you love those party trays with cheese, crackers, and summer sausage? You don’t have to wait for a party to enjoy them! Instead, make your mini snacks. Summer sausage is affordable when bought at the store and sliced yourself, plus it’s a great protein snack.
22. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is more than trendy; it’s pretty healthy for you! Mash up some avocado and spread it over a thick piece of toast. You can add other toppings as well to change up the flavor profile.
23. Greek Yogurt + Granola
Greek yogurt is packed with protein and low in calories, perfect for breastfeeding mothers. However, it’s a heavier hitter for your diet and contains natural probiotics that aid your digestive health.
Then, add a handful of granola with your greek Yogurt. It gives that extra crunch we often crave in snacks, and granolas come in various flavors, from cinnamon to chocolate and everything in between.
24. String Cheese
Another easy snack for breastfeeding moms is string cheese. Grab them out of your fridge one-handed while nursing your baby!
Not only are string cheese fun to eat, but they’re a source of calcium and protein. String cheese is also portable; toss them into your cooler bag when headed out for work or running errands.
Making a smoothie is often a pain in the butt, but many frozen sections now sell pre-made smoothie bags ready to go at the store. Toss in some yogurt and your favorite fruits together, and you have one of the best snacks for breastfeeding moms!
And if you want a quick and easy smoothie you can opt for a smoothie pouch!
26. Cottage Cheese
Everyone has their own opinion about cottage cheese; the texture isn’t for every person. But that doesn’t mean it’s not healthy! On the contrary, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium while supporting your immunity and bone health.
If the texture bothers you, try whipped cottage cheese. It has the same health benefits with a better texture, similar to mousse.
27. Carrots with Dip
Organic baby carrots come pre-washed for easy snacking but come at a higher price. So if you want to save money, grab a large bag of carrots, but they must be washed and peeled before eating.
Some people toss baby carrots in ranch seasoning and store them in the fridge for a yummy snack!
Another idea is to keep individual cups of dip nearby in the fridge for dipping while snacking. For example, carrots with ranch dip are a delicious snack.
28. Bell Peppers with Cream Cheese & Everything Bagel Seasoning
This combination was a trend online for a while – for a good reason. Bell peppers spread with cream cheese, and everything bagel seasoning is delicious and healthy. You get the health benefits of eating fresh bell peppers and the protein and healthy fats in cream cheese.
Plus, everything bagel seasoning is simply delicious!
29. Celery with Hummus
If you want another snack with fresh vegetables, wash and chop celery, and dip the stalks into humus. This snack is easy to put together, and portable since stores sell individual cups of hummus.
30. Cucumbers with Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon
This is a yummy snack to add alongside something with a bit of crunch. Cucumbers are hydrating and full of vitamins, so they help keep you hydrated. At the same time, cream cheese boosts calcium, and salmon gives you the savory protein punch you need.
How to Pick Good Breastfeeding Snacks
Not all snacks are ideal snacks for breastfeeding moms. However, here is what you should consider when preparing snacks for yourself.
The most crucial factor is that it should be nutritious. Your body is feeding another human, so you must provide it with all the nutrients required.
Your breastfeeding snacks should have lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to nourish your body. The more nutritious the snack, the more energy it gives your body to take care of yourself and your baby.
You may also like our guide on the best probiotics for breastfeeding moms!
Some foods help increase milk production, boosting your overall milk supply. Women struggling with their breast milk supply benefit from adding these foods to their diet.
Moms are busy! You are often trapped under a nursing baby, so you want something you can eat with ease. Also, if you are headed back to work, you’ll need to have extra snacks on hand, which must be easy to pack into your lunch bag. It shouldn’t take extra prep work to have yummy snacks on hand.
Easy to Prepare
You’re a busy mama, so you have a lot to juggle. Grabbing snacks when you feel the hunger coming on is essential; you’ll spend plenty of time with your baby on your breast. So easy-to-grab snacks with little preparation are crucial!
How Many Extra Calories Does a Breastfeeding Mom Need?
Producing enough breast milk for your baby each day requires a lot of extra energy, and your body needs more calories. Nursing and pumping mothers need to eat more than pre-pregnancy because it’s easy to go into a calorie deficiency.
Breastfeeding and pumping mothers should consume an extra 300-500 calories daily. However, many experts say moms should focus less on calorie counting and more on eating healthy, wholesome food that nourishes your body.
What Foods Help Increase Milk Supply?
Some foods are known as galactagogues; these increase your lactation. However, nothing is guaranteed, and what works for one woman may not work for another. Granted, it’s important to remember that there are no magic foods that will increase your production.
However, here are some easy-to-incorporate foods into your meals that will help your supply.
Oatmeal is one of the most commonly used galactagogues; it helps to increase your iron levels. Some studies indicate that low iron levels decrease milk supplies, which could be why it works so well.
Barley is a rich source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that increases prolactin, the breastfeeding hormone.
One of the easiest foods to incorporate is brewer’s yeast, which is packed with vitamin B, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. However, it is known to interact with different medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor before taking this if you use medicine regularly.
Flaxseed contains high omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your baby’s health. They also contain phytoestrogens that help with your milk production.
Fennel and its seeds also contain phytoestrogens, and this food is easy to add to your diet. There are plenty of recipes to try.
Final Thoughts on Snack Ideas for Breastfeeding Moms
At the same time, while you pick your healthy breastfeeding mom snacks, remember not to feel bad grabbing some cookies or a candy bar. Balance is everything, and your body will be fine with some splurges. Plus, sometimes, you just need that treat after all the work your body does for your baby!
And if you’re looking for more great guides, make sure to check out these guides on the best protein shake while breastfeeding, best postpartum tea, best bra for breastfeeding moms, manual vs electric breast pump, and Spectra S1 vs S2. Or even our guide on the best collagen for breastfeeding moms!
Allison Banfield an experience mom of two, wife, writer, editor, and passionate parenting advocate! Backed with a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a long career in health and safety, and 10 years of hands on experience using, researching, and testing baby products, Allison loves to use her parenting experience to support and encourage other parents.