Breastfeeding hunger is like a hairy, talkative monster with fangs and sour bad breath. It’s worse than pregnancy hunger. It’s the ongoing cacophony inspiring you to eat, eat, and eat throughout your day. And you should eat, often, as most experts agree that breastfeeding moms can burn up to 600 calories a day and, thus, need the extra food.
So, yes, eating is good and necessary, but there should be a method to your madness. Rather than eating large meals six times a day (like I did in the beginning) you should aim to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Snacking is OK and recommended for breastfeeding moms because it’s the best way to manage hunger and blood sugar levels. The key, however, with snacking is making sure you’re eating the right foods. This will help calm your breastfeeding hunger monster and ultimately help with postpartum weight loss.
Most new moms, myself included, struggle, however, with knowing what are the best snacks to eat when nursing. So for these moms, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite, most healthy, and most fulfilling “breastfeeding” snacks.”
- Smoothies. Just add your favorite fruits and veggies and you’ll have a great snack that’s fulfilling and very yummy. I have a blender that I use to make my own smoothies at home. I typically make a blueberry smoothie that involves vanilla yogurt, blueberries, cinnamon, orange juice, and a banana.
- Nuts. What’s not to love about nuts? They’re delicious and packed with all the protein you’ll need as a breastfeeding mom. When choosing nut snacks, just be sure to buy the raw variety with little or no salt.
- Veggies and Hummus. Instead of chips and cookies, as a breastfeeding mom, I make it a point to always stock my fridge with vegetables like celery, broccoli, and carrots and hummus.
- Dried and fresh fruit. I have a big sweet tooth that breastfeeding hunger would often “ask” that I fill with cookies and cakes and ice cream (oh, my). But, in eating these foods, I have big trouble with doing the whole “eat-in-moderation” thing so inevitably it was my hips and thighs that would pay the price. Now, if I want a sweet tasting food, I usually go for dried fruit or, better yet, fresh fruit if it’s available.
- Peanut butter and apples. Hands down this is my all time breastfeeding snack. I typically buy the unsalted peanut butter (or almond butter) and will slather it atop apples for a very fulfilling treat!
- Tuna and Crackers. I love tuna and I think it loves me, too. Tuna is a great protein source so when paired with a whole grain carbohydrate, you’ll feel fuller, longer.
What are some of your favorite snacks as a breastfeeding mom?