You may find you feel hungrier while you’re breastfeeding as your body burns more calories to produce milk and breastfeed. These snacks will ensure that those extra calories are healthy and nutritious for both mum and baby.
Energy bites are another great way to incorporate oats and other galactagogues like flaxseed, fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, nuts and seeds into your diet. A simple base recipe is ¼ cup of nut butter, ¼ cup honey, ½ cup oats and ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips. Then you can add whatever other ingredients you’d like. If it gets too dry, add more nut butter. If it gets too wet, add oats until rolling consistency. I promise I won’t judge if you eat it straight out of the bowl instead of taking the time to roll it into ball form. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t done exactly that myself!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to smoothies. Fruits, greens, oils, nuts, seeds, herbs…heck, I’ve even been known to throw in my kid’s unfinished porridge! Seriously, it’s a great way to pack in milk-making ingredients and sip throughout the day. One of my all-time favourite smoothies is 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil.
Despite carbohydrates being known galactagogues, popcorn is not often listed as one. However, I personally swear by it! Whenever I was pumping for one of my sons, I would notice a significant increase in my supply the day after I ate popcorn every single time! For added nutrition and taste, pop it in coconut oil and top it with pink Himalayan salt. So yummy!
Cheese & Crackers
Snacks don’t have to be fancy or complicated. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics like cheese and crackers – it’s a great way to add protein and carbs. It’s also something that older siblings can prepare for mum when she’s busy with baby. My family loves wholewheat crackers with Swiss cheese. We also like to add mustard but the jury’s still out on what’s the best one to use, so we often have several types in our fridge.
Nuts & Nut Butters
Quick, easy, healthy and packed with protein, you can’t go wrong with nuts and nut butters! Snack on them alone or in energy bites, smoothies or on top of porridge. I love dipping green apples in peanut butter or putting almond butter on an English Muffin and topping it with banana slices.
Avocados are packed with healthy fat, making them a great way to add calories and stay healthy. Smashed onto toast, sliced in a sandwich or just eaten with a spoon, these green goddesses are sure to give mum some much needed energy.
Hummus (and beans in general) are a great way to add protein to your diet. There are so many varieties on the market, it’s impossible to get tired of hummus. Plus, the dipping options are also endless, toasted pittas, crackers, veggies…you name it!
Oats are a well-known galactagogue (a food that is known to increase milk supply). Thankfully, it it’s also healthy and delicious. A couple of my favourite ways to cook oats are to make it into porridge with 100% pure maple syrup, a big spoonful of coconut oil and pecans or with raspberries and cherries (I always keep frozen fruit in my freezer) with a few dark chocolate chips. It’s not just for breakfast!
Eggs are an incredible way to add protein and calories to your diet. The quickest, easiest way to get eggs into your diet is to hard boil large quantities at a time, then peel and eat as you like. My favourite method is to place one cup of water in a pressure cooker, with a dozen eggs on the steaming rack. Cook for five minutes, then release the pressure and move the eggs to an ice and water bath. Then simply dry and refrigerate.
Being a breastfeeding mum is hard! It’s so important that you take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family. Eating healthy snacks will help you stay healthy and keep your energy levels topped up while you provide your baby with the complete nutrition of breast milk.