Snacks for the Nursing Mom

A lot of breastfeeding mamas joke that nursing is a workout due to how hungry it makes you — they aren’t wrong. When I was pregnant with Gray, I went from being hungry all the time, to not having enough room to eat, to giving birth and discovering that I had the appetite of an adolescent male due to nursing. I was starving all the time; no matter how much I ate, I was still hungry. Add in not sleeping more than one-hour stretches, and going back and forth to pediatrician and lactation consultant appointments, I began to snack all the time to keep my energy up.

Baby number two will be making his debut any week, so I thought I would share some of my favorite snacks that kept me full and happy while nursing. These snacks are easy to eat one-handed, quick and easy to make or buy, and perfect to gift to the nursing mama in your life.

I kept the following pre-packaged/easy-to-assemble snacks in the fridge or at my bedside table for easy access at anytime: peanut butter crackers, apple slices dipped in peanut butter, banana and peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate milk, smoothies made with full-fat Greek yogurt and peanut butter, and fruit like watermelon chunks and grapes. Fruit alone didn’t fill me up, so I tried to incorporate fats, proteins, and carbs to help keep me full and sustain my energy.

I’m pretty much a hot mess in the kitchen no matter how simple recipes tend to be. However, I did find a few easy recipes even I didn’t mess up that satiated my hunger AND increased my milk production due to the ingredients used. Also, they were quick to make, so I could find time to put them together while Gray was napping. 

Oatmeal Raisin Lactation Cookies, adapted from Group Recipes

Makes 15-25 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 4 tbsp. of brewer’s yeast
  • 4 capsules of fenugreek 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water in bowl and set aside
  3. Mix together dry ingredients in another bowl
  4. Blend butter, eggs, and sugars in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until smooth
  5. Stir in flaxseed mixture and vanilla with butter, eggs, and sugar mixture
  6. Stir in dry mixture, oats, and raisins to mixture
  7. Open fenugreek capsules and stir in powder until evenly blended
  8. Drop on buttered baking sheet one inch apart and bake for 12-15 minutes
  9. Store in an air-tight container 

No-Bake Lactation Energy Bites, adapted from The Baker Mama

Serves two dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3 tbsp. of brewer’s yeast
  • 1 cup of nut butter of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, raisins, or coconut flakes (or any other add-in of your choice)

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients, except your add-in(s), in an electric mixer or by hand
  2. Stir in your add-in item last after all other ingredients are well blended
  3. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until they have set
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator

Nurse away mamas and don’t get discouraged by your increasing appetite. I found mine leveled back to normal after a few months. Most importantly, make sure you are drinking water all the time and getting as much rest (ha) as possible. You got this!

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