The Nursing Mom’s Snack Stash
The early weeks of nursing require so much energy and time that finding margin for your own nutritional needs might feel like one more chore. I get it. But ignoring your own health just isn’t an option. You know – it’s the ubiquitous airplane oxygen mask analogy – you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby.
With a new baby, you can very easily fall into the bad habit of constantly meeting everyone else’s nutritional needs and neglecting your own. I’ve been guilty of eating the leftovers from my daughter’s peanut butter sandwich for lunch and, um, that just isn’t going to cut it!
After bringing our son home, some sweet friends created a meal train for us (if you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online calendar where family and friends can sign up to bring meals over during a certain time frame — so genius and so helpful!) One day, my new friend Christine messaged me asking if I was nursing and what types of food we might like so she could prep for bringing food the following day.
I’ll just go ahead and let you know she completely spoiled me.
In addition to the most perfect meal which even included homemade bread (yes, really), she also stocked my kitchen with all kinds of snacks to keep this breastfeeding mama going. Everything from tea to energy bites to individual portions of homemade yogurt!
What a rock star.
She had been here before….breastfeeding a new baby while juggling everything else, and she knew without even asking that I wasn’t prioritizing myself at all. I made sure to take notes from that experience to file away for the future, and so I can bless other new moms in the same way she blessed me.
It’s extremely important to pay attention to your own body — after all, you can’t provide nutrition for your baby if you aren’t taking in a sufficient amount yourself. The key is to have easy options on hand that you can grab at any time throughout the day or night.
Here are some ideas of things to keep stocked in your kitchen. Only a few of them require any prep, but even those are SUPER easy and you will thank yourself later…I promise!
- Lactation support tea, like Mother’s Milk Tea
- Granola bars
- Chocolate dipped banana bites
- Lactation cookies
- Fruit: can be Fresh – bananas & apples are two good options! – or Dried fruit
- Energy bites* (see recipe below!)
- Peanut butter
- Yogurt parfaits* (see below)
- Trail mix: I love the Archer Farms varieties at Target!
- Dark chocolate squares
- Pretzels: eat plain, or dip in peanut butter or hummus
- Crackers: peanut butter & honey crackers give a good boost, and these are easy to keep in your car, your breast pump bag, and on your nightstand!
- Cheese sticks or squares
- Ice water
- La Croix (for when you’re tired of plain water but don’t want the caffeine or sugar from a carbonated drink
All you need is peanut butter, old fashioned oats, honey, chocolate chips, and I also add a little Brewer’s Yeast to mine for lactation help! Grab one or two when you need a quick energy boost. Here’s the easy recipe.
Buy a batch of mini mason jars (worth it because they are reusable & versatile!). Mix together regular Greek yogurt & vanilla Greek yogurt (choose amounts of each based on your desired sweetness). Stir in some chia seeds & then fill mason jars, leaving a little room at the top for granola. Refrigerate & grab one for breakfast or a snack!
Having these types of food and drinks on hand will help keep your sanity in tact while you navigate your new rhythms. Hey, any shortcut you can take — TAKE IT! Don’t neglect yourself, mama. Meeting your own nutritional needs is not only important for your health, but is also a huge factor in successful, long-term breastfeeding. So stock up on these snacks, and while you’re at it, let it everyone else know to stay away from the nursing mom’s snack stash! 🙂