I’m exclusively breastfeeding my little one, and I’m ravenous all the time. Can you recommend some easy, healthy and filling snacks? I’ve been eating an embarrassing number of PB&J’s.
A: I know what you mean! Breastfeeding three children made me crazy hungry. There’s nothing wrong with peanut butter and jelly (especially when it’s on whole-grain bread), but it’s a good idea—and more fun—to munch on a variety of foods between meals.
Healthy breastfeeding snacks are opportunities to nourish yourself and your tot. For the greatest satisfaction and good nutrition, snacks should be balanced mini-meals that incorporate a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat, including the omega-3 fats your baby needs for his brain and vision and that you need for your heart health. Any healthy food qualifies as part of a snack at any time of day, including leftovers!
Some of my favorite healthy breastfeeding snacks for nursing moms include:
- Whole-grain toast or English muffin topped with cottage cheese and fresh raspberries
- Hard-cooked egg, fruit and a whole-grain roll
- Roasted soybeans or edamame and Greek yogurt with half a handful of nuts mixed in
- Homemade trail mix with almonds, whole-grain cereal and raisins
- Tuna mixed with mayonnaise or smashed avocado on whole-grain crackers
If you have five minutes, whip up a chocolate smoothie with a medium banana, a cup of milk or soy beverage, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and an ice cube.
—Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy, as well as the blog Better is the New Perfect