As a new or long-term breast feeding mum, life is manic and it’s easy to forget to do the simplest things like – oh, you know, eat!

Between the feeds, endless washing, nappy changes, feeds, feeds, and more feeds – even if your sleep deprived crazy brain does remember to eat, it’s often near impossible to find the time to fix yourself something!

But you can’t expect to run on empty and it not affect your mood, your memory, your decision making skills, your energy and potentially your supply. Your body needs extra nutrients when breast feeding, so it is important that when you are snacking, those snacks contain nutritious ingredients

As breast feeding mummas, we are hungry and thirsty ALL OF THE TIME. And there’s a good reason for that. To produce milk, our body needs an extra 500 calories, or 2000 kJ per day. Luckily, our body works efficiently to tap into our extra fat reserves laid down during pregnancy. It burns up those fat reserves to get some of those calories. Although, some women don’t have a lot of fat stores to draw on in the first place and need to ensure that they are eating enough food.

I see a lot of women start to drastically restrict their calories after birth, in order to lose the baby weight. This is understandable, though it can sometimes be at the risk of their supply dropping. Now, supply issues can be due to a wide range of things – not just food, but it’s important to stay well nourished and be getting ENOUGH FOOD while breast feeding.

It’s definitely not the time to start crazy dieting, skipping meals or cutting out food groups.

So I’ve compiled a list of my ultimate quick, easy and nutritious breast feeding snacks, as posted on our Facebook page and Instagram feed, and included some cracking guest recipes.

 

ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS

Compared to someone who isn’t breast feeding, your body requires MORE of many nutrients when feeding . These include:

Iodine -Fish and shellfish, dairy, bread and seaweed

Calcium – Dairy foods (yoghurt, cheese and milk), dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, fish with edible bones (such as sardines or tinned salmon)

Vitamin B12 – Meat, eggs, fish and dairy

Fibre – You actually need 20% extra fibre per day (or 5 grams). This equates to approximately 4 almonds, 1 large apple, 2.5 cups brown rice, 1/3 cup cooked lentils. Try nuts and seeds, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables

Folate – Lentils and beans, broccoli, asparagus and spinach

Choline – Eggs, seafood, chicken and turkey

Vitamin C – Papaya, red capsicum, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit and cauliflower

Vitamin E – Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, swiss chard, avocado

Iodine – Oysters, tinned salmon, seaweed (eg. Sushi), bread Zinc – Beef, lamb, oysters, pumpkin seeds, turkey, quinoa, prawns

Protein – Nuts and seeds, meat, eggs, seafood, dairy, wholegrains, quinoa

Carbohydrate – essential to provide the energy required for milk production. Oats and brown rice are a perfect breast feeding carbohydrate as they help to boost milk production (if you have an over-supply, you might want to have a smaller portion).

WaterDid you know that you require an extra 300 ml (a little over 1 cup) on top of what you would normally drink? Aim for a minimum of 2 litres per day. You may need more depending on your height, weight and if you are exercising.

NUTRITIOUS BREAST FEEDING SNACKS

CLICK THE PHOTOS FOR THE RECIPES

1. Sweet Potato, Coconut and Chai Loaf

Sweet Potato and Coconut bread recipe gluten free

 

 

2. Little Egg and Cherry Tomato Tarts

Sweet Potato and egg tarts

 

 

3. Easy Lactation Cookies

To help boost supply, but also a tasty snack

LActation cookies

 

 

4. Porridge

Via Jamie Oliver.

This is my daily snack and Jamie’s recipe will hit the spot (just skip the salt).

Image via Jamieoliver.com
Image via Jamieoliver.com

 

 

5. The Easiest Banana Bread, Ever

Super Simple Banana Bread

 

6. Bananas

Healthy food is often the simplest food. Packed full of fibre, good quality carbohydrates, vitamin B for energy and more…

Bananas

 

7. Intolerance Friendly Banana Bread 

IMG_3974.JPG

 

8. Cheesy Baked Quinoa and Zucchini Cups

Cheesy Baked Quinoa and Zucchini Cups

 

9. Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast

Choose a good quality bread, natural peanut butter (where the only ingredients are peanuts) and you have a delicious and stupidly simple snack that you can make without having to think

Toast with peanut butter and  banana

10. Pumpkin, Kale and Fetta Frittata

via The Alimental Sage

Whack ingredients in the tray, and pop in the oven! Snacks sorted

Pumpkin frittata alimental sage

 

11. Go-to Granola

Via Laura Ford Nutriton

Make a big batch and munch on it as a snack or top with your favourite milk and fruit

Breast feeding Granola Laura Ford Nutrition

 

12. Celery + Peanut Butter + Sesame Seeds

Simple is delicious

If nuts are a no-go for you, try a seed butter such as sunflower seed butter available from supermarkets and health food stores

Breast feeding snack

 

13. Porridge with Peanut Butter or Tahini, and Nutmeg

My favourite combo, adding a dollop of healthy fats and delicious flavour

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14. Peaches with Ricotta and Crushed Nuts

Cut a peach in half and roast in the oven – 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. You don’t even have to roast if you have no time, simply serve as is. Serve topped with a dollop of ricotta and crushed nuts and maybe a sneaky drizzle of maple syrup

breast feeding snasks easy

15. Bircher Muesli

via The Healthy Chef

Make a batch and portion into snack sized serves to last you the next couple of days

Recipe via Teresa Cutter - The Healthy Chef
Recipe via Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef

 

16. Toast with Sliced Peaches and Ricotta

A spread of ricotta, some sliced peaches, and you are good to go

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17. Fruit

Make sure you are getting 2 pieces per day! Get your fruit out first thing in the morning and place where you breast feed, giving you easy access for snacking while feeding. I always have a banana in our nappy bag for emergencies

breast feeding snacks fruit

 

18. Avocado and Fetta on Toast

Carbohydrate + healthy fats + protein = perfection!

breast feeding snacks avocado

 

19. Eggs

Boil a batch of eggs and snack on them cold. Add to salads to boost the protein. I do this every couple of days

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20. Bliss Balls 

via The Biting Truth

Perfect snacks to keep beside your breast feeding chair (just omit the cocoa if bub reacts to chocolate/cocoa)bliss balls

 

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11329798_10206361512133090_5093251999080203658_nTara is a university qualified nutritionist, renowned for her no-nonsense approach to nutrition and health. She helps families learn how to live a healthy life without the need for fad diets or expensive crazy ingredients. Just real food.