Best Foods and Snacks for Energy and Recovery When You’re Breastfeeding / Body Feeding

When you breastfeed / chestfeed, your body burns about an extra 500 calories per day to create human milk. All those extra calories means an increase in appetite for most people. Breastfeeding / body feeding makes most people feel hungry — very hungry — hangry even. You could (and should) eat whatever you want and whatever is in closest reach! But if you want to eat something that will help keep you feeling full and energized for longer, here are some tips for snacks and meals that will do the trick. 

 

What to eat for good nutrition…

  • Vegetables and fruit (cooked or raw)
  • Healthy fats (avocado, nuts, fish, whole egg)
  • Protein (meat, soy, dairy, egg)
  • Calcium-rich foods (dairy, spinach, broccoli)

What to eat for long-lasting energy…

  • Complex carbs (whole grains, beans, vegetables)

What to eat to feel full longer…

  • Protein and healthy fats

When planning a meal, it’s important to include a variety of nutritional sources at each meal, like a lean protein, healthy fat, and complex carb. For example, chicken breast sauteed in olive oil, topped with diced avocado, paired with long grain rice and steamed broccoli. Top it off with a tall glass of water for hydration and voilà: the perfect meal for replenishing energy from breastfeeding / body feeding. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, switch out the chicken for tofu, tempeh, lentils, or chickpeas.

30 Nutritious Chestfeeding- / Breastfeeding-Friendly Snacks

Easy-to-eat, ready-made (or quickly made) snacks that you can eat with one hand are as important, if not more important, than meals when you’re burning extra calories from making milk. Pack in the most nutrients and energy with the following snack ideas:

  • Hard boiled egg
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, mixed nuts)
  • Raw veggies alone or with dip
  • Hummus
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sliced/cut fruit or berries
  • Multigrain granola bar
  • Sliced deli meat
  • Cut cheese/cheese sticks
  • Smoked salmon
  • Glass of milk
  • Chia pudding
  • Protein bar
  • Whole grain crackers with nut butter, cheese, hummus, or avocado
  • Banana
  • Apple slices with nut butter
  • Celery with nut butter or hummus
  • Trail mix with mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
  • Granola with yogurt
  • Whole grain toast with nut butter, hummus, cream cheese, cottage cheese, smoked salmon
  • Pita bread (toasted or regular) with hummus, avocado, salsa
  • Oven baked veggie chips
  • Dates
  • Tomato juice
  • Shelled edamame
  • Applesauce topped with cinnamon
  • Olives
  • Air popped popcorn drizzled with oil or shredded cheese
  • Whole wheat muffins with fruit or veggies

 

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