When you're a brand-new mom, it's easy to forget to think about yourself. And who can blame you? Your baby is your number-one priority. But in order for your baby to be healthy, you need to be healthy, which means taking care to eat plenty of nutritious meals and snacks.
Yes, snacks are important too! Good-for-you bites in between meals not only provide energy, but they also give you extra nutrition while breastfeeding, which is the time you really need it most since you're feeding both your baby and yourself. Here are 12 recipes that are sure to help get you through the extra-long days and nights ahead.
Dairy is an important part of healthy breastfeeding since you need to make sure you're getting enough calcium in your diet for the two of you. Swirling peanut butter in adds extra protein to keep you satisfied.
Here's a go-to when you need a little something between breakfast and lunch. Flaxseeds are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important component in breastmilk, as they aid in the development of your baby's nervous system. Spinach is great, too! It's full of Vitamin A, iron, and calcium.
Nut butter takes the place of regular butter in this sweet and wholesome treat. Because who says cookies can't be nutritious? All they require is a tall glass of cold milk.
This colorful mix of puffed quinoa, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chunks is something you can snack on all day, whenever the craving hits. It's an easy way to get a little extra whole grains in your diet. All whole grains are a good source of folic acid, which is important for both you and your baby.
Here's a unique way to boost your dairy intake. Antioxidant-rich cranberries are coated in a simple Greek yogurt glaze, which takes them to full-on dessert status.
On top of being a whole grain, oats are known for increasing lactation, so they're a great choice for a healthy snack. Here they're taken out of their usual sweetened state and made savory in this granola that's spiked with curry powder, onion, garlic, and just a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Snack on it straight from the jar, or try a little over plain yogurt.
Leafy greens are always a great choice, whether you're a new mom or not — they're packed with Vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, and fiber. These oven-baked kale chips are a simple way to boost your intake at snack time, and they far surpass any store-bought version.
With no added sugar, these high-energy bars are sweetened with bananas and dates instead. They're no sweat to make, and just the thing to eat whenever your day might need a little pick-me-up.
Eggs are an easy and affordable way to meet your daily protein needs. Here they're quickly scrambled and piled high on a thick slice of toast that's been slathered with goat cheese.
Fruit is an important part of any breastfeeding mom's diet, and blueberries are an especially smart choice, thanks to their high levels of antioxidants. These whole-grain, lightly sweetened muffins are a snack you can feel good about.
Here's a fun way to mix up the usual apple and peanut butter routine. Raisins and toasted oats not only add texture and chew to the sandwiches, but they also bump up their fiber content.
Prep these wraps ahead of time and store them in the fridge, and you've got a protein boost just waiting for you whenever you might need it. Choose a 100 percent whole-grain or whole-wheat wrap to add good fiber to the mix.
(Image credits: Faith Durand; Erin Alderson; Izy Hossack; Megan Gordon; Emma Christensen; Anjali Prasertong; Dana Velden; Leela Cyd; Emily Han; Nealey Dozier)