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Quick and Easy Healthy Snacks for New and Nursing Mothers

Posted 4 years ago by Lori Scholle

Having a new baby changes many things in a woman’s life including how she sleeps and eats. Scheduled meals can sometimes be a challenge in the early weeks for the new and nursing mother.  Making an effort to eat nutritious snacks at least every 3  hours will help nourish and sustain the mother while she adjusts to her new role.  Eating a variety of foods that are minimally processed and as close to their natural state as possible will ensure she is getting the nutrients and vitamins she needs.  A woman’s recommended daily allowance for protein is 70 grams per day and 30 grams of fiber per day.  It is important to try to include at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber at each snack to ensure that she is getting the nutrients she needs and most importantly, feels satisfied and full.  Listed below are some ideas for quick and easy healthy snacks for new and nursing mothers.

Pick Two

 (One from each column) 

Using the “pick two” method when having a snack will ensure that mom will have at least two of the three food groups in each snack – for instance she should have a piece of fruit (carbohydrate + fiber) and a piece of cheese (protein/fat).    The chart below lists foods that she can make into any combination she likes to make a “mini-meal” that will give her more time to tend to the needs of her little one.

Protein/Fat Carbohydrate
Edamame (1 Cup Unshelled -1/2 cup unshelled) Piece of   whole fruit  or 1 cup of cut fruit
Hard Cheese (1 Ounce), Cottage Cheese (1/3 cup) Fresh cut Veggies   – Bell Peppers, Cucumber, Carrot, Tomatoes
Hard Boiled Egg Whole   Wheat Bread
Handful of Dry Roasted Nuts (1/4 cup) Whole   Grain Crackers
Hummus (2 Tablespoons) Tortilla   Chips
2 Tablespoons of any Nut Butter – Almond, Peanut,   Cashew, Sunflower Whole   Wheat Tortilla or Corn Tortilla
Guacamole (1/4 cup) Popcorn

Quick and Easy Snack Ideas

  •  Parfait: Layer low fat vanilla Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit in a bowl or tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of low-fat granola.
  •  Apple Pie Oatmeal: Make one packet of microwave oatmeal (regular flavor) with low-fat milk. Mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. Sprinkle with apple pie spice or cinnamon. Add some walnuts to increase protein and fiber as well as healthy fats.
  • Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa. Add drained and rinsed black beans to increase fiber, protein and iron.
  • Toast a whole-grain waffle and top with low-fat greek yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Sprinkle grated cheese (Cheddar or Monterey Jack) over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with salsa.  Add some drained and rinsed black beans to increase fiber, protein and iron.
  • Spread 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top with 1 sliced small banana.
  • Spread a toasted whole-grain bagel (Nature’s Own Whole Wheat Bagels) with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta cheese. Top with ⅓ cup sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.

Store Bought Snack Choices

 Listed below are prepared foods that offer some good nutrient value in fiber and/or protein.  Although there are some recommendations for frozen foods and soups it is important to note that they should not be the go to choice all the time.  An occasional prepared meal or soup in a pinch is not going to be harmful as long as it is balanced with a variety of fresh foods. 

  1. Dips and Spreads- Sabra Hummus or Guacamole, Soft Goat Cheese, Cream Cheese, Boursin Cheese, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella – Use portion control here),  Natural Nut Butters (Maranatha, Skippy Natural)
  2. Crackers, Breads and Cereals:   100% Whole Wheat Breads (Pepperidge Farm), Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Kashi Cereals (Cinnamon Harvest Cereal, Go Lean, Autumn Wheat)
  3. Canned Goods -  Canned Fruit in juice only, canned light tuna in water, Amy’s Soups (Pick varieties that are light in sodium and have good fiber content – lentil, minestrone, black bean)
  4. Snacks –  Back to Nature Nut Blends (Harvest Blend, California Coast) Nature Valley Granola Bars, Kashi Cookies (Oatmeal Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin Flax, Chocolate Almond Butter) Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips
  5. Frozen Meals and Foods– evol Bowls (Fire Grilled Steak, Teriyaki Chicken) evol Chicken and Vegetable Pasta, Tabachnick Soups (Vegetarian Chili, Yankee Bean Soup, Minestrone Soup, Barley and Mushroom), Amy’s Black Bean Burrito, Nature’s Place Turkey Burger.
  6. Lunchmeats – Use caution with lunchmeats as they often contain high levels of salt and fat.  Applegate products are good as well as low sodium versions of oven roasted turkey and chicken.