Simple Postpartum Snack Ideas to Fuel Tired Moms
Keep exhaustion at bay with these postpartum snacks
Congratulations on welcoming a new member to your family! Life with a baby can be a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts, sensations, and energy levels. Thinking back to when my children were infants, I can recall being so in love with these little beings, but oh SO exhausted. Depending on whether you have decided to breastfeed (fed is best!), you may also be experiencing extreme thirst- thanks to the hormone oxytocin being released. When navigating the world of caring for a baby, it can be easy to put our own needs and self-care on the back burner. By doing so, however, we may risk our overall wellness, and end up feeling even more emotional and fatigued.
If you find it tough to nourish yourself on top of all your parenting responsibilities and life tasks, read on for some simple postpartum snack ideas!
First Thing’s First:
Before we get into nourishment, let’s talk about everything that may be going on behind the scenes during the postpartum period. For that matter, how long do you think the postpartum period is? According to the book Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology, “the postpartum period is a time of significant biological, psychological, and social change. And “includes the days and weeks immediately following childbirth, and can extend through to 1 year.” (1) In addition, it has recently been suggested by several parenting experts that the postpartum period may even exceed past 1 year, providing validation that it can take a long time to notice your mental and physical well-being return to “normal” after having children.
On top of the fatigue and fluctuations in mood (which can both have a great impact and last for a long period of time), here are some other things that your miraculous body may experience during the postpartum period:
- Body pains and soreness
- Prolonged swelling
- Postpartum Anxiety and Depression
- Night sweats
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Cavities and gum disease
- Low iron and anemia
- Blurry vision
Learn more about some of the ways pregnancy and birth can change your body.
The Essential Nutrients During the Postpartum Period:
There are several nutrients that you may want to consider taking in to help you to feel your best during the postpartum period:
To replenish stores lost during childbirth, and if breastfeeding, to help with the baby’s supply.
Food sources: Animal proteins, pumpkin seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, tofu, and oysters.
Helps in the development of red blood cells and energy production.
Food sources: Animal proteins, fortified dairy, cereals, and nutritional yeast.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Can help with inflammation, enhance mental focus, and support mood. If you’re breastfeeding, having a higher concentration of DHA in your breastmilk can help support your baby’s brain and vision development.
Food sources: Salmon, trout, sardines, fortified foods.
Breastfeeding moms can benefit from ensuring they’re including food sources of choline to help with the baby’s brain development.
Food sources: Eggs, tofu, soymilk, beans, cruciferous vegetables.
Not only does this vitamin support bone health, but it also plays a role in immune function, the nervous system, and mood.
Food sources: Cow’s milk, fortified dairy alternatives, egg yolks, margarine, fatty fish
Some other Postpartum Nutrition Tips:
One of the first strategies I suggest to my clients who have recently had a baby is to ensure that they are eating enough. With all the sleep disturbances and daily demands of being responsible for a new little one, we can often get distracted, skip meals, or simply forget to eat.
By providing yourself with many eating opportunities throughout the day, you will have a greater ability to take in a variety of nutrients, as well as help keep your blood sugars from tanking. In addition, breastfeeding moms require extra nourishment in order to support lactation, therefore eating several meals and snacks throughout the day will help to meet this demand.
Protein + Carbohydrates= Longer Lasting Energy
Both protein and carbohydrates are macronutrients, which means we require a large amount of them each day. Protein is found in foods such as eggs, fish, tofu, beans, meat, dairy, and nuts. These foods provide fullness and sustained energy. Carbohydrates act like gasoline for your brain, muscles, and organs. They are also responsible for boosting mood. You can find carbohydrates in grains such as bread, rice, pasta, crackers, rice, fruit, veggies, dairy and/or non-dairy alternatives, and legumes such as beans and lentils. By selecting foods that contain these nutrients often, you will be sure to feel satisfied!
Putting it All Together- Simple Postpartum Snack Ideas:
- Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
- Eggs and cheese English muffin
- Cereal with milk, sliced banana, and sprinkled with cinnamon
- Oat and nut granola bar and fruit
- Crackers with tuna or salmon salad
- Meat and cheese sandwich
- Cottage cheese with crackers and veggie sticks
- Banana or apple slices with almond butter
- Toast with mashed avocado, hemp hearts, a pinch of salt, and balsamic vinegar
- Tortilla wrap with hummus and cucumber
- Oatmeal with peanut butter and raspberries
- Edamame beans with soy sauce or sprinkle with salt and chili flakes
- Hard-boiled eggs with crackers and cherry tomatoes
- Trail mix: almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, spoon-size shredded wheat cereal, and dried cranberries
- Pita with hummus, chopped cucumber, and feta cheese
Easy Recipe Ideas:
Sometimes it can be nice to have some options ready to go in the fridge or freezer. If you have some help and can make a batch of the following (or ask a loving support person to do it for you!), these quick postpartum snacks can provide you with a satisfying boost to your day:
Looking for a compassionate, caring, and experienced Dietitian to guide you nutritionally through postpartum and beyond? We can help.
Get connected to a Registered Dietitian on our team that specialized in women’s health. Whether you’re pregnant, post-partum, or starting to introduce solids, a Dietitian on our team can help clear any confusion about nutrition, meals, supplements, etc.
Learn about our nutrition counselling services.
There are many ways to increase your health and wellness through nutrition during parenthood. Let our Dietitians guide the way and support you as you move through this exciting life-changing time.
Christine Devaney Towsley B.A.Sc., RD
Registered Dietitian & Online Nutritionist
Specialty: weight concerns, intuitive eating, heart
health, family nutrition, IBS (irritable bowel disease)
A nurturer at heart, Christine will always greet you with a smile and
attentive ear. Kind hearted, empathetic and sensitive to others,
Christine takes the time to connect, build trust and truly understand
each client and tailors her sessions to each person's specific needs.