It’s super common to hear about breastfeeding woes like the cracked and sore nipples and cluster feeding. But the lack of ability to find time to eat is something we need to talk more about! Mamas tend to have very little time to feed themselves, especially during the early months. But, listen up, mama — to nourish our little ones, we have to nourish ourselves. While making a homemade meal isn’t always going to happen (especially when catching a quick nap is the number one priority), keeping these seven breastfeeding pantry essentials on hand makes grabbing a bite to eat on the go way easier.
Breastfeeding mamas, this one’s for you! Keep these foods on hand to keep your body nourished and energy high while keeping that liquid gold supply flowing.
7 Pantry Essentials For the Breastfeeding Mama
1. Rolled Oats
If you’re breastfeeding or plan to, you may have heard all the rumors about how oatmeal is a staple food for nursing moms. Many women swear by regularly ingesting oats or oatmeal to increase their milk supply. One explanation for its benefits may be thanks to its high iron content. Moms with low iron levels may experience a dip in milk supply, so an iron-rich food, like rolled oats, may be beneficial here.
Plus, oats are a healthy way to start your day or a great pantry essential to have on hand to whip up a healthy and yummy snack. From a jar of overnight oats to homemade granola bars, lactation cookies, or granola, the options are endless. In fact, preparing overnight oats is incredibly easy and gives you a quick and healthy breakfast in the mornings. Here is an easy overnight oats recipe you can try:
Basic Overnight Oats
- ½ cup rolled 0ats
- 1 cup milk (cow’s, almond, cashew, hemp, etc.)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp nuts/seeds (crushed almonds, walnuts, etc.)
- 1-2 tbsp natural sweetener of choice (honey, maple, or agave syrup)
- Add-ins (optional): fruit, chia and/or flax seeds, hemp hearts, nut butter, cocoa powder
- 1 clean mason jar with lid
- Combine all ingredients in a jar. Stir or shake until combined. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, give the jar another shake, add any additional toppings, and enjoy!
2. Nut Butter
Nut butter is a must-have pantry essential for all moms (breastfeeding or not). It makes for a convenient oatmeal topper, smoothie add-in, or to use on top of some almond flour crackers and rice cakes (more on these healthy pantry staples below). Some yummy options include almond, cashew, or even coconut butter.
Note: Some nut butters should be stored in the fridge once opened, so be sure to check the jar for storage instructions.
3. Trail Mix
Healthier trail mix options that don’t contain added sugars or sugary candy can make a great snacking option that you can munch on with one hand (super important for the breastfeeding mama!). You can make your own using your favorite combo of nuts, seeds, and some unsweetened dark chocolate chips . . . yum!
4. Healthy Granola Bars
If all else fails, there’s always the option to just grab a granola bar as a quick and easy snack. There are some healthier options available like Larabars, Go Macro Bars, and RX Bars.
5. Almond Flour Crackers
Having some high-quality crackers on hand to enjoy with some nut butter makes a quick and simple way to nourish your body. You can even keep some baggies of almond flour crackers (like Simple Mills brand) handy near where you normally nurse for when those hunger pangs come on strong!
Ok, so we talked about nut butter, but having some almonds, cashews, or whatever your favorite picks are on hand will make for a super easy grab and go snack option to keep your body nourished.
7. Rice Cakes
Along the same lines as almond crackers, rice cakes are another great grab and go snack for breastfeeding mamas. You can add a healthy spin by adding some nut butter and sprinkling on some chia or flaxseeds for good measure.
Don’t Forget The Water!
It’s super important to also remember to stay hydrated. Keep a refillable bottle of water near your bed, your couch, your rocking chair — basically anywhere you nurse to remind yourself to continue to hydrate throughout the day.
Don’t Forget to Nourish Your Body, Too, Mama
For all new moms, getting a good meal in (let alone a daily shower) can seem near impossible some days. But if you have a little time to plan ahead before the baby is born, stocking your pantry with these pantry essentials will give you a head start when you’re really needing to grab and go. And, if your baby is already here, get on your computer and get these pantry staples delivered with your weekly groceries. Because nourishment and self-care as a new mama is not selfish, it’s totally necessary.