About a year ago this time, I was on the hunt for snack recipes to increase my breast milk supply. Because of all the interventions my lactation consultant recommended (skin to skin contact, pumping, and so on), changing up my snacks just seemed like the easiest thing to try.
And okay, the most delicious one.
Because as any nursing mom knows, producing milk all day gives you a lion-size appetite.
As we close out National Breast Feeding Week — which is basically every week when you’re a nursing mom — I’ve put together some tasty snack recipes I’ve found that contain ingredients that can help increase your breast milk supply. In fact, be sure to check out our post about 8 foods that are recommended for boosting breast milk supply — as well as our caveats about how there are no scientific guarantees, and that results differ from mom to mom.
But when you’re struggling with milk supply, my feeling is that anything is worth a shot.
So if you’re a nursing mom, get cooking. And if you’re not, find one who could benefit from these treats and bring her over a batch of one of them. (Or all of them.)
This dark chocolate chip lactation cookie recipe at Saving Room for Dessert is one I’ve shared here before, and I’m a big fan. It contains oats, flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast, making it a breastmilk-increasing powerhouse. Or as I think of them, the perfect snack for nursing at midnight. And then again at 2 in the morning. And then again at 4. Hmm, maybe make a double batch of these?
Beta-Carotene is another breastmilk-boosting ingredient, plus, it’s a really important nutrient for infants. Studies have even shown that consuming just one dose of beta-Carotene will show up in your milk supply! Wow. Fortunately, when it comes to beta-Carotene-packed sweet potatoes, I don’t need any arm-twisting to dig in. These slightly sweet, slightly salty crispy sweet potato fries at Creme de la Crumb look incredible. And the seasonings she recommends are flexible so feel free to substitute if you don’t have every spice.
I’ve always been an avid salad eater, but a strange thing happened after I had a baby: I lost interest completely. It wasn’t taste, but the time it took to sit down and spear each wayward leaf and cherry tomato with a fork. I’d rather spend that time napping, lately. Enter kale chips to soothe my tired soul! I’ve been getting breast milk-boosting nutrients in the form of these gorgeous Garlic Kale Chips ever since, since dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli include those phytoestrogens that lactation consultants recommend for helping with supply, right along with extra calcium. Thanks, Confetti Kitchen!
Protein plays a major role in keeping breast milk flowing — and in keeping you on your feet during those long days with a new baby. So make a big batch of these sweet potato spinach egg cups with a recipe from Kim’s Cravings. You can even keep them in your fridge to grab for super fast and easy breakfasts and snacks. The sweet potato and spinach (more phytoestrogens!) make these one savory treat that will help increase your milk supply for breastfeeding, but honestly, the whole family will probably love them. Including the non-lactating members.
Some of the ingredients I listed on our list of lactation-boosting foods are tough to work into everyday recipes, but thankfully the Kitchn has given us this lovely homemade mother’s milk tea containing fenugreek, fennel seed, and other helpful ingredients. While it’s not a snack in itself, it would be nice with a handful of almonds, dried apricots, or even those homemade kale chips, above. Make yourself a big batch of this during nap time or if you’re preparing, do it before the baby even comes. Or best of all, have someone make it for you.
I think it’s important to have ridiculously simple recipes on hand for when your baby is out of that newborn phase and friends and family have stopped dropping off casseroles at your house 24/7. These 5-Ingredient PB&J energy bites at LLbalanced are calling my name for a quick, portable, non-sticky snack that may help increase your breast milk supply, plus, will keep you energy to get you through the nursing years and beyond.
Top photo: Dave Clubb via Unsplash