We know it's important to have a well-balanced and nutritious diet during pregnancy AND when breastfeeding. We want our babies to be healthy and we know that overall breast milk quality is reflected in part by the quality of what we, ourselves, put into OUR bodies.
Breast milk is ALL your newborn baby needs to be well-nourished for the first six months of life and, in the case of breastfeeding, keeping the food source (mama) healthy is key in producing the best of the best.
The postpartum period can be a busy if not hectic time. Sleep deprivation, adjustment to new needs and establishing new routines can take up a lot of energy, patience and time. As a result, we tend to sleep when baby sleeps, take a shower when we have an extra pair of hands around and, if we're lucky, we'll be able to sneak in brushing our teeth before we go out.
Unfortunately, with all this going on, many new mamas forget to eat! And they don't remember until they get hungry, a situation which is a much greater issue for a breastfeeding and possibly sleep-deprived mother than one who is neither. Breastfeeding takes energy and nutrients from our bodies to support this essential, life-sustaining function.
Some new mothers find that if they don't replenish themselves with the appropriate amounts of food and fluids throughout the day, they will feel extra tired or weak after a feeding session with their babies. This is not normal or something you should get accustomed to. Keeping not only well hydrated and nourished in between feedings, but also DURING feedings, can help reduce or eliminate this unwanted effect. Accessible snacks can solve this dilemma; this is the beauty of 'one-handed' snacks!
Convenience is the main benefit of one-handed snacks. With hand to mouth ease, it's difficult to make an excuse for not having them around when breastfeeding. Have these snacks readily available on a bedside/night table or regular living room couch side table. You can even have them sitting next to you on the couch in a bowl or on a plate - it's ok, I won't tell. ;) This way you can easily reach over and access these energy boosting morsels. Set up minimal-effort snacking stations in your favourite breastfeeding spots throughout your home.
These are the 3 requirements for smart one-handed snacks:
#1. Mom only requires one hand, hence 'one-handed', to access snack - practicality first!
#2. Must be healthy - no potato chips!
#3. Little or no prep time
#4. Must create little or no mess
Now for some examples:
*Cubes of hard cheese
*Banana chips (dried banana slices)
*Shelled (without shell) nuts (e.g., almonds, cashews)
*Trail Mix (with easy to pick up pieces)
*Ants on a log (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins)
*Bite-sized granola pieces
*Hard boiled eggs (Remove the yolks for less mess)
*Mini/party sandwiches (fill with your favourite spread of tuna salad, cream cheese, etc.)
*Grilled cheese bites (So good! Make a regular sandwich and slice into small, bite-sized pieces.)
*Veggies and healthy homemade dip (e.g., yoghurt-based, humus)
*Smoothies (frozen fruit and a blender makes these a flash to make)
*Fresh veggie/fruit juices (Juicers are great for this)
Tip: Avoid warm beverages and soups to eliminate the risk of dangerous spills.
There are many other options out there. Be creative with your snack choices and select the ingredients you enjoy!