Breastfeeding Blog Hop: The Challenge of Dairy-Free Snacking

Breastfeeeding Blog Hop

This post is part of the weekly breastfeeding blog hop, hosted by The Slacker Mom, and co-hosted by The Gnome’s Mom and Happiness Redefined. This week’s topic is Snacking: Your Top Five Breastfeeding Snacks.

When I read today’s topic, I wasn’t really sure what to post. I absolutely think snacking is important while nursing. Your body is working hard, just like it was while you are pregnant to sustain another life! That takes energy, and healthy snacks can help a lot with that.

But I still dreaded this post. You see, snacking, or even eating, has been a challenge with this nursling. Nehemiah is completely dairy-intolerant. This includes all whey or casein in baked or processed foods, not just obvious dairy like milk, cheese, and yogurt. He is also sensitive to soy, so I can have tortillas that contain soy somewhere on the ingredient list, but not something marinated in soy sauce, or a soy latte from Starbucks (BOO!).

For the first several months I really, really struggled. I get very hungry while I’m breastfeeding, and I tend to crave specific foods as strongly or more strongly then I do while pregnant. So I craved pizza. And crackers with cheese. And hot dogs. And tuna noodle casserole. (Hey, nobody said my cravings were healthy!). Not only did I not know how to envision eating without dairy, I was struggling a lot with not getting the foods I craved, so I would just rather not eat. There were many days where the mental energy required to come up with something safe to eat was just to much so I skipped a meal. Or two. Yeah, I don’t recommend that! It left me feeling even more exhausted, burned out, frustrated, irritable, and at times resentful.

When I did eat a snack, it was often something completely terrible for me, that was at least dairy-free. Skittles and Twizzlers don’t have dairy, in case you were wondering ;)

Now that Nehemiah is a year old and I’ve been at this dairy-free eating thing for ten months, I wish I could say it was second nature, but it’s not. I have gotten better at making sure I eat something through out the day, but there’s still not a lot of snacking. Keeping it real? A lot of times I’m still grabbing a Dr. Pepper and a bag of Twizzlers!

A few of the things I tend to reach for when I’m not to sleep-deprived to think clearly:

1. A tortilla with natural peanut butter and jelly. I know this is SO exciting, but the jelly is sweet enough to satisfy my sweet cravings (at least some of the time), and the peanut butter helps fill me up.

2. A banana. For some reason I have had the hardest time eating other fruits this year, but I could eat bananas all day long. If my kids don’t eat them all first! We go through a lot of bananas here.

3. Oatmeal. This one made it to several of the posts today, and its because it’s so good, filling, helps with your supply – and it’s dairy-free! I buy the big container of old-fashioned oats. They take three minutes in the microwave. I add some brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice, bananas and raisins if I have them, and a touch of rice or almond milk, and I’m happy! I eat it for breakfast every day, but have been known to eat it throughout the day as well.

4. Hard boiled eggs. I like that these are easy to fix, fairly portable, and a good source of protein. And dairy-free ;)

5. Dairy-free baked goods, like banana muffins. When I take the time to make them! I normally just adapt a regular recipe and substitute ingredients like butter and milk with dairy-free alternatives. In an ideal world, I would take a Saturday and spend it baking up big batches to store in the freezer. Hmmm. I might need to work on that!

What are your favorite snacks while breastfeeding? Do you have any good dairy-free suggestions? Be sure to check out all the other great posts at the links above!

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About Melissa

Melissa is a homeschooling mom to five children, ages 9, 7, 4, 2, and one brand new munchkin!. She loves blogging about her journey as a cloth diapering and breastfeeding mom - the good, the bad, and the chaotic, and helping other moms along the way.

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  • http://www.theslackermom.com The Slacker Mom

    I think this is a great perspective- so many Moms have to cut out dairy and feel lost as to what they can eat without affecting their child. Thank you for this!

  • Cynthia P

    Ohhhhh …. I CAN RELATE!! Our second child food allergies FROM BIRTH (!) dairy, soy, tree nuts, egg. We are an Epi-pen carrying family. EVERYTHING I ate effected him, I was on the strictest diet while nursing, I didn’t feel human at all! Not to mention all the post-partum changes going on. To no avail and very sadly, actually very DEVASTATING, I had to stop breastfeeding because he was bleeding internally from his body rejecting my milk. He went on a special medical grade formula (he hated it, I hated it). Thank GOD, he grew out of dairy only. It forced us to get creative with how we eat as a family. coconut milk/yogurt became mine(our) saving grace. Please let me know if I can help or shoot recipe ideas your way.

  • http://natureduo.com Suzanne ~ Natureduo

    Dairy free? ME TOO!!!! We found some diary free Newman-Os and Fig Nemans are pretty good. I like to have them in the pantry for when I don’t have time to bake my own. I really struggled hard those first few weeks of being dairy free, so I feel your pain.

  • http://www.accordingtojenny.com Jenny K

    I’m so glad I didn’t have to go dairy free while breastfeeding. It would have been a major struggle…so props to you!

  • http://www.cheerfulhomemaker.com Cheerful Homemaker

    I have been dairy free for 4 weeks now and it’s slowly getting better. I find that if I snack during the day I’m less likely to crave something cheesy.

  • Sara Hague

    My son is almost 9 months old now and I’ve been dairy-free for 7:) He is allergic to all milk and soy sensitive (although he can tolerate me having a soy latte once/week!) I think that nuts and dried fruit have been my saving grace. I thought I would go crazy without cheese, but the cravings have slowly disappeared. Actually, my whole family is feeling better now that dairy is mostly out of the picture- I think we had a sensitivity we didn’t know about… Hummus or guacamole with chips or a handful of nuts will satisfy my salty craving, and dried cherries (if you’ve never had them- splurge, they are worth it!) mixed with ghiradelli chocolate chips (dairy free- look for the gold bag) will satisfy my sweet craving. Although, the chocolate can aggravate reflux so you have to be careful.. Good luck!

  • Sara Hague

    Also, Duncin Hines cake/muffin/brownie mixes are dairy free, as well as their frosting (except cream cheese of course).

  • Carmen

    I’ve been dairy free for 19 mos while nursing. The key is to find a group of people who eat similar to you. Then you aren’t missing or substituting, you are making all new stuff that works for you. I’ve started following the paleo recipes because they are diary and wheat free.

    http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/ is the place to start. Also, you should be thankful that you have a reason to give up dairy. I never would have been able to do it without a reason as important as my son, and now I feel better than ever!

    Milk is for cows!