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!