Inside: Wondering what to eat at night while breastfeeding? When you’re looking for breastfeeding snacks at night, you need, quiet, no-prep sustenance FAST. That’s what makes these 11 healthy snacks perfect to satisfy your middle of the night cravings.
When you’re stumbling around the kitchen in dim lighting in the middle of the night (it’s dark because screaming baby’s in your other arm) hunting for a decent snack, and you come up empty-handed, it’s NOT fun.
No one told you that those early days of breastfeeding would make you feel hungrier than you’ve ever been in your entire life. Growth spurts got nothing on breastfeeding.
No one told you that you’d need to eat every hour or two, just like your baby. Literally. Every hour. Or that when you’re breastfeeding, you’d be hungry in the middle of the night. Not just a little bit, but the “hangry” kind of hungry.
A heads up woulda been great, mom friends.
I’ve definitely been there.
You’re sitting there under your sweet nursing baby and you’re absolutely RAVENOUS. But, there isn’t anything easy to grab to eat while you breastfeed.
…unless you count your husband’s “secret” pop-tart stash. While they can work in a pinch, you don’t need to resign yourself to secret pop-tarts every night (besides being unhealthy, they do get old).
With a little planning, you can stock your kitchen ahead of time with easy to grab at midnight breastfeeding snacks, so at night, you can grab them and go.
Some of them can even be stashed in a basket next to the chair you normally sit in to breastfeed. Or in your nightstand drawer right next to your bed.
Others need to stay in the fridge, probably best saved for right after a breastfeeding session and you’ve tucked your little babe back in bed.
But before we get to the best midnight snacks for breastfeeding moms (healthy ones), let’s answer some common questions first…
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Should I Even Be Eating at Night While I’m Breastfeeding?
Girl, I get it. You want to lose that baby weight, and it’s not going away very fast.
But you still do need to eat healthy snacks to fuel your body with the calories it needs to make breastmilk.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re not feeling hungry, then you don’t need to have a snack just for the sake of having a snack.
But if you are feeling hungry, then eat that snack – your body is telling you what it needs!
If you’re breastfeeding and hungry at night, eat some healthy snacks girl.
Why Am I So Hungry When I’m Breastfeeding?
Simply put, your body is working overtime making all of the milk for your baby. It takes immense work (and calories) to make an adequate milk supply for your new baby.
Lean into your body’s cues and eat when you feel hungry!
If you still feel guilty about late night or middle of the night snacking, I found this article about Honoring Your Hunger as a Breastfeeding Mom very helpful.
11 Easy Breastfeeding Snacks for Late Night Feedings
These snack ideas are perfect for middle of the night feedings when you don’t want to wake up the baby with loud crunching or a big mess. I’ve also made sure to only include one-handed, super quick snacks that you can grab in a flash.
Some of the blog posts that I’ve seen have snack ideas that are straight-up unrealistic.
Like, hey blogger lady that has her life together, I don’t have time or the brainpower to make a fancy healthy snack in the middle of the night.
Girl, I got you.
Like I said, these late-night snack ideas are mostly crunch-less, easily eaten one-handed and are healthy.
Oh, and you’re not going to be dropping food on your baby’s head because it’s too messy. #guiltyascharged
I’m biased, I know, but I really think these are hands down the best midnight snacks while breastfeeding.
So without further ado, here are 11 healthy late-night snacks for breastfeeding moms.
1. Granola Bars
Remember I said nothing crunchy and crumbly? You’re going to want to stick to the soft, chewy granola bars.
My favorites are Cliff Bars and THESE Sweet & Salty Nut Bars. Set them up for Subscribe & Save, so you don’t even have to remember to get them at the store (this is crucial for all things – diapers, wipes, detergent, etc.).
When you get the grapes from the store, try to prep these right away. Wash them all in a colander, dry them on a dish towel.
Once they’re dry, pick them all off the stems and store in small pyrex containers (ziploc bags work, too) in the fridge. Now they’re super easy to grab before a feeding!
3. Cheese Sticks
I practically lived on cheese sticks and rolls of deli turkey when I had my fifth baby. For real – these were my go-to for anytime, really.
I recommend the rectangular shaped colby jack cheese sticks over the traditional string cheese sticks. Trust me.
4. Deli Turkey
Speaking of turkey…these aren’t quite as easy to grab out of the bag as the other breastfeeding snacks on this list.
BUT, you could roll up several in advance and put them into a pyrex to make this an easier, grab and go snack (can you tell I love my pyrex?).
There isn’t anything easier than bananas. My only problem with this particular fruit is the speed at which they go bad.
BUT grab a few bunches at the grocery store, and when they do get a bit overripe, peel them, store them in a big ziploc freezer bag, and toss them in the freezer. Perfect for breastfeeding smoothies.
6. Glass of Milk
There’s nothing that fills you up like a glass of milk. And there’s no shame in occasionally getting that big gallon of chocolate milk, either.
Breastfeeding moms need an extra 500 calories a day, after all.
7. Yogurt in a Squeeze Pouch
Go-gurts aren’t just for kids. But if you have to get the squeeze yogurts, try the organic Stonyfield options. They aren’t are sugary sweet.
These also can be thrown in the freezer!
8. Chia or Applesauce Squeeze Pouches
Once you get used to them, you’ll think everything should come in a squeeze pouch…and I’m starting to think anything can.
The MammaChia brand for the chia pouches is pretty delicious, and Gogo Squeeze cinnamon applesauces are amazing. Put both of these in the fridge – they’ll taste better.
Feel like a little kid packing your lunch box yet? Get used to it – it’ll come back around to this in 5-6 years or so.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little variety in your snack choices. And, sometimes you’ll want something more substantial than a squeeze pouch, for example.
You can make the following snacks in bulk, then freeze. When you need that breastfeeding snack at night, pop them in the microwave for about a minute, then stuff your hungry face.
This can involve a little more prep. OR you can get to know your local bakery pretty dang well over the next several months.
Personally, I recommend option #2, but if you do decide to make your own, here are a few favorite recipes:
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins (substitute oat flour for all-purpose if desired)
- Caramel Apple BAM Cake (in muffin form)
10. Oat Cups
These are a combo of oats, fruit and egg whites to hold it all together. You mix it up and bake it in muffin tins ahead of time (or your mom or grandma does this for you – this is a perfect helpful task for new moms!).
Get the full recipe for Oatmeal on the Go Cups HERE.
11. Energy Balls
You’ll wonder why you were never before introduced to these yummy little treats! Again, these are a make ahead and freeze or refrigerate for that middle of the night, filling breastfeeding snack.
Related: 20 Best Gifts for Nursing Moms
Final Thoughts on Breastfeeding Snacks at Night
You can’t control when you feel hungry. You can try to send that hunger packing with all kinds of appetite-suppressing supplements, but at the end of the day, to keep breastfeeding, you need a milk supply.
And your milk supply comes from calories, my friend.
That weight will come off eventually (9 months on, 9 months off). Right now, your body is in charge of feeding that baby it grew for the past nine months.
So don’t feel guilty. Stock up on these healthy late night breastfeeding snacks, and quietly chow down during a late night breastfeeding session. Enjoy!
Did I miss an obviously perfect middle of the night breastfeeding snack? Share in the comments!
June could talk to you all day about homeschooling, parenting, and minimalism. When she’s not homeschooling, decluttering, or blogging, she loves to enjoy perfect silence while sipping a hot cup of coffee and thinking uninterrupted thoughts—which, of course, with five kids ten and under doesn’t happen very often.