Wednesday, November 14, 2012

20 One-Handed Snack Ideas for Breastfeeding Mama's

Breastfeeding is one of my favorite parts of having a little baby. 
 There is just nothing quite like the bond that Mama and baby get from breastfeeding.  Some people don't enjoy it, or are afraid to even try.  If I could give one piece of advice to any new mother contemplating breastfeeding it would be, TRY IT!  So many people don't even give it a chance. 
 It could be a wonderful experience for the both of you.  It's even more convenient than a bottle because, 1. You don't have to get up and make a bottle in the middle of the night and stay awake until baby is done eating.  All you have to do is pick baby up out of the baby and side nurse.  Then you can actually sleep while baby eats, baby falls back asleep and when you wake up, you can put your baby back in their crib.  
2.  It's the perfect source of nutrition for them.  Mixed and heated to the perfect temperature by, who wouldn't want God to make their food??? 
3.  It's healthy for both Mama and baby.  Did you know that breastfeeding Mother's have less chance of developing breast cancer?  Not to mention, it will help you burn those baby weight calories more quickly! 
It has so many other positive attributes.
Breastfeeding helps prevent SIDS in infants, helps in preventing childhood leukemia and other cancers,   helps in preventing ear infection and colds, children are less likely to having learning and behavior issues, it's easy to digest, helps prevent constipation, helps with skin issues, is great for brain growth and development, it helps the mom to loose weight faster, baby and mama can get more sleep because baby is able to latch on while mama lays on her side in bed (this has been a dream come true for us!), it's a FREE, God given gift, and the list could go on and on and on!!!
I know I repeated myself, but I just can't say enough how great breastfeeding is if you are willing to give it a fair chance.

If you do choose to breastfeed, you will find yourself in a chair often, realizing you are hungry too.  Only problem is that, you only have one hand available.
But since breastfeeding only requires the use of one hand, you can feed yourself while you feed baby, but you are somewhat limited in that you have to find foods that are "one-handed foods" and as any breastfeeding mother knows, we stay hungry!  If you are breastfeeding, you burn about 500 extra calories a day which can add up to quite the appetite.
After two baby's and a combined total of 27 months of breastfeeding (and we are still going strong!), I have a great list of one handed healthy snacks and meals that hopefully will be helpful to all you breastfeeding mama's.
We need all the help we can get, right?!?
Plus, most of these are also great snack ideas that you can share if you have other hungry kiddos roaming the house.  If your house is anything like mine, Caleb has a nose for snack time.  If I have a snack, he wants one too.  It's always easier when we can both enjoy the same snack!

So, here goes:

1.  Fruit.  Pre-wash fruit and keep it handy.  Apples, grapes, berries, bananas. You could even make fruit kabobs. All are great sources of nutrition for you and your little bambino.

2.  Raw veggies.  Wash and cut veggies while baby is napping.  Keep in an easy to grab container.  You might even want to add a little bowl of ranch dip.  Sit on your couch near a side table and you're good to go!

3.  Craisins/Raisins

4.  Pickles (the whole kind).  Eat with a fork or wrap in a paper towel.

5.  Popcorn.  There are so many great popcorn options.  I even saw whole grain today!

6.  Cheese sticks or cubes.

7.  Glass of almond milk.  Wayyyy better for you then milk because it doesn't endure the horrible pasteurization product that cow's milk does (yes, even the organic!), and it has even MORE calcium than cow's milk!  Coconut milk is another great option if almond milk isn't your thing.

8.  Deli meat, rolled up.  If you have prep time, you could even spread some cream cheese and chives on the meat, then roll it up.  The perfect light snack!

9.  Meal replacement bars.  Be careful to look at the ingredients carefully.  You want something with good amounts of protein and fiber and not a lot of sugar.  I like Isagenix bars.  They have SAVED me and my 3 year old can have half of a bar with me!

10.  Salads.  This would require you to sit near a side table again.  Grab a fork and go to town!

11.  Squeezable's.  Many of the snacks geared towards toddlers can also double as adult snacks too!  The squeezable apple sauce and yogurts can be a great option if you are able to find the healthier, low sugar options.

12.  Nuts.  Raw almonds, walnuts, even peanuts! Great source of nutrition and easily eaten with one hand.

13.  Edamame.  I love getting the steam-able bags, still in the pods.  Steam them in the microwave, dump in a bowl and eat with your hands!  My 3 year old loves edamame in the pod, mostly because he has fun popping them out of the pod and into his mouth :)

14.  Whole wheat tortilla's rolled up and filled with spinach, a little ranch dressing and some real bacon bits, add some avocado if you have time for an extra burst of good fats. Or, spread peanut butter and honey on it to satisfy a sweet tooth!

15.  Granola.  Target sells great varieties of granola and snack mixes on their nut aisle.  Everything from sweet and spicy to sweet and sassy... I mean salty.  Or you can make your own combinations.

16.  Bean Salad, eat with a spoon, recipe HERE!

17.  Sweet Potato fries with raspberry dip.  To make dip, mix 2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves with a teaspoon of water.  Mix well and dip away...absolutely amazing!

18.  Grilled chicken tenders.  Buy a pack of raw chicken tenders, bake or grill and keep in fridge as a high protein meal or snack to grab!  Much healthier than buying them already cooked in the freezer section.  You can skip out on loading your body with preservatives and extra sodium by cooking them yourself.

19.  Frozen yogurt, scooped into a cone.  Our local grocery store has a huge selection of frozen yogurt.  It's has fewer calories than regular ice cream and you'll get a great dose of probiotics that ice cream doesn't offer.

20.  Soup poured into a mug so you don't have to worry about using a spoon.

For those of you who have other children still at home with you, lunchables were AWESOME for us!  You can make your own lunchable's or grab a stack at the grocery store because as all new mom's know, we don't always have tons of prep time.

I also kept snack boxes in the bottom shelf of the fridge and the bottom shelf of the pantry.  That way, Caleb could go grab him a snack when he was hungry instead of having to wait for me to finish feeding the baby.  
I stocked the snack boxes with several one serving baggies of pickles, grapes, cheese, yogurt cups, ritz crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.

I know many of you have great one-handed snack ideas too.
Share in the comments section!
I hope this gave you all a few ideas :)

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