Anyone who has ever breastfed a baby before knows the hunger that is associated with nursing is NO. joke. I swear I've been hungrier, with more crazy cravings breastfeeding than I ever was while I was pregnant. And it's for good reason! Your body is spending hard earned energy making milk for your little lady or dude- to the tune of 20 calories an ounce (that equates to somewhere between 300-500 EXTRA calories a day on top of just being alive). And where I'm not typically someone to talk about calories, calories = energy and that means mama needs MORE! No wonder we are exhausted so quickly-- with lack of sleep and our bodies being depleted constantly by our little milk-drinking machines, it makes sense that we are one tired bunch. Energy aside, breastfeeding takes a lot from our mama bodies- even our own calcium stores. Breastfeeding women need more energy overall, more protein as well as more of almost every single nutrient (check out this chart for reference). But as any nursing mama will agree, the benefit of being able to feed our sweet babes the most nutritious food on the planet is well worth the trade-off.
Still, getting in extra nutrients- even just extra energy alone can be hard, especially in those busy newborn days of diaper changes and constant feeds. That's why having quick, nutrient-dense snacks on hand is crucial for nursing mamas. And snacks that also help boost our supply? Even better. These galactagogue-packed snacks are the perfect quick, on-the-go snack that take little time to make (and they're easy enough to get your husband to make for you!), and with oats, fennel, flax and brewer's yeast- four well-known (but easily sourced) galactagogues (milk-production aids) they'll help keep your supply strong while you continue to get the energy you need to nurse your sweet babe.
These do have a noticeable fennel-flavor, which I happen to love- but if you don't, try adding some of the suggested add-ins (I love making half with chocolate chips for a sweet treat!). No-bake lactation balls: Makes 16-20 snack balls
1 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup finely shredded coconut 1/4 cup brewers yeast 2 tbsp ground flax 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
pinch sea salt 1/2 cup almond butter 1/3 cup honey 2 scoops collagen peptides (optional for protein and bone health; you may use a scoop of protein powder, instead- though it might change the taste) 1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all dried ingredients- oats through sea salt and pulse until they are a meal.
2. Add in almond butter and blend until a ball forms. In drier climates, another 1-4 tbsp of almond butter may be needed. Pulse in collagen, and any other additions (see below) as desired.
3. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Let chill in fridge for 10-15 minutes to set and store in fridge to enjoy throughout the week! Optional additions-- pulse in at the end, before rolling:
-1/3 cup chocolate chips -1/3 cup raisins + 1/2 tsp cinnamon -1/3 cup dried cranberries + pinch ginger
P.S. Pregnant and looking to make these for postpartum? They freeze well in air-tight bags!