I love food. I have always loved food, perhaps a little too much when I was younger. I remember my mom calling to tell me she would be home late and to whip up something for dinner for myself. No problem! My favourite cuisine consisted of perogies, tater tots, toast, basically any kind of unhealthy carbohydrate. Don’t judge me though. I was just bordering my teenage years and didn’t quite grasp the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet.
Things have changed a bit. As a mommy, my little one is my number one priority, bar none. Everything I do and every choice that I make is determined by the needs of my baby girl. I want her to grow up to be a healthy, happy individual. One basic way that I have helped her to do so is by providing her with nutritious food. Since birth, I have supplied her with breastmilk, though I am now supplementing with formula. As well, we have started experimenting with different types of solid food as she gets older (more on starting solids here).
However, just like they tell us on airplanes to put our own oxygen masks on first before helping anyone else if there is an emergency, the same is true of being a parent. Us mamas need to make sure that we are providing ourselves with the necessary fuel to keep up with our growing babies. This is especially true while breastfeeding when your body needs extra calories in order to adequately produce milk. It can be hard. Some days I actually forget to eat. That sounds crazy, but any mother knows that this is super common. You are too busy making sure Baby is fed, changed, and content. By the time the first nap rolls around you realize that your stomach is hurting and you haven’t given yourself any nourishment except a cold cup of coffee. Yikes!
I am a busy mom. I am rarely home. Because of this, I am at risk for accidentally starving myself. In order to avoid this, I pack snacks in my diaper bag. In fact, I have made it part of my routine to pack snacks when I am packing diapers, onesies, and bibs. Some examples of my favourite snacks include:
Almonds- I always have a small container of unsalted whole almonds. They provide me with tons of protein and a bit of crunch. Don’t get me wrong. I would rather snack on chips but that is not healthy.
Apple slices and peanut butter- apples taste so much better when they are sliced. I also only buy natural peanut butter. At one time I could have eaten sugary peanut butter by the spoonful, but now the thought makes me gag. I much prefer natural peanut butter with no added ingredients. On a side note, if you are tired of stirring your natural peanut butter, keep it in the refrigerator upside down; it naturally mixes itself, no joke.
Granola or Energy bars- sometimes I keep a Larabar in my diaper bag, and sometimes I’ll pack homemade granola bars from a recipe that I found on Pinterest (recipe here). I also found awesome organic granola bars at Costco called ‘Made Good’. You can never go wrong with anything in bar form.
Baby carrots and snap peas with hummus- again, these are crunchy, nutritious, and easy to eat with one hand. Hummus adds healthy protein.
Berries- I buy what’s in season. Berries are really easy to eat, especially when you are in the car. They are full of antioxidants and give me a nice little boost of energy and sweetness from natural sugar.
Smoothies- I love blending a nice and healthy smoothie to take with me on the go. I usually fill it will fruit, almond milk, and a vegan protein powder to help me stay full.
I am not super adventurous with my snacks but I do make sure they are healthy. I also ALWAYS have my water bottle with me. When you are breastfeeding, especially at the beginning, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated quickly. Therefore, you need to guzzle water to maintain adequate hydration. I made the mistake of forgetting to drink water and my lips literally cracked and bled. Not fun. I have since learned from my mistakes.
Just remember that you are just as important as your babe. You need to make sure that you are healthy and strong in order to properly care for your little one. It’s easier said than done, I know, but hopefully having a few snack tips will help!
Do you have any snacking tips for a busy mama? I would love to hear them!