Many vegan mamas wonder what some good snack ideas are, that will increase milk supply, without deviating from their vegan diet. Fortunately, there are actually many healthy vegan snacks that will support a healthy milk supply on the market and in grocery stores. The key is knowing which foods are going to give you the most milk-bang for your food buck!
Here at Milk Dust, we focus on allergy-friendly products, free of dairy, soy, gluten and GMOS. Most of the time, that puts us in the Vegan category for our products, and we believe a vegan diet can be extremely healthy for both mama and baby if the right fooods are eaten.
Let's dive into some reasons a vegan diet may cause your milk supply to dip, and some amazing snack ideas to help pick that milk supply back up!
Reasons a vegan diet may cause a drop in milk supply:
Diet and nutrition play a major role in breastfeeding health and milk supply. Key vitamins and minerals are needed to support a lactating mama (get our free pdf book on nutrients for pregnancy and lactation!)
A vegan diet in particular does eliminate some highly nutrient-dense foods like steak, eggs, salmon, grass-fed milk, grass-fed yogurt and lean poultry. If you are vegan, you may be missing some nutrients that are super important during lactation.
4 vitamins and nutrients vegans are missing, that may cause a drop in milk supply:
Here is a small list of vitamins and nutrients vegans need to be careful not to miss, in order to ensure a healthy milk supply:
Vitamin B 12: This vitamin is super important to baby during breasteeding, and a mother's body needs to consume this vitamin. It can't be made in the body. The best sources of this vitam are meat sources, but there are plant sources as well. We formulated our Milk Dust protein powder and bars to include methylated vitamin B12 for easier absorption.
Protein: Protein can be harder to get in as a vegan, especially protein sources with full amino-acid profiles. Most plan proteins have partial amino acid profiles, while animal sources have the full amino acid profiles. Our protein formula in particular contains all amino acid profiles for a complete protein source, including Quinoa and Spirulina. Breastfeeding mamas need extra protein to support their bodies and baby's. Protein does enter the breast milk, meaning baby needs it too!
Iron: Iron is found most widely in meats, which is why many vegans can find themselves low in iron. Iron is also essential for postpartum recovery and hormonal function, which is important for healthy lactation. This is why we incluced Spirulina in our formula. It is an amazing superfood for breasteeding mamas! "Also, comparatively, spirulina has astonishing contents of iron and folic acid, which is approximately 100 times the RDA requirement! Moreover, it is readily digestible and bio-available. History also tells us that it was the food of the ancient Aztecs and NASA hails it as the food of the future." (source).
Zinc: This may sound surprising because many beans are high in zinc, but the phytic acid in these plants can hinder zinc absorption. That is why soaking your beans and nuts are so important! It breaks down the phytic acid, so you can better absrob the zinc and other nutrients. "Zinc is essential as a component of at least 300 enzymes in breastmilk. It also plays a role in metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Further, it is essential for cell differentiation and body growth." (source)
These are just 4 of the main nutrients vegans may be deficient in, which could cause a drop in milk supply. Eating amazing vegan snacks can really help resolve this issue, and properly nourish mama and baby!
The best vegan snacks for lactation:
Milk Dust Lactation Bars:
Our Milk Dust lactation bars are full of protein, free of dairy, soy, gluten and GMOs, and taste amazing! If you are a vegan mama craving sugar, these bars will absolutely help you! We formulated them specifically for mamas who prefer plant-based proteins, have babies who are allergic to common foods, or need something easier to digest than many of the protein bars on the market! With our complete, plant-based protein formula, we also have essential nutrients for breastfeeding mamas. In addition to our nutritional profile, we offer our special herb blend to help increase your milk supply naturally.
Trail mix made with fresh berries and soaked nuts can be an amazing snack for vegan mamas! The plant-protein, antioxidants, fiber, low sugar and nutritional profile make it a fabulous choice. Trail mix with dried fruit however, can be difficult on the digestive system, as well as high in sugar, so keep the dried fruit to a minimum. Add fresh berries, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and some vegan chocolate chips for a sweet and salty snack!
Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl:
Our smoothies with Milk Dust protein powder are FULL of everything our bars have to offer, just on steriods. The serving is larger, and the fact that you can blend our protein powder with other essential nutrients to make a huge smoothie bowl is the perfect snack! Try blending our Milk Dust protein powder
(full of plant-based protein, lactation-boosting herbs and essential vitamins and minerals for breastfeeding) with a frozen banana, blueberries and a fresh nut milk. Top it with chia seeds and fresh berries, and you will have a huge snack with so many nutrients your body needs in one place!
Eziekiel Toast with Avocado:
Avocado toast is all the rage, and it is really a great snack. Make sure to put your avocado on Ezeikiel toast, which is full of plant-based protein and other essential nutrients vegan mamas need! This one is super quick and easy for those busy mornings or late-night feedings.
This is a fun one because by combining spirulina with a grain, you are getting a complete amino acid profile and a larger nutrient profile. Popcorn is a great, light and healthy snack, and Spirulina packs a huge superfood punch. Combine those together for snack time, and you are golden. Most recipes also call for nutritional yeast, which is full of vitamin B 12! Here is a good one you can try.
Chia Seed Pudding:
There are so many benefits to chia seeds! We of course have them in our Milk Dust protein powder
but you can make some delicious pudding recipes with just chia seeds. Chia seeds pack in a lot of various nutrients, and combined with a healhty milk like coconut milk, you can creally give your milk supply a boost. Try this coconut chia seed pudding
recipe to get you started.
Apples and Nut Butter:
This one is so simple, but a nut butter can be a great way to get those plant-based proteins in, with the nutritional benefits of apples too! Make sure to get a good nut butter, that is all natural. This is key to ensuring you get the most nutrients and protein, with the least amount of sugar. Drizzle some melted, vegan chocolate over the top, and you will be so satisfied.
Carrots and Hummus:
You could also use a vegan chip, cucmbers, a healthy pita or nut crackers to dip in your hummus. Chickpeas are another powerful food that offer a lot of plant-based protein and other vitamins and minerals. Hummus is on the list for breastfeeding snacks whether you are vegan or not, and offers a great, satisfying snack option.
There you have our list of the best vegan lactation snacks. There are many healthy options as a vegan breastfeeding mama, and the key is to make sure you are making healthy choices most of the time. If you are struggline with eating healthy, or cravings sugar, make sure to hop on our free, 10-day detox plan
. It isn't a vegan plan, but it is very easy to substitute some smoothie and recipes and still follow right along!
The best vegan lactation snacks for breastfeeding mamas.