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:
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 and bars, 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.
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.
As a breastfeeding mom, you may worry if you are making enough breast milk. Many moms do. You want to make sure that your little one is getting everything he needs to grow big and strong.
The good news is that most moms will make as much milk as their baby needs. Milk supply works on a supply and demand basis the majority of the time.
However, there are a variety of things that can cause a temporary decrease in mom’s milk supply. There are also are moms who always struggle to make enough for their babies.
One easy way to increase milk supply is through your diet. There are foods that are called galactagogues, which means they help increase milk production. They are also referred to as lactogenic foods. If you are looking for foods to increase your milk supply, you have many tasty options to choose from.
Grains That Increase Milk Supply
Oats are a popular galactagogue. One great thing about oats is how versatile they are. Cooked oats or overnight oats are a popular choice for breakfast. But you also can add oats to cookies, muffins, and smoothies. Some cooks even put it in their meatloaf recipe.
Oat milk has become a popular dairy alternative. Cooking up some oatmeal with oat milk is an excellent way to get a good dose of this lactogenic food. Many mamas LOVE mixing Milk Dust protein powder with oatmilk in smoothies. It is delicious, and blends up super creamy.
Barley is another grain that helps with milk production. It is believed that a polysaccharide in barley can increase the milk making hormone, prolactin. It is typically used in soups and stews. But you can get creative in your kitchen and come up with other ways to incorporate some barley into your diet.
Barley malt syrup has the same lactogenic properties as the grain. It can be used as a sweetener in drinks or for baking. Look for a brand that does not add additional sweeteners.
Brown rice is another grain that is believed to help moms make milk. Brown rice also adds fiber to your diet and can be substituted any time that white rice is used.Milk Dust uses brown rice protein as part of the unique formula to help so many mamas increase their milk supply.
Protein rich foods aid in robust milk production. Meal prep can help busy nursing moms increase their protein intake. Many mamas underestimate the power of protein for milk supply, and immediately jump to the carb-heavy, sugary snacks as a quick fix to boost their caloric intake, rather than adding more protein-rich foods. Many breastfeeding mamas do not crave protein like they do sugar, so Milk Dust is an amazing option that offers the essential amino acids from protien for new mommies, as well as a delicious, sweet taste!
Make a dozen Hard-boiled eggs once a week. Store them in the fridge.
Peel and eat one or two by itself
Make an egg salad sandwich
Chop up and add to your favorite salad.
Cook several chicken breasts all at once in the crockpot or oven.
Milk Dust protein powder can be added to make delicious smoothies.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
Fenugreek is a very popular galactagogue. It is an herb that is used in many cultures to increase milk supply. While many moms take it in capsule form or as a tincture, it can also be brewed as a tea or added to foods. Fenugreek is the most widely researched herb when it comes to milk supply and lactation, and it is an essential part of our formula.
You can tell when a mom is consuming a lot of fenugreek because it will give her body a maple syrup smell. This is why we do not soley use Fenugreek in our herb blend. High-doses of fenugreek can cause stomach issues, a maple syrup smell and very rarely, the opposite affect for some mothers. We use a smaller does of Fenugreek, in combination with other lactogenic herbs to ensure our customers get the best herb blend possible.
Fennel seeds are another popular herb used by women to help make more milk. This herb has a taste that is similar to licorice. Fennel is also available as a vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Fennel seeds are also an important piece in our lactation herb blend for Milk Dust.
Dates are a yummy fruit that helps mamas build a good milk supply. Delicious by themselves, they are also a popular ingredient in energy balls. Dates, oats and Milk Dust can create a fabulous energy-ball snack, that breastfeeding mamas can quickly grab for a big milk boost.
Pumpkin is a galactagogue that can be used in muffins, cookies, pancakes, or to make soup. There are also some really yummy snacks you can make using pumpkin and Milk Dust.
Making a pumpkin pie or pudding and adding Milk Dust will make it extra tasty and have extra milk boosting properties. Fenugreek has a nutty and maple flavor profile that complements the taste of pumpkin.
Papaya is a lactogenic fruit that can be eaten raw if it is ripe. Green papaya should be cooked. You can also add frozen papaya chunks into lactation smoothies for a delicious, creamy texture!
Nursing moms are encouraged to eat a lot of dark leafy green veggies to help them produce lots of milk. Dark, leafy greens like Kale, Spinch, Arugela and Broccoli are fabulous for adding iron, phytonutrients, calcium and more. Milk Dust has spinach, spirulina and chlorella in the formula to help nursing mothers get plenty of these vitamins in one shake.
Other Food Products
Brewer’s yeast has long been used by mamas who are trying to increase their milk production. It is a dietary supplement that is available as a powder, flakes, or liquid. It can be added to baked goods as well as smoothies or pancakes.
Combining the Top Foods to Increase Milk Supply
For the mama who is looking to get the most out of her time in the kitchen, many of these lactogenic foods can be combined.
Think pumpkin oatmeal muffins with a boost of brewer’s yeast and fenugreek.
Lactogenic snack foods have become very popular. They are available in different flavor varieties. And who doesn’t love a time saving convenience food? Unfortunately, many of the prepared lactation are full of sugar and less-than healthy options. Milk Dust Bars will be available soon, which are full of protein, healthy ingredients, low in sugar, and milk-boosting! Some other prepared foods include the list below. Keep them on hand for times when you will need something on-the-go, or a sweet fix.
There is very little reasearch on food sthat will actually decrease milk supply, Some anecdotal findings, where mothers ate very large quantities of peppermint, sage or parsely, noticed a decrease in supply. Keep in mind, that these herbs will only cause a decrease in supply if taken in very large quantities.
If you are really struggling to make enough milk be sure to contact a lactation consultant. She can help you figure out what is causing your low milk supply and come up with the best plan to help you maximize your milk production.
This is an amazing and simple lactation “nice” cream recipe you can literally eat every night, or for breakfast if you want too!
What is lactation “nice” cream?
Nice cream is made from frozen bananas, which blend into a creamy consistency. You can also get a similar effect with frozen avocados. Both give a texture just like ice cream! When combined with a scoop of Milk Dust, you get added protein, added flavor and sweetness, and lots of milk-boosting ingredients all in one!
Curb that nursing-sweet tooth with ice cream for breakfast!
Yes, you can absolutely eat this for breakfast if you like. Seriously, there isn’t anything “bad” or unhealthy, and it tastes so good! Or, grab some after those super late-night feeds, when you are cravings something sweet and satisfying. This will do the trick!
Add everything to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy by adding small amounts of milk of choice to get the desired consistency for your nice cream. You can also blend fresh, then put in a pan lined with parchment paper to eat later! The key is to allow it to de-thaw for about 30 minutes in order to scoop some creamy nice scream into your bowl! The green color is from the super foods in Milk Dust. These include Chlorella, Spirulina and spinach. It makes a pretty, green color! Top with toppings of choice like berries, chocolate or nuts!
Maternal nutrition requirements increase and change throughout pregnancy and lactation, and there are key nutritional requirements mothers need to have a healthy pregnancy and lactation experience. To encourage education around the topic of micro and macro nutrients during pregnancy and lactation, we’ve got a lot of nutritional advice for new mommies to go over in this post. To make is simpler for easier reading, we are also creating an Ebookfor all new mommies to keep and refer too.
Supporting maternal nutritional requirements both during pregnancy and lactation is our number one goal, so we thought we’d answer an important question:
What is nutrition for pregnancy and lactation?
Nutrition for pregnancy and lactation simply means the necessary micro and macro nutrients for mothers to support a growing baby and lactation. There are increased nutritional needs during both pregnancy and lactation, that if not addressed, can cause issues with baby’s development and low milk supply. Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation consists of:
Essential macro nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins and fats
Essential micro nutrients including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and more
Essential hydration from water and electrolytes
A healthy diet that meets the nutritional needs including these macro and micro nutrients
What are the key nutritional requirements for pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are key nutritional requirements that are increased, which is why prenatal vitamins and healthy diet are so important. Here are the key nutritional requirements every pregnant mother needs to be aware of:
Folate 600–800 micrograms
Calcium: 1200 milligrams
Iron: 27 milligrams ‘
Protein 75-100 grams
Vitamins B6 1.9 mg/day
Vitamin B12 2.6 μg/day
300 calories in the 2nd and 3rd trimester
These are the key nutritional requirements during pregnancy, but not the only nutritional requirements pregnant mothers should be aware of.
A prenatal vitamin will help cover all your basis when it comes to getting adequate amounts of all the key nutrients, but diet is really important for consuming fresh, real nutrients.
What to eat during pregnancy to meet the nutritional needs:
Edamame, Lentils + Asparagus for Folate:
Folate is essential for baby’s development, especially in the first trimester. Folate is not to be confused with folic acid, which is the synthetic form. Milk Dust is an awesome supplement for pregnant mamas because it offers L-methylfolate, rather than synthetic folic acid. This is the live version that is easier to absorb, and better for many women with the 5-MTHF gene mutation. Adding some lentil soup, cooked edamame and roasted aparagus to your pregnancy diet can help ensure you are consuming real food sources of folate to supplement your prenatal vitamin.
Chia Seeds, Yogurt + Salmon for Calcium:
Calcium plays an important role for baby’s development, especially during the last trimester as it is transferred directly to growing baby. Rather than focusing on a supplement to do all the work, try adding chia seed puddings to your daily routine, salmon once a week for dinner and left overs and yogurt parfaits for breakfast or dessert. Milk Dust also has chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds as a part of our protein blend, to help fill your diet with the super-food benefits of these seeds.
Spinach, Shellfish + Legumes for Iron:
Iron levels are significantly increased during pregnancy, and many new mothers can be diagnosed with anemia because of low iron intake. Adding spinach to your Milk Dust smoothies is an easy and quick way to consume more spinach every day, as well as adding more beans like lentils, chickpeas and peas to your salads can help if you aren’t a big meat eater. Of course red meat is a great source as well, and adding some steak and beans to your salad is an awesome way to eat a very nutritious meal.
More Beans and Chicken for Vitamin B6 and B12:
Beans are nutritional powerhouses, and easy to add to many dishes. Beans with cauliflower rice and roasted chicken is a great meal option for a healthy, satisfying dinner full of B vitamins both you and baby need. Scrambled eggs with beans, peppers and salsa is also a great way to start your day if you want to consume more B vitamins, and Milk Dust of course has added vitamin B12.
Egg Yolks for Vitamin D:
Scramble up all the eggs, not just the whites to get the additional benefits of vitamin D. Of course the sunshine is another awesome way, and sometimes the best way to get your vitamin D intake, but isn’t always realistic. If you struggle with having the time to scramble up and cook eggs in the morning, try baking omelet/egg cups and storing them to quickly grab for snacks and breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs are also great on top of salads or for quick and easy snacks.
There you have some healthy foods to eat while pregnant, which will encourage meeting the important nutritional needs and support supplementation with a prenatal vitamin. But what happens after baby comes? How do nutritional needs change?
Nutritional needs during lactation, different from pregnancy:
Once baby arrives, and breastfeeding begins, postpartum nutritional needs change and adapt from pregnancy. Many of the key nutritional requirements during pregnancy are still important for postpartum. There are also additional nutritional needs breastfeeding mothers need to meet.
Key nutritional requirements for lactation and postpartum:
Increased caloric demands around 500 calories
Vitamin C 115 mg/day
Chromium 44 μg/day (AI)
Magnesium 360 mg/day
Zinc 13 mg/day
Increased caloric intake around 500 calories for lactation:
One of the main nutritional requirements during lactation is the increased need for calories. Many of these extra calories can come from stored nutrition, or body fat. This is the purpose of stored fat and nutrients during pregnancy, so many mothers don’t need to compensate for the caloric demands to produce a healthy milk supply. But, if a healthy diet while breastfeeding doesn’t offer essential nutrients, the body can not function properly during this process. If nutritional needs are not met, then the body may want to slow down milk production and hold on to stored fat. This is why we created Milk Dust as a product to support the nutritional needs by offering very nutrient-dense calories, with important nutrients to support healthy lactation. Increasing caloric intake isn’t always necessary, but caloric needs are increased during lactation.
Increased Vitamin C requirements:
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it passes through breast milk to baby. Baby’s intake of vitamin C is dependent upon the mother’s intake, so ensuring a healthy diet full of colorful fruits and veggies can dramatically increase the amount of vitamin C available for baby.
Chromium Needs Increased:
Chromium is essential for blood glucose control both during pregnancy and postpartum. Breastfeeding mothers need this essential mineral for proper functioning as new mommies transition from pregnancy to lactation.
After delivery, glucose tolerance generally reverts to normal, but women are at a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes (124). In fact, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women diagnosed with gestational diabetes is more than 7-fold higher than women not diagnosed with gestational diabetes
Adding broccoli and turkey to your diet postpartum can help increase your chromium intake, as well as making smoothies with Milk Dust because of the added chromium in our formula.
Increased Magnesium Needs:
Magnesium is an important mineral found in meats, grains, vegetables and beans. Often times new mothers aren’t getting enough magnesium. Magnesium is particlularly important during lactation because it plays a significant role in hydration, muscle relaxation, energy production and crucially, the deactivation of adrenaline.
Adrenaline is a stress hormone, which can interfere with the production and let down of milk. Because of that, keeping stress levels low is really important for breastfeeding.
During lactation, mothers can actually absorb more zinc to help fill the increased needs for mother and baby. Zinc also plays a role in helping mothers heal after birth.
The requirements for zinc during lactation are greater than those during pregnancy, especially during the early weeks postpartum. Therefore, lactation poses a significant threat to maternal zinc homeostasis, particularly in populations with chronically low dietary zinc intakes
Pumpkin seeds are great sources of zinc, in addition to meat, beans, seeds and nuts. Adding these to your daily diet is really important to increasing your zinc intake during lactation, as well as using our lactation protein powder made with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds to help with zinc needs!
Remember, your nutrition during pregnancy and lactation should not be left overs. You deserve high-quality, nutrient dense foods to support the miracle of pregnancy and lactation.
Top Foods To Meet Nutritional Needs For Pregnancy And Lactation:
As you can see from the post, there are some repeated food suggestions to help you get enough nutrients, both macro and micro in your diet to meet the nutritional demands. Here is the list of those top foods we mentioned:
Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, edamame
Chicken + Turkey
How Milk Dust supports nutritional needs during lactation:
Milk Dust is an awesome solution for new mommies to nourish their bodies postpartum. It is full of protein, micro nutrients, minerals and tastes great! It blends really well with fruits and veggies, and we have a free lactation recipe book that helps guide you on what to blend it with.Milk Dust is easy, simple and no clean up, making it a perfect solution for new mommies to get the nutrition they need during lactation.
New mother’s need to understand their key nutritional needs during pregnancy and lactation for optimal health and functioning.