What's great: The same blend of complex carbs, calcium, and lots of vitamins and minerals that make your morning flakes a smart choice are also what make them a great anytime snack.
Snack tip: Keep several varieties of cereal (and add-ins) on hand to avoid snacking boredom.
What's great: Cheese (especially the hard kinds) provides lots of calcium and protein, while crackers offer a satisfying crunch and lots of fiber.
Snack tip: Try reduced-sodium crackers or ones with reduced fat.
What's great: Lower in sodium than many cheeses with the same calcium punch, yogurt can be dressed up (toss in granola or dried fruit for a heartier snack), eaten plain, or used instead of sour cream for a lower-fat topping.
What's great: Blend 1 cup of low-fat plain yogurt with ice, 1 cup cut-up fruit, and a splash of juice for an easy sweet tooth satisfier without an overload of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Protein powerhouses that they are, nuts also contain healthy amounts of unsaturated fat and fiber.
Snack tip: Craving something salty? Go for a handful of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds.
What's great: Full of mono- and polyunsaturated fats (the good kinds), avocados also provide nursing moms fiber and vitamin C. The crackers? Great crunch and more fiber!
Snack tip: Avocados are best eaten freshly sliced.
What's great: Yes, they're full of protein and fat—but that's what makes eggs such a smart choice for nursing moms. (Choose a brand that's
fortified with DHA, that fatty acid good for babies'
developing brains, eyes, and hearts.)
What's great: Hummus is made from chickpeas (which provide a nice dose of protein and flavor) and tahini (a sesame paste rich in calcium). Add the pita and you have fiber, too.
Snack tip: Add sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, or grated carrots for more nutrition and crunch.
What's great: Chewy and satisfying, this is a snack you can really sink your teeth into. Opt for a multi- or whole-grain bagel when possible—but watch the size! A regular bagel is too big for a single serving. If you don't have a small bagel, eat half a whole one.
What's great: Choose whole-grain bread and add what you like—cheeses, lean meats, lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, grilled eggplant, shredded carrots, etc. You can create a complete nutrition package: veggies, fiber, and protein all at once!
What's great: Carrots and celery are high in potassium, vitamin A, fiber, and water. A ranch or spinach dip can provide protein.
What's great: A double-punch of protein and fiber! Adding PB to the apple can make you feel more satisfied—the protein and healthy fats will sustain you during your busy day.
Snack tip: Buy apples pre-sliced! Calcium ascorbate (vitamin C) will prevent browning.
What's great: Fiber! And the more colorful you make your salad, the more nutrients you consume. Plus, since most veggies have a water component, salad is also a good source of hydration.
What's great: Fiber and vitamins A, C, and E—fruit is loaded with nutritional good stuff. Like veggies, it also helps with new moms' water intake.
Snack tip: Fruit's a healthy, vitamin-rich, satisfying snack. Consider keeping it in the fridge: It can help thwart unhealthy snack choices!
Stock up. If any of the snacks can be prepped ahead, do so, and keep them in plastic containers. It will make grabbing a good, healthy choice when you feel hungry so much easier.
Hydrate! Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.