With my son’s recent allergy to cow’s milk, I am reminded how I removed all dairy from my diet when we were breastfeeding. Ri had developed eczema and was extremely fussy and colicky.
The doctor found this fascinating how we had to remove all dairy products to ease up on the fussiness.
My son and I had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship, but at one point he became incredibly fussy. I started doing my research and found that milk was one of the first things that needed to go.
Being a dairy free breastfeeding mom isn’t as hard as it seems. Like most other diets, it required planning ahead of time and making sure I had dairy free snacks available. We’re once again checking those same labels and making sure my son isn’t getting any milk, just like we did when I breastfeed.
9 Dairy Free Snacks For Nursing Moms
Eggs are number one on my list for so many reasons. Eggs are a perfect dairy free snack for nursing moms. One of my favorite ways to have eggs is to hard boil the eggs to take on the road.
Nuts are a great snack for anyone, especially as for a dairy free diet!
This is one of my favorite dairy free snacks for nursing moms. You can take any nut of your choosing with you to go. Pack some in your diaper bag in a resealable container so you always have a dairy free snack available.
In addition to packing raw nuts, almond milk is a great substitute for milk. Some brands of almond milk are really high in sugar, so watch out for that. Also get an almond milk that’s fortified with calcium so you won’t miss out on any nutrients you’d normally get with cow’s milk.
There isn’t a fruit out there you can’t have on a dairy free diet!
I love so many different fruits now after adding them to my dairy free diet while nursing. One dessert I discovered was one ingredient banana ice cream.
That’s right. One whole ingredient in a tasty “ice cream.”
I can barely navigate my way around the kitchen, but the banana ice cream is so easy anyone can do it.
All you do is chop up some ripe bananas and freeze them for a few hours. Place the frozen banana slices into a food processor or blender, and watch magic happen. It’s actually magic. You’ll see an ice cream like consistency forming! You can add some of your other dairy free snacks and fruits to the one ingredient banana ice cream or just eat it as is! So yummy.
Here are a few more of my favorite dairy free fruit snacks while nursing:
- Apples and nut butter
- Sliced fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Strawberry banana smoothie with almond milk
- Banana slices, honey, and cinnamon
Like fruit, you can have all veggies. You’ll want to make sure you prepare them properly without any milk!
Here are a few veggie snack ideas:
- Kale chips
- Sweet potato fries
- Celery sticks with nut butter
- Cucumber and tomatoes
- Raw fresh cut veggies (think carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers) and hummus
- Mashed avocado with raw cut veggies
5. Nut Butter and Wheat Toast/Crackers
Dairy Free peanut butter with dairy free wheat bread was one of my main go-to snacks. With a colicky baby, making a meal seemed impossible. I’ve become proficient at making a variety of different snacks and meals one handed thanks to my clingy, colicky, yet ever so sweet boy. You will need to check labels for both the nut butter and the wheat bread or cracker.
6. Dark Chocolate Bars
I was a bit devastated that I’d have to give up milk chocolate. I love dessert and I love my sweet snacks. I couldn’t give up all chocolate!
I have such a sweet tooth, and I was able to satisfy my chocolate cravings with these dairy free dark chocolate bars. So so good.
With venturing into the chocolate world, you must look at labels.
7. Popcorn – BUTTER FREE!
This one is a tricky one, but you’ll want to stick to kettle corn. I have found this popcorn to satisfy a popcorn craving all while remaining dairy free.
You can’t have any buttery flavor (even if it’s artificial!), so you’ll have to add in some flavors if you don’t prefer plain popcorn. I love cinnamon on my popcorn. You can also add a little coconut oil to your dairy free popcorn for a little of that movie popcorn quality.
8. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is one of my all time favorite snacks. I rediscovered my love for the jerky when having to go dairy free. Most beef jerky comes in a resealable bag, making it a perfect snack for this working and pumping mama.
I’ve typically found that all beef jerky is dairy free in a package form, but check your labels always. Especially with various flavors, you never know what you could get yourself into.
9. Lunch Meat Lettuce Roll Ups
I love sandwiches, so my heart was broken when I found out that a lot of lunch meats can contain milk!
Devastated doesn’t even cover it. One of my go-to snacks was lunch meat, a slice of American cheese and lettuce roll ups. I rolled a piece of meat and a slice of cheese together inside a lettuce leaf, and snacked away. I really didn’t want to give up my lunch meat (or cheese, but we won’t go there), so I did my research and found that Boar’s Head and Applegate Farms were dairy free!
You will have to be aware of potential cross contamination in the lunch meat! I mostly stuck with the prepackaged meat from Applegate Farms to satisfy my craving for dairy free lunch meat.
Additional Tips For Finding Dairy Free Snacks While Nursing
- Check Your Labels. I cannot stress this enough. You need to check all labels for those hidden proteins that can be found in milk, like Casein and Whey.
- Calorie Count. When breastfeeding you need an additional 500 calories a day. Dairy products can provide a lot of calories and you need to make sure you are eating enough to keep you and baby nourished while on a dairy free diet.
- Be Aware Of Cross Contamination. This is a tough one, but a necessary step in maintaining a dairy free diet while nursing. I’m thinking of a deli counter slicing cheese and deli meats on the same slicer and utensils used for cooking. It’s best to prepare your own food so you can potentially avoid any hidden milk allergen. If you plan on going out to eat, most chains and fast food restaurants have their ingredients used to prepare foods listed on their website! This is really helpful when dealing with an allergy and wanting to get outside the house.
- Make Sure Your Diet Is Well Balanced. It’s easy to get into a food rut when you’re cutting down on something. Make sure you’re getting all of your nutrients in your dairy free diet by eating nutrient rich foods such as salmon/fish, leafy greens, beans, nuts, and fruits.
Additional Resources For Maintaining A Dairy Free Diet While Nursing
- KellyMom: Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies
- La Leche League: Breastfeeding and Allergies
- Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania: Breastfeeding A Baby With Food Allergies
Did you go dairy free while nursing? Does your child have a food allergy?