We asked registered dietitian and Motherly nutrition expert Shannan Monson to share her top pantry picks for healthy breastfeeding, and also to come to our house and be our personal chef . She sounded pretty open to the idea so we’re keeping our fingers crossed, and in the meantime, check out her pantry must-haves:

With both of my pregnancies I’ve found it pretty hard to have healthy food prepped for after baby’s arrival because well, due dates are a flexible thing aren’t they? ? (And fresh food spoils with all that waiting.)

So instead of focusing on stocking the fridge, I’ve put together my most nutritious must-have pantry items, that, paired with healthy fruits and vegetables, will keep both mom and baby fed and happy...and stay fresh! (But still, come on baby!)


A trendy food for good reason–quinoa is packed full of complex carbohydrates and B-vitamins that provide immediate energy–perfect for a quick pick-me-up for mom and an extra milk boost for baby. And, with a cook time coming in at 10 minutes flat, definitely a pantry winner.

Ways to eat:

Plain with butter and salt and pepper, mixed in scrambled eggs, or in a heart grain bowl with roasted veggies and cheese.


Flaxseed is a galactagogue, which is just a fancy way of saying it may help increase milk production. Plus, it’s full of good-digestion promoting fiber, which can help, you know, move things along again, after baby arrives. So basically, a good idea.

Ways to eat:

Whole in breads, muffins, or sprinkled on salads or freshly ground in yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.

Goji berries

Full of powerful antioxidants to help your body recover and baby grow strong, goji berries are an easy pantry staple to add to just about whatever you like or eat by the handful. While nursing a baby. Which you probably will.

Ways to eat:

By the handful, on top of smoothie bowls, mixed in grain bowls or oats, on top of salads.

Nut butter

A high-protein, energy packed, eat-by-the-spoonful favorite, nut butters are the fast food of the protein world, which your busy body’s going to need a lot of.

Ways to eat:

In energy bites, no-bake cookies (mama, your body is working hard–go for it), on apple or pear slices, with crackers or toast.

Chia seeds

These tiny little seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids and lots of energy in a small amount, which as a new mom, makes life much easier.

Ways to eat:

In chia pudding (mixed with almond milk), smoothies, energy bites, as an egg substitute, in breads, muffins, and on salads. Basically anywhere.

Shopping list:

Fruits & Veggies:

To make life easier on you, I’ve put together my go-to produce items over at Instacart, so when baby comes you can simply click a button and voila, fresh produce, delivered. And, you can use code Motherly5 to get $5 in free groceries and a free delivery (for first time customers). Boom.?


Fill your freezer with seafood, chicken, pork and other meats, and if possible, freeze in the appropriate portion sizes for your family. Something that’s really helpful is chopping and marinating/seasoning protein before freezing, then you can easily put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and cook in the crockpot with some veggies in the morning.


Some babies are sensitive to dairy, even just a little in mama’s milk, so some moms decide to steer clear, at least for the first few weeks. Almond milk and coconut milk are good milk alternatives, and goat cheese or nutritional yeast are good options to replace cheese.

Share with Motherly: Do you have a superfood recipe for new moms you love?