As a new or long-term breast feeding mum, life is manic and it’s easy to forget to do the simplest things like – oh, you know, eat!
Between the feeds, endless washing, nappy changes, feeds, feeds, and more feeds – even if your sleep deprived crazy brain does remember to eat, it’s often near impossible to find the time to fix yourself something!
But you can’t expect to run on empty and it not affect your mood, your memory, your decision making skills, your energy and potentially your supply. Your body needs extra nutrients when breast feeding, so it is important that when you are snacking, those snacks contain nutritious ingredients
As breast feeding mummas, we are hungry and thirsty ALL OF THE TIME. And there’s a good reason for that. To produce milk, our body needs an extra 500 calories, or 2000 kJ per day. Luckily, our body works efficiently to tap into our extra fat reserves laid down during pregnancy. It burns up those fat reserves to get some of those calories. Although, some women don’t have a lot of fat stores to draw on in the first place and need to ensure that they are eating enough food.
I see a lot of women start to drastically restrict their calories after birth, in order to lose the baby weight. This is understandable, though it can sometimes be at the risk of their supply dropping. Now, supply issues can be due to a wide range of things – not just food, but it’s important to stay well nourished and be getting ENOUGH FOOD while breast feeding.
It’s definitely not the time to start crazy dieting, skipping meals or cutting out food groups.
Compared to someone who isn’t breast feeding, your body requires MORE of many nutrients when feeding . These include:
Iodine -Fish and shellfish, dairy, bread and seaweed
Calcium – Dairy foods (yoghurt, cheese and milk), dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, fish with edible bones (such as sardines or tinned salmon)
Vitamin B12 – Meat, eggs, fish and dairy
Fibre – You actually need 20% extra fibre per day (or 5 grams). This equates to approximately 4 almonds, 1 large apple, 2.5 cups brown rice, 1/3 cup cooked lentils. Try nuts and seeds, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables
Folate – Lentils and beans, broccoli, asparagus and spinach
Choline – Eggs, seafood, chicken and turkey
Vitamin C – Papaya, red capsicum, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit and cauliflower
Vitamin E – Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, swiss chard, avocado
Iodine – Oysters, tinned salmon, seaweed (eg. Sushi), bread Zinc – Beef, lamb, oysters, pumpkin seeds, turkey, quinoa, prawns
Protein – Nuts and seeds, meat, eggs, seafood, dairy, wholegrains, quinoa
Carbohydrate – essential to provide the energy required for milk production. Oats and brown rice are a perfect breast feeding carbohydrate as they help to boost milk production (if you have an over-supply, you might want to have a smaller portion).
Water – Did you know that you require an extra 300 ml (a little over 1 cup) on top of what you would normally drink? Aim for a minimum of 2 litres per day. You may need more depending on your height, weight and if you are exercising.
NUTRITIOUS BREAST FEEDING SNACKS
CLICK THE PHOTOS FOR THE RECIPES
1. Sweet Potato, Coconut and Chai Loaf
2. Little Egg and Cherry Tomato Tarts
3. Easy Lactation Cookies
To help boost supply, but also a tasty snack
Via Jamie Oliver.
This is my daily snack and Jamie’s recipe will hit the spot (just skip the salt).
5. The Easiest Banana Bread, Ever
Healthy food is often the simplest food. Packed full of fibre, good quality carbohydrates, vitamin B for energy and more…
7. Intolerance Friendly Banana Bread
8. Cheesy Baked Quinoa and Zucchini Cups
9. Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast
Choose a good quality bread, natural peanut butter (where the only ingredients are peanuts) and you have a delicious and stupidly simple snack that you can make without having to think
10. Pumpkin, Kale and Fetta Frittata
via The Alimental Sage
Whack ingredients in the tray, and pop in the oven! Snacks sorted
11. Go-to Granola
Via Laura Ford Nutriton
Make a big batch and munch on it as a snack or top with your favourite milk and fruit
12. Celery + Peanut Butter + Sesame Seeds
Simple is delicious
If nuts are a no-go for you, try a seed butter such as sunflower seed butter available from supermarkets and health food stores
13. Porridge with Peanut Butter or Tahini, and Nutmeg
My favourite combo, adding a dollop of healthy fats and delicious flavour
14. Peaches with Ricotta and Crushed Nuts
Cut a peach in half and roast in the oven – 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. You don’t even have to roast if you have no time, simply serve as is. Serve topped with a dollop of ricotta and crushed nuts and maybe a sneaky drizzle of maple syrup
15. Bircher Muesli
via The Healthy Chef
Make a batch and portion into snack sized serves to last you the next couple of days
16. Toast with Sliced Peaches and Ricotta
A spread of ricotta, some sliced peaches, and you are good to go
Make sure you are getting 2 pieces per day! Get your fruit out first thing in the morning and place where you breast feed, giving you easy access for snacking while feeding. I always have a banana in our nappy bag for emergencies
18. Avocado and Fetta on Toast
Carbohydrate + healthy fats + protein = perfection!
Boil a batch of eggs and snack on them cold. Add to salads to boost the protein. I do this every couple of days
20. Bliss Balls
via The Biting Truth
Tara is a university qualified nutritionist, renowned for her no-nonsense approach to nutrition and health. She helps families learn how to live a healthy life without the need for fad diets or expensive crazy ingredients. Just real food.