Are There Any “Best” Foods for Nursing Moms?

A Veteran Mother Talks Diet

Having nursed three kids, I know firsthand that a new mom has to remember that the baby isn’t the only person she needs to be concerned with feeding. In addition to all the other things that she has on her proverbial plate, she also has to be aware of the items that are literally on her plate: Yes, I mean the food that she’s putting into her belly. Since whatever she eats is also going to the little one, she needs to make smart food choices. So what are the best foods for nursing moms?

According to our pediatrician, there isn’t a foolproof list of “best foods for nursing moms.” Just like when she was pregnant, it’s important for Mom to eat a well-balanced diet meaning, proteins, dairy, fruits, veggies and all the other good stuff. In fact, since nutrients from the food she eats are going into her milk, a nursing mom should increase her calorie intake to make sure she’s getting enough nutrients as well. For me, that meant drinking lots of milk and snacking on almonds and granola bars in between meals. However, as a self-proclaimed “junk food junkie,” making smart choices while breastfeeding seemed like a chore. OK, they were chocolate granola bars.

Eating A Balanced Diet is the Way to Go

When I was nursing, I had a few “go-to” meals. Since I had read everywhere that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids aids in brain development, I ate a lot of fish which I love anyway. I broiled at least one piece of salmon a week. I also made a point of getting enough protein by preparing another go-to meal, beans and rice. This could be made in a few minutes by simply using canned beans and boil-in-bag rice. Eating vegetables was tough for me because I’m not a huge fan, but I figured out ways to add them into specific recipes like pasta sauce for example. Little did I know I’d be getting good practice for sneaking veggies onto the plates of three very picky eaters in just a few short years.

Our doctor told me that it’s hard for a mom to NOT give her baby the nutrition he needs if she’s eating well, taking her vitamins and also drinking lots of liquids to make sure she’s well hydrated.

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