The recommended daily calorie intake for nursing women is about 330 calories (or roughly 1/4) more than what they consumed before pregnancy. Here are our tips for getting those calories the smart way.
Keep snacks in your baby's nursery room so you can stay energized throughout the day. Some easy ones that don't require two hands to eat: grapes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, squeezable yogurt packs.
Stock your pantry full of healthy, easy-to-eat, and prepared foods. High-fiber cereal, instant oatmeal, microwaveable veggies, low-fat yogurt, bananas, and low-fat popcorn all make nutritious snacks. Another good idea: Keep smoothie ingredients around so you can whip up a filling, good-for-you snack.
Don't skip meals even with your busy schedule. Try making healthy dinners in bulk to freeze the leftovers for later. Vegetable lasagnas and soups can easily be made in large portions and put to use as future lunches or dinners. Our Tortilla Soup will take you only 15 minutes to prepare.
It's important to stay hydrated throughout breastfeeding, so keep a water bottle with you. To cut back on liquid calories, limit the amount of sweetened beverages you drink. Nursing mothers can have a little bit of caffeine -- but stick to less than 5 ounces per day so Baby doesn't become jittery or irritable.
Breakfast might seem like the one meal you just don't have time for, but there are a few quick, healthy options. Add berries to cereal or oatmeal, top a bagel with cottage cheese, add chopped peppers and carrots to your standard cream cheese bagel, or sprinkle dried fruit and granola into nonfat yogurt.
Try our recipe for Homemade Granola. It's easy to make and store.
Ordering takeout occasionally is a nice break from preparing dinner, but you can also use a slow cooker to put together a full meal with minimal effort.
Our Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashews is a great dinner option for busy breastfeeding moms.
Your Vegetarian Diet
Your Vegetarian Diet
Breastfeeding moms who follow a vegetarian diet are safe to stick to their meatless meals. Eating animal-derived foods such as dairy products supplies plenty of calcium and protein. For moms who stay away from milk derivatives, a vitamin B-12 supplement is recommended, but like all other supplements, you should consult your doctor first.
If you love spicy foods, it's fine to continue eating them while you're breastfeeding. Anything spicy or gassy shouldn't bother your baby, but keep an eye out for possible allergic reactions that occur within several hours of nursing.
As you're picking and choosing what to eat for snacks and meals, rest assured that Baby enjoys the flavors that come through in your milk. Simply eat right and keep watch over your newborn for any sensitivity or allergic reaction.
Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.