Pantry Essentials for new mums
If you’re attempting to lose any baby weight, do not start by cutting back on your carbohydrate consumption. It’s better to incorporate healthy, low-GI whole-grain carbs like brown rice in your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body with the calories it needs to produce the best quality milk for your baby and also rate well on the glycaemic index.
Ways to eat:
Serve up brown rice as a side with a hearty curry, stir fry or stew.
Lentils & Kidney Beans
Legumes, also known as pulses, are important non-meat sources of protein. In particular, Lentils and kidney beans are two of the most versatile from the family and are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians. Not only are they rich in iron, they’re a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein.
Ways to eat:
Hearty and warming curries filled with Lentils are a delicious slow food option when breastfeeding. We also love to make Kidney bean packed chilli as a freezer meal or smash up some kidney beans with olive oil and parsley to spread on crusty bread for lunch.
Other items you should add to your grocery list
Fruit & Vegetables:
Australian guidelines suggesting breastfeeding women eat up to seven serves a day of vegetables or legumes.
Breastfeeding mothers require more vitamin C than pregnant women, so easy to snack on fruit, like strawberries are an excellent breastfeeding friendly food.
Baby Spinach & Broccoli:
The list of benefits you get from eating leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, goes on and on.
Vitamin A – tick.
Calcium – tick.
Iron – tick.
Antioxidants – tick.
Low calorie – tick.
From toast toppings to desserts and smoothies, the versatile avocado is an easy winner for mums of all ages. To start, avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. They also contain more soluble fibre than many other fruits and contain a number of useful minerals such as iron, copper and potassium and are a good source of folate.
Salmon in particular gets an extra gold star for new mums and one of the best foods to help milk supply. Like other fatty fish, Salmon is loaded with a type of fat called DHA. DHA is crucial to the development of your baby’s nervous system as well as vital in repairing your own nervous system and brain. The DHA in salmon may also help your mood and lower your risk of depression. It’s also a key diet recommendation from Dr. Oscar Serrallach who coined the theory of Postnatal Depletion.
Australian dietary guidelines recommend women aged between 19 and 60 eat at least one serve of 80-120g cooked fish fillet, but nutrition guidelines say breastfeeding women should eat two to three serves per week of fish as part of a healthy diet.
When you’re looking for foods to boost your energy, seek out iron-rich foods like lean beef. A deficiency of iron can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a newborn baby. While breastfeeding, you need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12 and lean mince – which you can pre-make into Bolognese, chilli, meatballs or even burger patties – is an excellent source for both of these nutrients.
Egg yolk is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D – an essential nutrient to keep your bones strong and help your baby’s bones grow. Beyond that, eggs are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Try scrambling up a couple of eggs for breakfast or adding a hard-boiled egg to your lunchtime salad.
Foods you should limit
While the lure of a drive through while the baby is sleeping in the back seat may seem simple and easy for a quick energy hit, it’s actually the opposite. It is recommended that the following foods should be limited as much as possible.
- Foods high in saturated fat such as sweet biscuits, cakes, hamburgers and pizza
- High fat spreads such as butter be replaced with avocado or hummus
- Drinks with a high sugar content such as cordials, energy drinks and sports drinks.