what to eat while breastfeeding

3 minute read

What to eat while breastfeeding

Key points:

  • Build your repertoire of no-fuss snacks
  • Say yes to batches meals
  • Keep fluids from getting boring

When sleep is scarce and you need to eat quickly, spending hours preparing food isn’t really an option (especially if your hands are occupied holding your baby). Here are some low-fuss ideas to nourish you and your child if you’re breastfeeding.

Snack on:

  • Sandwiches or pita bread filled with salad, cheese, meats and fish
  • Yoghurt mixed with some chopped fruit and porridge oats
  • Muesli, porridge or other wholegrain breakfast cereals
  • Microwaved baked potatoes with beans or tuna melt filling
  • Vegetable soup with wholegrain toast

Make-ahead meals

When neighbours, friends and family offer to drop off a dinner, say yes. Having a stash of pre-portioned meals in the freezer – whether they were made ahead by you or dropped off by a loved one – will give you quick, hearty nourishment on nights when you can’t summon the energy to cook.

Great go-tos include:

  • Bolognese
  • Curry and dahl
  • Stews and casseroles
  • Soups

Mix it up

Changing up the menu regularly will both keep you from getting bored and ensure you and your baby are both receiving the full range of vitamins and minerals you need to stay energetic and healthy.Ensure these food types make a regular appearance on your plate:

  • Five portions of fruit and veg a day in a range of colours – fresh, frozen, or tinned is fine (just avoid anything packed in juice or syrup)
  • Starchy foods: pasta, rice, wholemeal bread, potatoes
  • Fibre: fruit and vegetables; wholegrain bread, pasta and cereal; brown rice; pulses
  • Protein: lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pulses like lentils and chickpeas
  • Two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies
  • Dairy: milk, cheese and yogurt

Keep your fluids up

It’s extra important to stay hydrated when you’re breastfeeding; you’ll likely feel more thirsty than usual because your body is busy making milk. As always, make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses throughout the day – and possibly more. Try using your baby’s feeds as a reminder to have a drink yourself.

  • Water and milk are best to sip on
  • Keep your drinks interesting with fruit slices in water
  • Try replacing one glass with soda or mineral water
  • Tea and coffee are fine, but try to go for blends with low caffeine. Remember they can be dehydrating, so you might need to have some more water to make up for it
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