By Steph Wearne, Head of Nutrition at 28 by Sam Wood
Breastfeeding mamas, we’ve all been there… tearing through the pantry in the middle of the night looking for something to eat while up for the umpteenth feed. But instead of raiding your cookie stash (we know you’ve got one), how about reaching for something super nourishing that is going to give you the boost you need.
Maintaining a healthy milk supply and keeping your energy levels up (thanks, sleep deprivation!) should be your top priority, not fitting into your pre-baby jeans or other personal health goals. So put your feet up and relax as you enjoy this special bonding time with your sweet babe.
I know what you’re thinking: finding the time to make yourself proper meals and snacks when you’re a new mum is crazy talk, but skipping meals does more harm than good because it reduces your daily energy intake, which zaps your energy levels and your milk supply.
Breastfeeding can also be thirsty work, so have a glass of water by your side so you don’t get dehydrated – yep you guessed it, this can also suppress your milk supply.
Attention breastfeeding mamas, here are 28 by Sam Wood’s top 5 foods to satisfy your hunger NOW!
1 // EGGS
Eggs are little nutrition powerhouses, packed with protein, healthy fats and important micronutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin A and choline. They are also quick and easy to cook (two words mamas love to hear), just drop them into boiling water for 8 minutes and voila, you have hard boiled eggs. Keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days for a super snack or pop of protein with any meal.
2 // OILY FISH
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and anchovies are a fantastic source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, which are all massively important for breastfeeding mums. But we know what you’re going to say, popping down to the shops to get fresh fish is hardly convenient or realistic with a new bub, so keep some tinned fish in your pantry to add to salads and wraps, or mash it with avocado or sweet potato, especially if tinned fish isn’t your jam.
3 // OATS
Oats are a wholegrain and a great source of slow releasing carbohydrates, fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. The high water and fibre content also make them a hearty option to help keep you feeling full. Heat them on the stove top with some milk for a quick breakfast, enjoy with fresh fruit and yoghurt or even add to smoothies.
4 // GREEK YOGHURT AND KEFIR
Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium and your guts will love it too, because it’s loaded with added cultures. Kefir is a similar product and it contains even more gut health benefits, WINNING! Kefir is a hot item at supermarkets, so it shouldn’t be too tricky to get your hands on. Have a few spoonfuls as a snack between meals (and feeds), add it to smoothies, enjoy with fruit, or use in salad dressings and on top of slow cooked meals.
5 // LEGUMES
Legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are a fantastic source of fibre and provide a good plant-based source of protein, while providing some important sources of micronutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium. Cooking them from scratch is easy but can be time consuming, aka not going to happen with a newborn, so keep some canned legumes in the pantry for little nutritional nugget boosts to salads, stir fries, curries or even blitz them in a food processor with a splash of extra virgin olive oil for a tasty dip. Finger-licking deliciousness!
Go forth mama, and RULE THE WORLD!