Now that I covered breastfeeding diet considerations, breastfeeding nutrition is the next must-know topic.
There are some common breastfeeding nutrition requirements. You probably modified your diet to adapt some (if not all) of them when you got pregnant and won’t need to do much.
If not, now is a good time to make changes to the way your entire family eats. As healthier foods become more available, it is only natural to strive to live healthier.
Healthy diet strengthens your immune system, increases energy levels, and creates positive atmosphere for the entire family.
To meet daily breastfeeding nutrition requirements for nutrients below, read the labels, look at the serving sizes and do your math. Do it once, get the feel of how much each serving is and you will know approximately how much you need daily.
Sources: fruits, whole-wheat pasta, grains, beans.
Sources: soybeans, sunflower seeds, fish and corn oils, nuts, olives, sesame seeds, almonds, seafood (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, cod).
Sources: seafood, poultry white meat, dairy products, beans, eggs, soy, lean beef and pork, wheat gluten (aka mock duck, gluten meat), nuts. Quinoa, spelt (hulled wheat), polenta (type of cornmeal), panicum, buckwheat are rich in easily-absorbed proteins. These are perfect proteins for vegetarians.
Sources: Milk, plain non-fat yogurt (8 ounces – 452 mg of calcium), cottage cheese, cheeses (best sources: Romano, Swiss, part-skim ricotta, American, provolone), cabbage, canned sardines with the bones, salmon, dried beans, calcium-enriched tofu, turnip greens, calcium-fortified orange juice, cooked soybeans, soy beverages with added calcium (368 mg in one cup), raw or cooked broccoli, spinach, calcium-fortified cereal, collard greens, seaweed.
Sources: salmon, catfish, sardines (the same you eat for calcium), canned light tuna, tilapia, cod, Pollack, scallops, shrimp, crab, clams, flaxseed (linseed), soya oil, hemp oil, rapeseed (canola) oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, leafy vegetables.
Sources: clams (same ones you eat for fatty acids), iron-fortified cereals, oysters, organ or variety meats (kidney, liver, heart, giblets), poultry, cooked soybeans (9 mg in one cup), roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, white beans (8 mg in one cup), lentils, spinach, pistachios, tofu, iron-fortified breads, seaweed (contains more easily-absorbed iron that any other product).
Sources: protein-rich foods (milk, meats), breads, cereals, seafood.
Sources: seaweed (kelp, arame), iodine-fortified (iodized) salt, some seafood, cranberries, probiotic-rich foods (organic yogurt), strawberries, dairy products, potatoes.
Sources: bright-colored raw vegetables (carrots, onions, red bell peppers, tomatoes), some organ or variety meats (beef liver, pork liver, chicken liver, turkey liver), fish liver, sweet potatoes, kale, butter, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, broccoli leaves and florets, cantaloupe.
Sources: whole grains, oats, eggs, green vegetables, bananas, fish, lentils, seaweed (ideal for vegans), brewer’s yeast (used for beer brewing), beans, potatoes.
Allergy Alert: Read the label of your vitamin D supplement. Some contain corn oil or syrup. It is a tiny bit of it in every 400 IU, but it is enough for someone allergic to corn. The only corn-free vitamin D I found was at Whole Foods. The brand is Carlson. Check the label.
Sources for Mom: wild salmon (3,000 IU in one fillet!), light tuna, flounder, vitamin D-fortified milk, Vitamin D-fortified cereal, pork ribs, eggs (organic), some mushrooms (shiitake), some organ or variety meats (beef liver), ricotta cheese.
If you start questioning whether it is easier to switch to formula instead of following all these breastfeeding nutrition rules, keep the following in mind. Breast milk is the only source of easily-digestible and fully-absorbed vitamins and minerals. Formula list of ingredients may look impressive, but it only shows how much of each nutrient enters the body. But how much is actually absorbed?
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.
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