You’ve just finished your confinement period and you’re finally able to leave the house again. But as a nursing mother, you’re still trying to figure out what to eat to make sure you’re providing the best nutrition for your baby. Lucky for you, we’ve got some easy and healthy breastfeeding meal ideas that will help keep you sane!
What Is A Breastfeeding Meal?
Let’s start off with a bit of background context for you – A breastfeeding meal is a meal that is specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of a mother who is breastfeeding. The ingredients in a breastfeeding meal are chosen to provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are required for both the mother and the baby.
In addition to being nutritionally balanced, a breastfeeding meal is also easy to digest and can help to increase milk production. As such, it is an important part of a mother’s diet during the early months of breastfeeding. While there are many different recipes for breastfeeding meals, they all typically contain some combination of lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Wait, What About Those Lactogenic Ingredients?
Lactogenic ingredients are substances that have been traditionally used to help stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.
Many of these ingredients have been used for centuries in cultures all over the world, and they are believed to work by stimulating the release of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production.
Some of the most commonly used lactogenic ingredients include fenugreek, garlic, ginger, green papaya, and fennel, just to name drop a few that we know of and use generously in our dishes here at ReLacto.
Breastfeeding mothers need to be particularly careful about what they eat. Their bodies are working hard to produce milk, and they need to make sure that they are getting the right nutrients.
However, cooking healthy meals can be time-consuming, and many breastfeeding mothers find themselves snacking on unhealthy foods.
The good news is that there are a number of easy-to-prepare home-cooked meals that can help breastfeeding mothers get the nutrients they need.
For example, a simple omelette made with eggs, cheese and vegetables is an excellent source of protein, calcium and fibre. Another quick and easy option is a stir-fry made with chicken, broccoli and rice.
But the following are meals that we absolutely adore which can be just as healthy as they are tasty, and they will provide breastfeeding mothers the energy and nutrition they need to keep going through on their motherhood journey!
Air Fried Salmon with Sweet Potato and Kale
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain development. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, while kale is a powerhouse of nutrients like Folate!
Just for some context, vitamin A is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in many different bodily functions. It helps to keep vision sharp, skin healthy, and the immune system functioning properly.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many bodily functions. It helps to boost the immune system, aids in the absorption of iron, and helps to form collagen. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which means it can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin K is another important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and bone health.
Calcium is an essential mineral that is needed for healthy bones and teeth in mothers
Finally, iron is an important nutrient that forms new red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body.
Fennel Seafood Soup
This meal has two things that we like – Seafood and Soup. If you’ve read our other articles before, you’d know that we’re a fan of staying hydrated. Seafood, on the other hand, is an added bonus because we’re also fans of Omega 3-DHA. However, do remember that you’ll need all the other nutrients and minerals too. It just so happens that this particular dish has specific ones that we are talking about and that does not mean you can skip the others in your diet.
A great way to make your seafood more of a lactation boost for you is by adding some Fennel (which we’ve covered earlier, helps in supporting breastfeeding mummies). For those of you who are about to Google what Fennel does, here’s the breakdown of it – The anethole of fennel is structurally similar to dopamine. It has been hypothesised that dopamine can inhibit prolactin ( a breast milk stimulating hormone).This chemical competes with dopamine receptor sites, preventing dopamine’s inhibitory effects on prolactin release.
Don’t worry if this one doesn’t jump out at you right away. One of our writers even thought it was something out of the Pokemon anime cartoons. What it is, in actuality, is in fact a Hawaiian meal of sorts (and if you’re wondering how it’s pronounced, try “poh-keh”).
Just like our ubiquitous Asian mixed rice eateries, the Hawaiians have their own stalls and other assorted venues where you can find this meal all over their beautiful island with ingredients you can pick from to make your own Poke Bowls.
Here’s a more Japanese inspired poke bowl you could whip up at home easily. All you need is to mix in some of your brown or white rice with a protein like skipjack tuna, some vegetables like edamame, cherry tomatoes and seaweed, and season it with some teriyaki sauce! You can add a little more colour by throwing in some sweet corn too! If you’re looking for more protein, you can always serve it with some hard boiled eggs or onsen eggs too!
A poke bowl with such ingredients can provide you with Omega 3 DHA from the Tuna, Vitamin C front the cherry tomatoes and even Choline from the eggs! All of which are nutrients that can be passed on into the contents of your breastmilk for your baby!
As a nursing mother, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to support both yourself and your baby. These easy and healthy breastfeeding meal ideas will help you do just that!
However, at this point, if you are feeling rather lazy and still don’t feel like cooking those meals, don’t worry. That’s where we come in. Here at ReLacto, we’ve got healthy breastfeeding meal plans for days!
Whether it’s healthy meals for breastfeeding mums or if you’re just getting into the habit of looking for a meal plan while breastfeeding, swing on by our homepage to browse our varied menu that’s guaranteed to have everything you’d need to keep both you and your little one fed throughout this journey. Bon appetit!