12 Super-Foods for New Moms
Iron-rich beans, particularly dark-colored ones like black beans and kidney beans, are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians. They’re a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein.
Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and they give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.
You might be tempted to cut back on carbs to help lose the baby weight. Don’t. Losing weight too quickly may cause you to make less milk and leave you feeling sluggish. Mix healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice into your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body the calories it needs to make the best-quality milk for your baby.
Portable and nutritious, oranges are a great food to boost energy. Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent breastfeeding foods, since nursing moms need more vitamin C than pregnant women. Can't find time to sit down for a snack? Sip on some orange juice as you go about your day -- you'll get the vitamin C benefit, and you can opt for calcium-fortified varieties to get even more out of your drink.
Eggs are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Scramble a couple of eggs for breakfast, toss a hard-boiled egg or two on your lunchtime salad, or have an omelet and salad for dinner. Opt for DHA-fortified eggs to boost the level of this essential fatty acid in your milk.
Folic acid is crucial to your baby's development in the early stages of pregnancy. But its importance doesn't end there. Folic acid is an important nutrient in your breast milk that your baby needs for good health, and it's crucial you eat enough for your own well-being, too. Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with it, and also give you a healthy dose of fiber and iron.
Leafy green veggies like spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli are filled with vitamin A, which is good for you and your baby. The benefits don’t stop there. They're a good non-dairy source of calcium and contain vitamin C and iron. Green veggies are also filled with heart-healthy antioxidants and are low in calories.
After yet another sleepless night, one of the best foods to boost energy for new moms in the morning is a healthy breakfast of whole-grain cereal. Many cold cereals are fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients to help you meet your daily needs. Whip up a healthy, hot breakfast by stirring blueberries and skim milk into a delicious serving of oatmeal.