Sunday, August 9, 2009

Article: Breastfeeding Nutrition: 7 Easy Dishes for New Moms

Did you know? August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! (Interestingly, everything I have read about this campaign mentions it is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services... Yet I can't seem to find a single mention of it on any HHS related website. Hmmm, am I missing something?)

Heads up: Babies R Us is offering free shipping on all Medela and Boppy purchases over $20 for Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

Link to article

Here are the recipe suggestions the author offers:

- Complete nutrition shake – 1 to 2 scoops protein powder, one handful spinach, parsley, romaine or chopped celery, 1-cup berries (fresh or frozen) and 1/ ripe banana. Add enough water or almond milk to get the blender going and have the consistency to your liking.

- Baked sweet potato – sweet potatoes are a delicious and satisfying sweet treat, loaded with good stuff. They also help increase milk production.

- Avo-Veggie Dip/Spread – Avocados are loaded with easily assimilated good fat and nutritious protein for nursing moms. This spread is a great way to get your veggies in. Making it: Process 1 zucchini, handful cilantro, 1 rib celery, 1 clove garlic in food processor until finely minced. Combine with 1 ripe avocado, mashed, and lemon juice. Roll this up in a large leaf of Romaine or whole grain tortilla.

- Roasted root vegetables – These are great to make in bulk and have on hand. They are nourishing and satisfying. Try beets, carrots, parsnips, onions, sweet potato, and daikon. A combo of three of these is nice.

- Amaranth and quinoa. This is a great complete protein grain combination. Highly nutritious, amaranth is loaded with minerals (more calcium than milk) and is a complete protein. It is a little strong and works well with quinoa, another super grain. Serve with steamed broccoli or a salad.

- Lettuce Wraps – Roll sliced turkey, chicken or tempeh in large Romaine lettuce leaves. You can spread a little mustard or avocado on as well.

- Protein dip – stir a good quality protein powder into plain organic yogurt or almond butter. Use to dip celery or apples. Sweeten with a little stevia if needed.

- Easy options – raw almonds with celery ribs, almond butter with celery or apples, carrots and humus[sic]. [I find that typo very funny. Who'd want to eat humus? Yuck!]

A mother's nutrition is definitely important during breastfeeding, and these dishes (though not very exciting, gastronomically speaking) sound pretty good with two exceptions: the "complete nutrition shake" and the "protein dip." Both require protein powder, of which I am not a huge fan. First, because I think it's better to get protein from "real" foods whenever possible, and second because it is definitely possible to eat too much protein. (According to the American Heart Association, Americans already eat too much protein.) Excess protein is stressful on the kidneys, and research indicates that a nursing mom's protein needs are only about 15-20 grams more per day above a non-lactating mom's. (The basic calculation for daily protein intake is 0.8 grams for every kilogram of bodyweight, or about 0.36 grams per pound.)

The site I like best for all kinds of breastfeeding information and advice is The site has compiled all the best research and distilled it into easy-to-read articles. I don't think I've ever had a breastfeeding question that isn't answered on Kellymom.

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