There are a number of foods that are identified as breastfeeding power foods. These foods are supposed to be useful for establishing and maintaining a good milk supply as well as ensuring that you’re getting the right nutrients. I’m not a huge meat eater, so one of my main concerns has been getting enough protein in my diet because protein is one of the building blocks for breast milk. Here are a couple of my favorite non-meat foods to include in my diet:
1. Peanut Butter: I smear peanut butter on anything I can! I can say that I’ve noticed an increase in my milk supply since I’ve increased my intake of peanut butter, but I think that’s mainly because I wasn’t getting enough protein. Eat it on toast for breakfast, on celery sticks as a snack, grab a spoon and eat it when you’re craving something sweet. Yes, it’s high in fat, but it’s good fat! Peanut butter has 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons.
2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is probably one of the most talked about foods when it comes to foods that can increase milk supply. There is no evidence that oats help boost milk supply, but tons of mothers claim that they notice an increase while consuming them. Regardless, oatmeal is high in iron, protein, and complex carbs. I make old fashioned oatmeal regularly and either eat it for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Chuck in some apples or a little sugar or maple syrup and it’s a tasty treat. Oatmeal has approximately 5 grams of protein per ½ cup.
3. Eggs: Eggs are another one of my favorite foods, because they provide a large amount of protein. One egg has 6 grams of protein. I scramble a couple of them and often times have an egg for lunch or make breakfast for supper. My husband loves eggs so he’s always excited when we’re serving breakfast as a meal in the evenings.
4. Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese has between 12-15 grams of protein for a ½ cup. I sprinkle some salt and pepper on it or top it with pineapple and use it as a side to meals or a snack.
These are just a few of the foods I try to include in my diet to increase my protein intake. Not only is protein a building block in breast milk, but when you’re eating more protein as opposed to carbs, you stay full longer. And, we all know that when you’re breastfeeding, you’re constantly hungry!
By Holly M.