Nutritional Recipes, Foods for Breastfeeding Mothers
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Feb 15, 2019
Breast milk is nature's way of providing a newborn baby with all the nutrition he needs. And breastfeeding is a great way to build a bond with your child. Since your infant is totally dependent on you for his nutritional requirements, you, as a breastfeeding mother, need to pay special attention to your diet. While there is no need to go overboard with eating, you can continue with the healthy diet that pregnancy demanded.
What to Include In My Meals While Breastfeeding?
These nutrition tips might seem overwhelming when you read them at once, but including them in your diet is easier than you think. Here are some tips-
- Eat small, well-spaced meals, around six to seven times a day, rather than three big meals. This ensures you get variety, and digestion becomes easier, too
- Have nourishing fluids such as soup, milk, eggnog/lentil soup, before breastfeeding
- In between meals, snack on nuts, dried fruits, paneer/cheese, and sprouts, instead of reaching for that namkeen
What Foods Help Increase Milk Production ?
It has been seen that certain foods help in increasing milk production, and can be included in the diet of breastfeeding mother. They are-
- Ajwain (carrom seeds), zeera (cumin), methi seeds (fenugreek), saunf (fennel seeds)
- Saunth (dried ginger) and garlic
- Seeds like til (sesame seeds), pumpkin seeds, melon seeds
- Nuts, like almond, walnuts and cashewnuts are also known to help in milk let down
But before you go on a spree, ensure your body is able to tolerate these foods well, and you are not allergic to any. These foods should be consumed in moderation. Some of these foods also help in digestion and some provide extra protein, iron, calcium, B complex vitamins to the nursing mothers.
Recipes While Breastfeeding to Meet Your Nutritional Requirements
Here are some interesting recipes that will help meet your nutritional requirements while breastfeeding -
1.) Delicious Badam Til Ladoos Recipe
Ingredients Needed For Badam Til Ladoos
- ½ cup Sesame seeds
- ½ cup Almonds crushed
- ½ cup Jaggery
- 1 tsp Ghee
Method To Prepare Badam Til Ladoos
- Roast the sesame seeds in a pan without oil over medium flame
- Stop when the seeds start popping
- Crush the almonds finely and dry roast slightly
- Filter out the impurities from the jaggery after melting it with half a cup of water
- Boil the filtered jaggery with a tsp of ghee until you get a soft doughy (a soft ball) consistency
- Add the til and the badam, and mix
- Make balls out of this mixture when it is still hot
- Store in an airtight container
2.) Quick And Easy Lentil-Dalia Mix
Ingredients Needed Lentil-Dalia Mix
- 1 /2 cup broken wheat (Dalia)
- ¼ cup lentils (preferably sabutmasoor or moong dal. You could also mix up lentils)
- 1 onion (medium size)
- 1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped ( use any seasonal vegetables including peas, carrot, lauki, tori, etc.)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- ½ cup chopped spinach
- 1 inch ginger piece finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
For the tadka (seasoning)
- 2 tsp Ghee /clarified butter
- ¼ tsp Mustard seeds
- 2 tsp Cumin seeds/jeera
- A pinch of heeng and ajwain each
Steps To Pre-prepare Lentil Dalia Mix
- Soak lentils and dalia for 15 minutes in water
- Finely chop ginger, garlic, spinach, tomato and onion
Method To Prepare Lentil Dalia Mix
- In a pressure cooker, heat ghee; add jeera, mustard seeds, heeng, ajwain, ginger and garlic
- Add chopped onions
- Fry, add tomatoes. Once cooked, add vegetables followed by lentils and dalia
- Fry for few minutes
- Add salt, turmeric powder and water to cook
- Close the lid
- After first whistle, let it simmer for 10 minutes
- Once the pressure subsides, open the lid
- Add 1/2 cup more water at this stage if it seems too thick
- Flavor with lemon juice and chopped coriander before serving
- A nourishing, tasty meal-in-a-bowl is ready!
What Should I Eat When Breastfeeding?
When you are breastfeeding, you need to focus on three major nutrients —protein, calcium, and iron – for your own health, and to give your baby nutritious milk. To produce milk supply that is nutritious and calorie-rich, you need those extra calories coming in from your diet. Here are some tips for healthy eating while breastfeeding-
- Include enough cereals like dalia, bajra, ragi, oats (which are good sources of iron, calcium and vitamins) apart from regular staples like chapatti, rice
- Extra energy from ghee/butter/oil is also given to meet the essential fat requirements. However, too much fat is not beneficial, as it just adds extra kilos
- Include sufficient milk, curd, paneer, dals, beans, eggs, fish and poultry (if non-vegetarian). They provide the required amounts of proteins, calcium, vitamins, and minerals
- Include loads of colorful vegetables - dark green leafy veggies, deep yellow and orange vegetables like carrots, peppers, and pumpkin, fruits like mango and papaya. These contain sufficient iron, vitamins and minerals
- Snack on almonds, walnuts, peanuts, seeds like sesame, flax, sunflower, as they all provide for the extra protein requirement, essential fats like omega -3, and other micronutrients
- Enough fluid is required for adequate milk production. It can be provided by milk, milkshakes, juices, buttermilk besides plain water
What Is The Importance Of Breast Milk?
A mother's milk is best for the child, as it is nutritionally adequate and easy to digest too. The milk secreted soon after the delivery, little thick and yellowish is "precious" to the newborn. This is rich in gamma globulins, a type of antibodies, which help the newborn develop her immunity. It is also rich in vitamin A, which further boosts the immunity. Breast milk is a complete food for the infant, as it has all nutrients in right amounts and proportions, needed by the infant. It also has vitamin C, and easily absorbable iron, which no other milk has.
Have a balanced diet and, importantly, stay happy. Even research has shown that a happy mother is able to breastfeed her child better than a stressed mother. Drink enough liquids during the day and especially before breastfeeding as liquids help in letdown of milk.
Do you have any diet tips for breastfeeding mothers? Let us know in the comments section!
| Aug 12, 2015
Hi, my baby is 7 months old nw n my milk production was too low since d tym of her birth only... stil I fed her for 6 months n til nw also bt only in d nyt as there is very less left. She is nt happy to take the tf also. I hv to get up after every 2 hrs in d nyt..... really tiered as haven't slept since 7 months moreover I hv to tk cr of d elder 6 yr old child also..... wt to do?
| Aug 17, 2015
Parul Sagar Hi, you need to take care of your diet for both quantity& quality of milk. After 6 months milk alone be it breast/top feed can not meet infant's requirements. Your baby is now 6 months so you can now start with weaning foods. This is would help in filling baby's stomach and help in sleep, both yours & baby's.
| Aug 17, 2015
Nancy Sharma Hi,You need to take care of your diet as both quality & quantity of milk production depends on it. Sometimes we feel that the baby has not taken feed long enough, but the child has taken sufficient according to his need, even in that small duration. If the child is gaining weight gradually, then you should not worry. Still if the you feel that the child is remaining hungry/not taking enough/not gaining weight, then you need to take medical advice for the same.
| Aug 25, 2015
Manjima, Hi you may start with green leafy vegetable soup with milk (well strained & thin), fruit juice (not sour, well strained). If the child has doubled the birth weight, then you may start with, well cooked, mashed, strained, thin rice kheer/porridge. you may even give well mashed ripe banana. Start with a spoon or so and then gradually increase the amount & frequency.
| Aug 25, 2015
Pallavi Puri, Hi Breastfeeding not only provides nutritional support but also emotional support to your child. A child who is breastfed on demand is more secure as an individual later. Breastfeeding also ensures health benefits to mother. My advice is that you take care of your diet & especially calcium intake and continue breastfeeding your child.
| Aug 25, 2015
Hi, my son has completed now 2 years and I was planning that I will give him breast feed till 2. but I am working, when I came back at home he used to wait for me for breast feed and then take a sleep, similarly at night also, he sleeps while taking feed. Now please suggest me how to stop his dependency and habit on breast feed and secondly is it right age to stop it now?
| Aug 26, 2015
Mukta Suyal, Hi, Ideally you can breastfeed your son as long as you can. To stop his dependency on you,you need to first ensure that your son is having a filling dinner. It should have staple (rice or chapatti)some dal or non veg food and some vegetable. You may even feed him milk from cup just prior to sleep. Secondly the child should have been active throughout the day. The tiredness ensures sound sleep. Then you may use bitter edible things like karela juice or neem juice. If need be, your husband or any close family member can put him to sleep. Try this for few days, till your son develops the habit of sleeping without you.
| Sep 02, 2015
Manju Gandhi Daga, Hi ideally if you are able to breastfeed the baby sufficiently and if you are not working, then you may continue with you milk only apart from weaning foods. However, if you have to give a top feed, then either use formula milk or packed pasteurized milk. Cow milk is better avoided till one year of age, as it is known to give allergy. Orange juice too, is better avoided till 8-9 months. You may give her other fresh fruit juice like apple,grapes etc (not sour).
| Sep 08, 2015
Hi. my baby is 6 months. i have started giving him suji kheer, banana,apple juice, lentils soup.. and cow milk.. now going through the comment section I got to know that cow milk is not good.. should I stop giving him cow milk? Can I add cow milk in kheer etc? How much quantity of each meal is sufficient for him? As he takes only few tsp of every thing I prepared for him.. thanks
| Sep 10, 2015
Hello my baby is 9 month.... I am still breastfeed her .. Since six month I started to give her dal soup, ravva kheer, lapse kheer, and since last month khichdi.. To her but she doesn't eat anything .. Initial she will eat one to five spoon then she will not take not even one spoon... Then I have to continue feed her ... I am worried what I should I tried with milk also that also she is not taking .... Please advise
| Sep 15, 2015
@Anju, If your baby is having five spoons, it is okay for her one feed. This may not fill her stomach and you follow it with milk, but for a baby and her appetite, it seems fine. You even try and give alternate milk and solid feeds. Give soilds first and whatever amount she readily accepts, let her have. You may give more variety in form of mashed banana/or some juice or stewed fruits. Give veggies too, form of soups or with mashed potato etc.
| Sep 17, 2015
Hi.. my baby is 9 nmonths old. Could you suggest me a complete vegetarian meal plan for my baby. I give him khichdi, dalia, fruits & carrots beans. As I have read in many sites that 8-10 months old baby should eat three times meal. My meal plan is monotonous. I think I should introduce some nice receipes so that he starts eating everything.
| Dec 14, 2015
Hi , my baby is in 2months, I don't feel whether my baby is getting enough feed from me as my breast milk is so low in production ,I feel so depressed an some of my relatives suggest me lactogen now am giving him 3times a day ,rest of time he s taking my feed ,, Pls help me with ur advices an suggestions
| May 04, 2017
hi puja it was very useful to all breastfeeding mothers. but my problem was my baby was 12days old but I am not having enough milk to my child and my baby weight also too low 2. 500. thats why I am worry abt it. so please say tips to increase breastfeeding and to increase my baby weight. we are living in tamilnadu madurai city. so say that healthy foods we get here