Diet for a nursing mom

Do you have a sample menu of good foods for the breastfeeding mother to eat?

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Who has the time to eat? Just kidding! The best advice is to keep it simple -- no four-course meals, or time-consuming cassoulet for you right now!

Stock up on pre-cut veggies and fruits for salads and snacking and think about using a slow cooker for some meals (it’s super easy to pop the ingredients in early in the day, and then dinner’s done when you want it). 

Most nursing moms need to add just 500 extra calories or so to their diet. If you find you are losing weight too rapidly (more than one pound a week) or you are still very hungry, you will probably need to add nutritious foods to this sample diet. If you find that you are gaining weight, slowly begin to adjust the diet to suit your individual needs, or increase your activity level. The nursing diet I have listed below should provide you with a good starting point. 

Sample Breastfeeding Diet Menu

Breakfast
1 egg, boiled or poached
2 slices whole grain toast with 2 teaspoons butter
1 serving fruit or 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable juice
1 cup non fat milk

Morning Snack
1 cup cereal
1/2 cup non fat milk
1 serving fruit

Lunch
Sandwich: 3 ounces turkey, 1 bagel and 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
Large salad with assorted veggies and 2 tablespoons low fat dressing
1 cup nonfat milk
1 serving fruit

Afternoon Snack
Muffin with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 serving fruit

Dinner
3 ounces beef or poultry
Large salad with 2 tablespoons low fat dressing
Cooked broccoli - 1 cup
Sweet potato - 1

Before Bed (or Midnight) Snack
1 cup cooked oatmeal or 1 cup dry cereal
1/2 cup non fat milk
1 serving fruit

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