Postnatal and breastfeeding nutrition tips to keep sugar cravings at bay!

Our friend over at Jessie Bakes has just celebrated her second baby’s arrival, so to celebrate, we asked her to share some new-mum expertise. Jessie designs recipes and gifts for breastfeeding mums, helping you to reach for something other than the biscuit tin when the sugar cravings creep in!

To win one of Jessie’s New Mama gift sets, head to Instagram where you can find our latest competition.

When you become a mum, whether it be your first time/the newborn haze phase or you have a toddler running around also; it isn’t always easy to get all the nutrition that you need. Nutrition is so helpful for optimising the minimal energy you might have – thanks sleep depravation!  Furthermore, the right kind of nutritional intake can do wonders for breastmilk production.

When trying to maintain a well balanced diet, eat at least three full meals along with snacks each day. You may find that eating six smaller meals works better for you. I’m not trying to teach a grandmother to suck eggs here, but the basics you want to ensure are that you try to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while limiting empty calorie snacks.

Keep healthy snacks (I’m going to include some recipes later in this blog) readily available, so you’ll be more likely to grab them as a snack instead of sugary options. A disturbed sleep pattern causes mayhem with your cortisol levels, which can in turn affect your appetite and see you craving sugar more and more.

I’m writing nearly 2 weeks post natal with my daughter, she is my second child and I really did not limit any food groups when pregnant with her. I haven’t seen many changes with my post natal experience this time round, but definitely want to optimise on energy as I have a very active toddler also. I’m not a fan of diets or restricting any one or group of foods – I’ll just eat more of said banned food. However, I have made a list of things I’m going to try and include, rather than exclude; the first food group being fish.

If you enjoy eating fish, seafood is a healthy source of protein that also provides you with essential omega-3 fatty acids. You can safely enjoy different types of low-mercury seafood such as salmon, canned tuna, cod, shrimp, crab, squid, mackerel 2-3 times a week.

Ensure your water intake: this makes up a huge part of your milk so you need to stay well hydrated. I have a whopping 2 litre bottle which I fill up and keep near me throughout the day. The let down reflex you experience when feeding is responsible for making you feel thirsty.  I make sure that I can always reach my water when trapped under a sleeping or feeding baby and it’s a life saver.

Eat some milk making foods! Many snacks that you can choose during the day also promote a healthy supply of breast milk. Oats, chickpeas, dark green vegetables, and almonds all have properties that support milk production while being an excellent addition to your healthy breastfeeding diet. Why not try my Jessie Bakes Lactation Biscuit Mixes?

Take your vitamins! While a healthy diet will generally contain all the vitamins and nutrients that you need, you can still continue to take your prenatal or grab a postnatal vitamin. Vitamins may be necessary if you have a vitamin or iron deficiency also. I take a breastfeeding supplement, along with a general multivitamin and an effervescent tablet.

Below are some super simple recipes that you can whip up (or get someone else to make for you!) and grab when hunger strikes.

Ingredients

2 Baking cups of Oat Flour

2 Medium Bananas

4 tablespoons Melted Coconut oil

1 tsp Cinnamon

2-3 Tablespoons semi sweet Chocolate Chips (obviously vegan if required, but you can opt for any type pending your preferences)

Method

  1. Measure you Oat Flour into a mixing bowl & sprinkle in your Ceylon Cinnamon also
  2. Mash your Banana in a bowl.
  3. Melt your Coconut Oil & add to the Banana mix.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, lastly stirring in the Chocolate Chips.
  5. Grab a lined baking tray and spread your mixture into tablespoon sized dollops – they will spread slightly in the oven so space accordingly.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes on 180 until golden brown. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups medjool dates

50g (normally 2 scoops) Vanilla protein powder or if you don’t want to use Protein you can substitute for ground almonds or shredded coconut.

1 cup mixed nuts (Hazelnuts, Cashew, Almond, Brazil all work well)

½ cup mixed seeds (Linseed, Seasame, Chia, Poppy, Hemp are all great)

½ cup cacao nibs (or just normal chocolate chips if you like)

¼ cup rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Optional add ins; matcha powder / spirulinna powder / hemp powder

Toppings; shredded coconut / chia seeds / crushed pistachios / Sesame seeds.

If you want more crunch you can also mix in a handful of Granola / crushed banana chips.

Instructions

  1. Put the dates into a food processor and pulse them for a minute or two.
  2. Cut the nuts up into small pieces and add them to the mix, I tend to pulse the mixture after I add each ingredient rather than having it on continuously.
  3. Add the protein (or substitution) & seeds
  4. Add the liquid ingredients, do this slowly and add enough until the mixture is nicely combined but not overly sloppy.
  5. Remove the mixture (and the sharp bit of the food processor!) and put it in a mixing bowl.
  6. Roll the the mixture into balls, like I say pending size you should get between 12-16.
  7. On a separate plate sprinkle your topping of choice and re roll each ball in a generous amount.
  8. Place in an airtight container and into the fridge to cool. They keep in the fridge for up to a week and the freezer for up to 3 months. They won’t last that long though.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried green lentils

2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil (or any other oil of preference, I always use Rapeseed because of it’s low smoke point)

1 tsp smoked salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

Instructions

  1. Cook your lentils on a medium heat. Once cooked, rinse and allow to cool. Scatter them over some grease proof paper in a baking tray and leave them to dry out. You can also pat them with kitchen roll if you like.
  2. Mix all the spices, salt and oils into a paste.
  3. Drizzle or paint with a pastry brush all over your lentils and combine so that they are all well coated.
  4. Bake on a low(ish) heat – 120 / 140 max. Check on them every 5 minutes baking them in total for 20. They are naughty and will catch quickly if you are not careful, plus the dark colour makes it tricky to tell so air on the side of caution and check them regularly.
  5. Once cooked, cool and store in an air tight container.

You can find more of Jessie’s recipes and her gifts at jessiebakes.co.uk 

 

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