Steph Wearne, Head of Nutrition at 28 by Sam Wood shares her top tips for satisfying hunger while breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding, it's important to ensure you're getting enough nutrition to support a healthy milk supply and the energy demands of you and your bub. This should be your number one priority over weight loss or other personal health goals so you can enjoy this special bonding time with your baby.
If you’re finding yourself always hungry, the first thing is to make sure you don’t skip any meals. It can be tough to find the time to make meals and snacks when you’re a new mum but it's so important that you don’t skip meals as you'll be significantly reducing your energy intake for the day, which can affect your energy levels and your milk supply. Breastfeeding can be thirsty work and dehydration can suppress milk supply so ensure you always have a glass of water by your side!
Here are 5 foods that are sure to satisfy but also nourish you on your breastfeeding journey:
Eggs are a nutrition powerhouse as they contain protein, healthy fats and also important micronutrients such as B vitamins, Vitamin A and choline. They are also super easy to cook, just put them in some boiling water for 8 minutes and you have hard boiled eggs to keep in the fridge for 4-5 days as a quick snack or protein addition to any meal.
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and anchovies are a fantastic source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium which are all super important for breastfeeding mums. Getting to the shops to get fresh fish might not be very convenient with a new bub so keeping tinned fish on hand is a great option. Add it to salads and wraps or mash it with avocado or sweet potato if tinned fish isn’t your favourite.
Oats are a wholegrain that is a great source of slow releasing carbohydrates, fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. The high water and fibre content make them a real hearty option to help keep you feeling full. Heat them on the stove top with some milk for a quick breakfast, enjoy with some fresh fruit and yoghurt or even add into smoothies.
Greek yoghurt & Kefir
Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium and even contains some gut loving benefits with added cultures. Kefir is a similar product to yoghurt that contains even more gut health benefits which is now widely available at supermarkets. Have a few spoonfuls as snacks between meals, add to smoothies, enjoy with fruit or even use in salad dressings and to top slow cooked meals.
Legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are a fantastic source of fibre and also provide a good plant based source of protein as well as providing some important sources of micronutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium. Cooking them from scratch is easy but can be time consuming so having a range of different canned legumes on hand is an easy way to add a nutritional boost to salads, stir fries, curries or even blitzing them in a food processor with a touch of extra virgin olive oil to make a dip for snacks.