5 foods that every new mum needs

5 essential foods for new mums

What foods do new mums need? It’s an important and common question. Now that you’re no longer pregnant it can be tempting to revert back to your former diet or grab quick bites for convenience. Yet as a new mum your body needs a lot more and you also need to manage the temptation to lose any baby weight you’ve gained. Here’s a guide on how you can keep you and your baby healthy and happy through food:

5 foods ever new mum should eat

Tuna

It’s recommended that new mums should tuck into two portions of fish a week and that oily fish, like fresh tuna, is best. Tuna is a great food to eat as a new mum because it is packed with DHA, a nutrient that helps develop your baby’s nervous system. Breast milk contains DHA too, but you can increase your baby’s intake of the nutrient by eating more yourself. You should avoid canned tuna though as the good fats are lost. If you’re not a fan of tuna, opt for wild salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout instead. Remember though, do not eat too much oily fish as it can contain pollutants, which can build up in the body and affect the development of a future baby.

Meal Ideas: Tuna steak and new potatoes, shredded tuna and noodles, tuna sushi.

Wholemeal bread

It’s not a pretty topic, but piles are a common problem for new mums. Piles typically disappear within a few days after the labour, but to quicken your recovery eat some wholemeal bread. Not only does wholemeal bread make bowel movements less painful, it will give you a great energy boost – perfect for those sleepless nights. Although it can be tempting to cut out carbohydrates to lose any weight you’ve gained during pregnancy, a lack of carbohydrates will leave you feeling sleepy and sluggish. Instead opt for wholegrain carbohydrates like wholemeal bread or brown rice. This will ensure you’ve got enough energy to keep you and your baby in tip top shape.

Meal Ideas: bananas on toast, beans on toast, grilled chicken and avocado sandwich.

Raw carrots

Between the midnight feeds, the constant stream of laundry and giving your little one lots of cuddles, it can be hard to find the time to actually feed yourself. To save time, choose to eat raw vegetables when possible. Raw carrots are perfect for a quick, healthy snack or as an accompaniment to a main dish. Carrots aren’t just a quick and convenient option though; they’re also great for keeping new mums fit and healthy. This is because carrots are full of beta-carotene which strengthens the number of white blood cells in the immune system, as well as T cells. Thus helping you fight infections like cold or flu.

Meal Ideas: raw carrots and hummus, raw carrots and cottage cheese, raw carrots with red cabbage, potatoes and a breaded chicken breast.

Eggs

You can have them scrambled, boiled, fried or poached; however you like them, eggs are great for breastfeeding mums. This is because eggs contain the nutrient vitamin D, a vitamin your baby needs to grow strong and healthy bones and teeth. If you are breastfeeding you should take a vitamin D supplement. Experts recommend that you take supplements containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D each day. Yet you can also top up your vitamin D intake by eating eggs. Ideally, do not fry the eggs, but instead add some skimmed milk and scramble or poach them. Not only will eggs provide you and your child with vitamin D, they are also a great source of protein and will help you feel fuller for longer.

Meal Ideas: scrambled eggs on granary toast, poached eggs and salmon, potato and vegetable frittata

Turkey

As a new mum, you should always make sure turkey is on your shopping list. Not only is turkey a low GI food (Glycaemic Index), but it also contains tryptophan – an amino acid that helps give you a shot of the happy chemical, serotonin. Therefore when you eat foods that contain tryptophan your mood should boost and you should also feel a lot calmer (brazil nuts are another good source of seratonin). However, make sure you eat turkey with a slow release carbohydrate, like whole meal pasta, or else you might become so calm and relaxed that you doze off. Other foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan include: chicken, nuts and cheese.

Meal Ideas: turkey and cranberry sandwich, turkey with pasta in a tomato and basil sauce, turkey and grilled vegetable tortillas with a natural yoghurt and mint dressing.

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