Healthy Recipes For Nursing Moms

Nutrient rich breastfeeding-friendly recipes.

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Balanced Nutrition for Two

Now that you're breastfeeding, you'll still need to eat healthfully and drink plenty of fluids for the health of you and your baby. In fact, you'll need about 300 more calories (2,000-2,300 calories total) per day than in the last trimester of your pregnancy in the form of three balanced meals and some light snacks throughout the day.

Here are a few nutrient rich, nursing-friendly recipes to make sure you and your baby are getting exactly what you need.

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Flank Steak and Asparagus Salad

You'll need as much protein while nursing as you needed during your pregnancy in the form of dairy, meat and poultry. This recipe, with eggs and steak, will help you reach your daily intake of 71 grams per day while boosting your zinc intake (another must for nursing moms).

The addition of spinach and asparagus keep this salad on the light side.

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Farmers Market Grand Aioli With Tarragon Dipping Sauce

Le Grand Aioli is a traditional French dish of simply prepared fish and vegetables. Stock up on vitamin A, C and K-rich veggies including carrots, broccoli, asparagus and squash and salmon packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids with this recipe.

While you may discover that certain foods may upset your baby's tummy, you shouldn't need to make any drastic changes to your diet and can safely eat 12 ounces per week of fish. The only ones to steer clear of due to high mercury levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, are shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.

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Lemony Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

Add chicken to this recipe for a heartier dinner or cook a large batch of this quinoa and save leftovers for lunch or an easy dinner. Most breastfeeding moms can eat all kinds of foods, including nuts, but if a food allergy runs in your family, be mindful of your dairy, egg, wheat and nut intake (depending on what allergy is prevalent). If you're testing on your own to see if one food is the culprit of an upset tummy, avoid it entirely to make sure it clears your system and your baby's.

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Tofu and Spinach in Garlic Sauce

Folate, found in beans, grains and vegetables, is an important nutrient to take in as you nurse. Try your hand at this spinach and tofu recipe to help reach your 500-microgram intake. Serve the stir-fried spinach, tofu, ginger, garlic and shallots over steamed brown rice or noodles for an easy dinner or lunch to box up and take on the go.

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Macaroni with Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sausage

You'll need the same amount of calcium while nursing as you needed during pregnancy: 1,000 milligrams per day. Many women don't meet this minimum, so it's particularly important to include leafy greens (like spinach) and low-fat cheeses in your diet. Use whole-wheat macaroni in this recipe for an additional boost of folate.

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Popped Amaranth Nut And Fruit Cereal

Amaranth, a South American grain, is rich in iron and naturally gluten free. It can be popped on a stovetop like popcorn and when mixed with vitamin and antioxidant-rich fruits—including blueberries, cranberries, apples and cherries—makes for a delicious and filling breakfast for nursing moms.

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Yogurt Fruit Smoothie

Your breast milk is made up almost entirely of water, so it's essential to load up on fluids, including juice, milk and water. Add a handful of ice cubes to or an additional cup of juice to this smoothie for a filling, nutrient-rich breakfast on the run or midday snack.

If you are concerned about nut allergies in your baby, leave out the walnuts. To learn more about nutritional guidelines while breastfeeding, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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