Diet and Breastfeeding
Summer is just around the corner! That means so is summer produce! As we know, there are different fruits and veggies in season at different times during the year. For us in the Greater DC area, the long awaited strawberry season is back! Summer brings with it an array of fruits and vegetables that we’ve been missing all winter. In the Washington D.C. area this includes strawberries, asparagus and peas, just to name a few of our favorites.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is one sure-fire way to make sure that you are enjoying a healthy diet. Bonus points if you’re consuming organic produce. Even better if those fruits and veggies happen to be in season! Want to find out what fruits and vegetables are in season in your area? Check out the seasonal foods guide where you can input your location and the time of year to find out what’s bloomin’ near you! For this weeks post, we’ve decided to discuss the connection between a nutritious diet and breastfeeding.
A Breastfeeding Parent’s Diet Matters
During pregnancy, it’s important for mothers to maintain a nutritious diet. This is because those nutrients go directly to the baby as (s)he grows. After birth, the need for a healthy diet continues to remain essential to the health of mom and baby. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “The higher the nutritional quality of the mom’s diet, the higher the nutritional quality of the milk.” Not to mention, a healthy diet leads to increased energy levels for new parents. You’ll need all the energy you can get at this stage in the game! Most sources state that breastfeeding mothers should have anywhere from 300 to 500 extra calories per day. This is to maintain pre-baby weight while expelling calories through nursing. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put together a great guide for breastfeeding moms, outlining diet and activity tips to keep parents active and healthy while caring for their little one!
As summer creeps closer and closer, take some time to find out what is in season near you, and start planning your summer cookouts with healthy ingredients to keep you active and energized all season long! BONUS: Farmers markets are a fun way to show the kids what goes into their healthy meals, and is a great outing for a warm spring day!