Breastfeeding Nutrition: Lactation Banana Muffins

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 5.00.53 PMBreastfeeding for as long as possible is my priority. Since my first day postpartum, I have been drinking Fenugreek tea (this one) and eating a healthy diet of protein, carbohydrates, and veggies.

Some great foods for breastfeeding are:

Salmon (Wild-caught only) – Like other fatty fish, salmon is loaded with a type of fat called DHA, crucial to the development of your baby’s nervous system. All breast milk contains DHA, but levels of it are higher in the milk of women who get more DHA from their diets.

Lean Beef (organic) – Nursing moms need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12. Lean beef is an excellent source for both.

Blueberries and other fruit (organic)- Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. They are filled with vitamins and minerals and give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high. Other fruits I’ve been eating daily this summer are bananas, nectarines, mangoes, and papaya.

Eggs (farm or store-bought organic) –  I eat eggs for breakfast three to four times per week. They are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Opt for DHA-fortified eggs to boost the level of this essential fatty acid in your milk.

Whole Wheat Bread – Folic acid is an important nutrient in your breast milk that your baby needs for good health, and it’s crucial you eat enough for your own well-being, too. Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with it, and also give you a healthy dose of fiber and iron. I buy Ezekiel bread.

Leafy greens (organic)- Veggies like spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli are filled with vitamin A, which is good for you and your baby. They’re also a good non-dairy source of calcium and contain vitamin C and iron. Green veggies are also filled with antioxidants and are low in calories.

Oatmeal (organic)- Oatmeal has long been recommended as a way for moms to increase their milk supply. Oatmeal has properties in it that help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy blood pressure. These properties may also help with other functions in the body including lactation.

Here is my recipe for lactation banana muffins:

I made these muffins and was pleasantly surprised with the results… and so was my husband, who wasn’t expecting them to taste as good with such clean ingredients.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.54.44 PM

Here is the recipe I put together:

  • 2 cups quick oats (blended into flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 packets stevia (or honey, to taste)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cinnamon apple sauce
  • 3-4 blueberries per muffin cup (chocolate chips or walnuts are also a yummy option!)
  • Peanut butter is another option (2-3 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas and stevia, then add the remaining ingredients. Spoon batter into muffin liners. Bake for 17-18 minutes… and voila!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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