The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Pregnancy is over and you have given birth to your beautiful baby. You might now be tempted to abandon your healthful eating habits due to lack of sleep and that seemingly never-ending to-do list. However, now is not the time to jump ship on those healthy eating practices you perfected during those 9 months of baby growing - especially if you are choosing to breastfeed. Your post-pregnancy diet needs to continue to be chock-full of nutritious and energy-boosting foods that will keep you running like the energizer bunny. A healthful diet ensures not only that your baby is receiving vital nutrients from your milk, but also that you will maintain good physical and emotional health for yourself. Not sure where or how to get started? Here are 5 superfoods that new moms everywhere should be consuming.

Salmon:

Salmon is a wonderful choice of fish for new moms as it is very high in omega-3 fatty acids (particularly DHA) and has also been found to be low in mercury. DHA has been found to be critical for the development of your babies brain and nervous system. An added bonus for you? It helps prevent post-partum depression and enhance immune function. As this is an ingredient also praised during pregnancy, it shouldn’t be too hard to continue to incorporate it into your post-preg diet.

Try it:

Summertime Salmon is a cinch. Simply rub cleaned and de-boned fillets allover with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, lemon zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Toss on a preheated grill or roast in a 450 F oven for 12 – 15 min, until pink and flaky. Enjoy with some oven roasted potatoes and a fresh baby spinach salad.

Yogurt:

Yogurt is an ideal food for both pregnant ladies and new moms. Part of the dairy family, yogurt boasts more nutrients than milk, with higher concentrations of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Protein from your breast milk helps provide your baby with essential building blocks to ensure good development and growth. Yogurt is also a good source of zinc, a nutrient often be difficult to obtain for some women.  

Tip

: Be sure to select yogurt which contains live, active bacterial cultures. These cultures (killed off by heat treatment in some yogurts) aid in digestion and can assist in alleviating GI distress.

Try it:

Yogurt is an extremely versatile food. Use instead of milk with your morning cereal, puree with fresh or frozen berries, banana and ice for a healthy smoothie or use in place of sour cream in savory dishes such as pasta sauces or soup.

Almonds and Walnuts:

Nuts in general are very good for you, however almonds and walnuts in particular boast nutrients essential for the new mom. In addition to protein and fiber, almonds contain Vitamin E, calcium, zinc and alpha-linolenic acid. Walnuts are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and thus are essential to your physical and emotional health and your babies brain and nervous system development.

Try it:

Toasted almonds and walnuts can be toss into salads, incorporated into your morning granola, or crushed to create a coating for your chicken or fish.

Spinach or Kale:

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale with their delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food. Both spinach and kale are extremely healthy for new moms as they are very high in Vitamins A and C, both of which can assist in wound healing. Therefore, if you had a C-section or episiotomy, these vitamins can help in repairing these wounds. Spinach and kale are also good sources of Vitamin K, which assists in bone health, important as often calcium is going to your baby.

Try it:

Summer is a great time to enjoy baby spinach as it can be tossed freshed into many different salads or used as a sandwich or burger topper when you are at the grill. Kale, which has a tougher stalk to it, is best boiled, steamed or sautéed and then tossed into soups, pastas or casseroles.