Pregnant and nursing moms hear it all the time, “It’s okay to eat this because you are eating for two.” I can’t tell you how many times I am encouraged to eat pizza, cake, ice cream, or really any other foods that I wouldn’t consider healthy because I’m burning extra calories breastfeeding.
As a nursing mom the way I see it, if I wouldn’t feed it directly to my kid, I won’t eat it (with the occasional exception of chocolate chip cookies). I encourage you not to fall into the trap of eating anything and everything because you are eating for two. While pregnant and nursing it is more important than ever to choose foods that are nutrient rich and good for you and baby.
While nursing, I find that I am constantly hungry, and not “I could use a snack” kind of hungry, but more of a “I need a four course meal followed by dessert” kind of hungry. I have found that the best way to stave off eating the first thing I see is to keep healthy snacks readily available. If I don’t have snacks available I usually end up eating something processed, high in sugar and low in nutrients, so planning is key! Eating balanced vitamin rich foods is what will keep you feeling good and energized while you nourish your baby.
Eating for two is not intended to mean that you eat double what you normally would but rather eat foods that are healthful and provide you and baby all the nutrients you need. There are some tricks to ensure you are eating healthfully.
I keep almonds out on the counter and at my desk at work. I always have Greek yogurt and hummus in the fridge and I pack my purse with low-sugar protein bars and trail mix. I hard boil a carton of eggs once a week and keep them in the fridge for those times I want to snack. I always have something I can eat while I am running around. As a pregnant or breastfeeding mom, you need stamina and strength to meet the physical demands of caring for a baby. It is especially important to make sure you are nourishing your body.
Photo credit: Nate