Diet & Nutrition

Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby's growth and development. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products

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10 Super-Foods for New Moms

Losing those pregnancy pounds might be at the front of your mind. But there’s something that's even more important for your body after your baby arrives: eating foods that give you the energy to be the best mom you can be. Routinely eating healthy foods throughout the day will maximize the little energy you probably have as a new mom. If you’re nursing, the quality of your breast milk stays pretty much the same no matter what you choose to eat. But there's a catch: When you aren't getting the needed nutrients from your diet, your body will provide them from your own stores. So make sure you get all the nutrients you and your baby need. It will benefit both of you. Try to make these healthy foods a regular part of your diet. 1. Salmon There's no such thing as a perfect food. But salmon is pretty close to it when it comes to a nutritional powerhouse for new moms. Salmon, like other fatty fish, is loaded with a type of fat called DHA. DHA is 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. The DHA in salmon may also help your mood. Studies suggest it may play a role in preventing postpartum depression. One caution: The FDA recommends that breastfeeding women, women who are pregnant, and women who might get pregnant limit how much salmon they eat. The guidelines recommend an average of 12 ounces, or the equivalent of two main servings, per week. The reason is to limit the amount mercury your new child is exposed to. The mercury level in salmon is considered low. Some other fish, such as swordfish or mackerel, have a high amount of mercury and should be avoided altogether. The 12 ounces are an average. Eating more in 1 week -- such as having three servings instead of two -- won't hurt as long as you eat less the following week. 2. Low-Fat Dairy Products Whether you prefer yogurt, milk, or cheese, dairy products are an important part of healthy breastfeeding. Milk delivers a boost of bone-strengthening vitamin D. In addition to providing protein and B vitamins, dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium. If you're breastfeeding, your milk is loaded with calcium to help your baby's bones develop, so it's important for you to eat enough calcium to meet your own needs. Try including at least three cups of dairy each day in your diet. 3. Legumes Iron-rich beans, particularly dark-coloured ones like black beans and kidney beans, are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians. They’re a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein. 4. Blueberries Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and they give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high. 5. Brown Rice You might be tempted to cut back on carbs to help lose the baby weight. Don’t. Losing weight too quickly may cause you to make less milk and leave you feeling sluggish. Mix healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice into your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body the calories it needs to make the best-quality milk for your baby. 6. Oranges Portable and nutritious, oranges are a great food to boost energy. Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent breastfeeding foods, since nursing moms need more vitamin C than pregnant women. Can't find time to sit down for a snack? Sip on some orange juice as you go about your day -- you'll get the vitamin C benefit, and you can opt for calcium-fortified varieties to get even more out of your drink. 7. Eggs Eggs are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Scramble a couple of eggs for breakfast, toss a hard-boiled egg or two on your lunchtime salad, or have an omelette and salad for dinner. Opt for DHA-fortified eggs to boost the level of this essential fatty acid in your milk. 8. Whole-Wheat Bread Folic acid is crucial to your baby's development in the early stages of pregnancy. But its importance doesn't end there. 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 fibre and iron. 9. Leafy Greens Leafy green veggies like spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli are filled with vitamin A, which is good for you and your baby. The benefits don’t stop there. They're a good non-dairy source of calcium and contain vitamin C and iron. Green veggies are also filled with heart-healthy antioxidants and are low in calories. 10. Whole-Grain Cereal After yet another sleepless night, one of the best foods to boost energy for new moms in the morning is a healthy breakfast of whole-grain cereal. Many cold cereals are fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients to help you meet your daily needs. Whip up a healthy, hot breakfast by stirring blueberries and skim milk into a delicious serving of oatmeal. Content Source

Chicken and Vegetable Broth/ Soup Recipe

This is an easy to make broth or soup, which can make a nutritious snack or meal and a perfect comfort food. If you have a sick child at home, whose taste buds are getting revolted at the sight of food, this soup could be your best bet. Ingredients 1 Chicken leg piece ( You could use some other piece as well, preferably with bone) 1 cup chopped vegetables( cubed carrots, chopped green beans, peas or any vegetable your child likes) 1 small onion chopped ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 cups water or as needed Salt and pepper to taste Recipe. Method In a pressure cooker, heat the olive oil. You could also do this in a wide saucepan, but it is faster in a pressure cooker. Add garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Do not brown them. Add onions and sauté till they become soft and translucent. Add vegetables and sauté for a minute. Add chicken piece and sauté slightly till sealed. Add water and salt and pepper. Cover the pressure cooker, turn the heat to simmer and let it cook till 3-4 whistles. Let the cooker cool on its own and check. The meat should be falling off the bone. Before serving, remove the meat from bones and mix with the broth. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot. Content Source:  Feature Image Source: 

Kid-friendly Baked Chicken Lollipops

If your child likes chicken and you are looking to provide some healthy variety, chicken lollipops can add some variation. Chicken lollipops are great as snacks, but not very healthy due to the addition of color and that they have to be deep fried. Here is a simple recipe of chicken lollipops, made with very few ingredients, no color and it is baked and it tastes delicious. These will become favorites with your family, kids and adults alike. Ingredients Chicken lollipops – 12 pcs Oil to brush For Marinade 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (Use white vinegar if you do not have apple cider) 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce ½ tsp brown sugar/ white sugar 1 tsp pepper powder( You can also add chilli flakes, if your child likes it) Salt to taste 1 tsp oil ½ tsp chicken masala 1 tsp corn flour Recipe In a large bowl, Method - mix all the ingredients to make a thick marinade. Add the chicken lollipops to this mixture and coat them well. Leave covered to marinate for 1-2 hours. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Lightly drizzle or brush little oil on the foil. Place the marinated lollipops standing on the prepared tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Give them resting time of 5-10 minutes within the oven. Take out and serve with a dip of your choice. Content Source: Feature Image Source: