Baby and Me

Five must have food items for a lactating mother

5 Must Haves For A Lactating Mother

It is simple logic – what you consume, your baby consumes too! So if a lactating mother eats well, the nutrition will reach her baby through her breast milk. The key for a lactating mother is to drink lots of water apart from maintaining a balanced diet that includes portions of calcium, iron, protein and vitamins. An exclusively breastfeeding mother would typically require about 2700 kcal per day, while a non-breastfeeding mother  would be good with just 1800 kcal per day.

Do not mix quantity of food with its quality. A lactating mother would require a healthy and nutritious diet which includes -

50 percent of grains like cereal, oatmeal, wheat germ.

20 percent beans, peas and vegetables like pumpkin, carrot, tomatoes, kidney beans, soybean, red beans and leafy green like spinach.

10 percent fruits including banana, grapes, prunes, oranges.

10 percent nuts like almonds, peanut, sunflower seeds etc.

10 percent fish and lean meat.

Also add milk and milk products like yoghurt to you daily intake.

The 5 Must Have Food Categories


It’s very normal to feel thirsty; so, you could set a rule for yourself to drink a glass of water both before and after a feeding session. Consider this to be crucial. A glass of any healthy fluid could also be considered. Also note, fluids like tea, coffee, and soft drinks do not fall in this category of fluids. Unsweetened fresh fruit juices, clear soups and soya bean milk are alternatives you could consume, apart from water.


Foods like eggs, cheese, meat, fish, yoghurt, nuts, lentils, baked beans and split peas are very good sources of protein.


Milk and any of its by products are good sources of calcium. Even seeds like sunflower seeds or sesame seeds could give you rich calcium content. Not to miss, soya bean products, green leafy vegetables and dry fruits.


You could build your iron stores by consuming red meat, sesame seeds, egg yolk, nuts, legumes and wholegrain breads.

Folate and Vitamins

Folate can be consumed in the form of wholegrain cereals, lentils, beans, peas, cabbage, bananas. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, capsicum and potatoes. For Vitamin A, you can have broccoli, carrots and pumpkin.

When breastfeeding your baby, you have to make sure that you incorporate extra calories in your diet to match up to your little one’s milk requirements. The key is to have a balanced diet and stay healthy and happy.