Diet & Nutrition during breastfeeding

A healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers, as well as for most other people, is defined as varied, balanced, and natural. 

  • A varied diet is one that includes a selection from different groups of foods.
  • A balanced diet is one that includes all food groups in a healthy
  • A natural diet would mean including the fresh foods of the season produced in your region in rather than consuming preserved foods.

A typical healthy diet for a breastfeeding mom would include:

Food Group Serves per day What is a serve?
¼ cup (30 g) muesli                 9 One slice (40 g) bread
½ cup (75–120 g) semolina, cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat,  polenta, bulgur, quinoa   
                2/3 cup (30 g) of wheat cereal flakes 
¼ cup (30 g) muesli
½ (40 g) medium roll or flat bread 
½ cup (120 g) cooked porridge         
Vegetables and legumes/beans About 75 g:
½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables
½ cup cooked legumes such as beans, peas, lentils
1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
½ cup sweet corn
½ medium potato or sweet potato
One medium tomato
Fruit 2 About 150 g:
One medium apple, banana, orange, pear
Two small apricots, kiwi fruit, plums
Occasionally:
½ cup (125 ml) fruit juice without any added sugar    
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives (mostly reduced fat) Two slices or         40g cube of hard cheese    
¾ cup (200 g) yoghurt
100 g almonds with skin
100 g firm tofu 
1 cup (250 ml) fresh, UHT long-life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
Lean meats and fish, poultry,  eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans   1 cup (150 g) cooked legumes/beans such as lentils, chickpeas or split peas
80 g of cooked lean poultry (100 g raw)  
65 g cooked lean red meat (90–100 g raw)
100 g of cooked fish fillet (115 g raw) 
Two large (120 g) eggs
170 g tofu
30 g nuts, seeds


In addition to the above foods to eat while breastfeeding, new mothers should also drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol. It is advisable to include some vitamins such as calcium and vitamin D in the diet for a healthy breastfeeding mum. It is also recommended to have food items that are mellow and not too spicy. If your baby appears to be consistently uncomfortable whenever you have a particular food, it is ideal to avoid the same while breastfeeding. For ideal breastfeeding nutrition, minimise exposure to contaminants such as pesticides and other chemicals, by thoroughly washing and cooking your food.

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