Union JackThe word is out - Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth Monday afternoon and it looks like her and Prince William's new bundle of joy will be wearing Royal blue (it's a boy!). Britain's beloved baby boy is going to need optimal nutrition from the start to take on the tasks that await him as the heir to the throne. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months to benefit the health of both mom and baby. Along with these recommendations come some dietary tips that all new moms should be aware of. We've zeroed in on the nutrients that help new moms like Kate fight fatigue (hello, sleepless nights), reduce the risk of postpartum depression, and meet the demands of nursing during the upcoming months. Let's hope Kate loads up on these foods and nutrients.
1. Whole Grain Carbs
Kate may have slimmed down with the Dukan Diet for her wedding, but there's no time to cut carbs when you're welcoming a baby on board. Calorie requirements are higher post-pregnancy (around 500 kcals more!) to help with the demands of breast feeding, and nutrient-dense whole grains are an important way to meet these needs. Add to that the fact that carbs can provide the boost you need to keep you alert for your little nipper (British term for baby)-especially handy considering that nighttime feedings can leave you feeling sluggish. Many new moms also complain of constipation but you can count on the fiber in whole grains to help keep you regular.
What to eat: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, and whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta
We hear the Duchess enjoys muesli for breakfast (a base of uncooked rolled oats, fruit, and nuts). A quick and easy alternative is instant oatmeal, or if you have five minutes to spare, try this fiber-full 5 Minute Multigrain Cereal.
Related: Taste Test - Best Instant Oatmeal
Post-pregnancy demands for protein are higher than those for non-pregnant women (it takes a lot of energy to produce milk). The extra protein recommended after baby is born is especially important for physically active women, like Kate. Meet your needs (and baby's, too) by adding extra protein to your menu.
What to eat: Lean meats, skinless poultry (rotisserie chicken is a quick supermarket pick!), seafood, tofu, beans, and eggs. Pump up the protein by adding extra-firm tofu cubes to this satisfying Three Bean Salad or whip up Good Housekeeping's simply sweet Peachy Grilled Chicken or our favorite Quick Chicken Kebabs.
3. B Vitamins: B-6, B-12, thiamin, and riboflavin
Kate Middleton is probably used to minding her p's and q's, but now she'll have to start minding her B's. The family of B vitamins is involved in the formation of red blood cells and also plays a role in metabolism. Deficiency could result in fatigue and depression for mom, and stunted growth for an infant.
What to eat: Fortified tofu (B-6), lean meats, fish, and poultry (B-12), fortified whole-grain products (thiamin), and fat-free milk (riboflavin). Add lean ground turkey meat to one of Good Housekeeping's top rated marinara sauces and enjoy with fortified whole grain spaghetti noodles to amp up your B's!
4. Calcium and Vitamin D
Consuming the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D post-pregnancy is extremely important for women in order to avoid bone loss, fatigue, and other symptoms of deficiency. Calcium is also involved in blood clotting, muscle contraction, and a whole smorgasbord of bodily functions. The great thing is your body has a fabulous mechanism that ensures these vital functions happen and that your baby gets all the calcium he or she needs from breast milk-it robs the calcium from mom's bones if she isn't getting an adequate amount from her diet. Make sure this doesn't happen by adding calcium-rich foods to your meal plan.
Vitamin D is a bit trickier since it can be very difficult to achieve the recommended amount solely from diet. Ask your doctor or dietitian about the possibility of a supplement for both you and your mini-me (especially if you live in an area where the "sun don't shine" often).
What to eat: vitamin D fortified skim milk, non-dairy fortified milk, fat-free yogurt, reduced-fat cheese, kale, salmon, tuna, and whole eggs. Substitute Greek Yogurt instead of mayo in tuna salad as a tasty way to combine vitamin D and calcium into a meal that takes 15 minutes to make-great for mom's with short nappers!
Get all the recipes mentioned in this story plus the 4 other nutrients all moms must have!
--By Samantha Cassetty, M.S., R.D. and Ann Lokuta
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