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Categories breastfeeding meal plan, Nutrition Blogs, Nutrition during lactation

Importance of Breastfeeding in Strengthening Your Infant’s Immunity

Till date, breast milk remains the best meal for the newborn baby for the first 6 months of its life. It gives the child a healthy start from the earliest moments of life.

 Have a read below to understand the importance of breastfeeding:

  • Rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sugars, etc – breast milk contains all the essential nutrients that a baby needs for its growth and development.
  • As per research, breast milk contains ‘Probiotics’ – a substance which in turn serves as a nutrient source for healthy bacteria in the body. This substance not only protects the infant’s gut but also instructs the newborn’s immune system on how to appropriately respond to harmful bacteria.
  • Likewise, breast milk contains lymphocytes and macrophages – substances that produce antibodies. These antibodies boost the infant’s immune system and lower the risk of allergies and other chronic illnesses like gastroenteritis, diarrhea, irregular bowel movement, cold, flu, etc.
  • Some studies claim that breastfed infants stay healthier for a longer period. Such kids are less prone to developing obesity and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc – later in life.
  • What’s more? Health experts suggest that children who are exclusively breastfed have higher IQs than kids who are fed through bottles, nipples, and other modern supplies.

Post Delivery Diet for Breastfeeding
If you wish to provide the right nutrients to your baby, have a look at the breastfeeding diet plan below:

  • Dairy Products – Food items such as Milk, Paneer, Cheese, Eggs, etc. are rich in protein and calcium. These food items help form Casein in breast milk – an element that aids digestion and absorption of other nutrients.
  • Green and Leafy Vegetables – Broccoli, Kale, Peas, Mustard Greens, etc are all rich in protein and mineral content. It helps boost the nutritional value of breast milk. Moreover, the fiber present in these food items regulates the mother’s digestive system.
  • Fruits: A good source of vitamin B1, B2, B6, and C, fruits will increase the milk production in the body.
  • Pulses and Legumes – A good source of iron, folate, phosphorous, zinc, and B vitamin -this food can be a good inclusion in the breastfeeding meal plan.
  • Consume water and other healthy fluids – it will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Remember: Do not try diets to lose weight immediately. Give your body some time to normalize, before you plan to get back in shape. Ensure you consult a dietician before you make any major changes in your diet plan.

Kanupriya Khanna is one such dietician who can help you with a good breastfeeding meal plan. One of the best nutritionists in Delhi, Kanupriya will help you meet your nutrition needs during the breastfeeding period.

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Categories Diet During Pregnancy, Nutrition Blogs

What are Natural Sugars? How to Ensure Your Pregnancy Diet Plan Contains Natural Sugar?

We all know too much sugar is bad for health. But then there’s always a discussion about natural sugar vs refined sugar, and you might wonder what the debate is all about!

Natural Sugar

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Naturally occurring sugars are the kinds found in foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Basically, they are an inherent part of the foods. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay!

Refined Sugar

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Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar. It is a combination of glucose and fructose. We generally utilize brown and white sugars to sweeten cookies, cakes, desserts, coffee, tea, cereals etc. Moreover, packaged food items, such as chips, granola bars, flavoured yogurt, bread, condiments, tomato sauce, mayonnaise etc contain added refined sugars.

How the Body Metabolizes Sugar Matters

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How the body metabolizes the sugar in milk and fruits varies from how it metabolizes the refined sugar added to packed or processed foods. The fiber in fruit slows down metabolism, as fruit in the gut expands to make you feel full. Whereas the body breaks down refined sugar rapidly, causing insulin and blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Moreover, since refined sugar gets quickly digested, you tend to eat more – thus leading to increased calorie intake and excess weight gain.

High sugar intake is also associated with some of the world’s most deadly diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Hence it’s important to include natural sugar in your diet instead of refined sugar.

How to Ensure Your Pregnancy Diet Plan Contains Natural Sugar?

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If you are pregnant or planning to be soon – here’s what you can do to ensure your pregnancy diet plan contains natural sugar:

1. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. Food items in your fridge will make or break your diet plan. Hence ensure you choose the healthy ones!

2. To stabilize your blood sugar level– have three small meals plus two to three healthy snacks every day.

3. Have a good breakfast and don’t skip meals. Your blood sugar will remain more stable if your food is distributed evenly throughout the day.

4. Include healthy protein in your diet during pregnancy. Eating a high-quality protein at every meal is the key to success. The best sources of protein are:

➢ Fish: Sol, tuna, salmon, mackerel,etc
➢ Poultry: Chicken, eggs and turkey
➢ Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc
➢ Dairy foods: Milk, cheese, yogurt
➢ Miscellaneous: oats, quinoa, beans, lentils, legumes, seeds, etc

5. Do not include processed or packed food items in your diet during pregnancy. Avoid foods and drinks that contain refined sugars, such as sodas, soft drinks, desserts, cakes etc. It will cause your blood sugar level to spike.

6.Learn to read labels on food products, and eliminate those that contain high-content refined sugar.

If you need a precise pregnancy diet plan in order to control your body sugar level, contact Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best nutritionists in Delhi – Kanupriya will create a personalized pregnancy meal plan for you as per your health requirement!

Categories Diet During Pregnancy, Recipe

Traditional Indian Recipes that Can Be Included in Your Breastfeeding Meal Plan

Post delivery the mother’s diet affects the quantity and quality of breast milk. So it is advisable for new moms to intake a balanced and nutritious diet, in order to provide complete nourishment to the baby during the first six months

If you are exclusively looking for a nutritious breastfeeding meal plan, have a look at some delectable traditional Indian recipes below. Nutritious, wholesome, healthy and scrumptious – these recipes can be easily prepared at home.

Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup – fresh spinach leaves finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 3 small cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp moong dal
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup of water
  • Salt – as required

Procedure

  • Wash spinach leaves thoroughly in clean water. Simultaneously soak moong dal in water for 10 minutes.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. Allow the seeds to splutter. Next, add chopped garlic and saute it for two minutes.
  • Now add chopped onions and tomatoes and fry them nicely until it turns mushy golden brown.
  • Next, add spinach leaves and soaked moong dal. Give a quick stir and mix all the ingredients well.
  • Add water and sprinkle salt and turmeric powder.
  • Cook everything together for few minutes in medium-low flame.
  • Once the spinach leaves soften and begin to melt – transfer the cooked mixture to a blender.
  • Grind the mixture into a smooth puree. Add water as required.
  • Sprinkle pepper powder and serve the soup warm!

Ragi Porridge

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ragi flour
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • ½ tsp ajwain seeds powder
  • 1 tsp dill seeds powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut grated
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 2 cups water /coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp nuts (optional)
  • Saffron few strands (optional)

Procedure:

  • Heat ghee in a broad pan.
  • Roast ragi flour in ghee. When you can smell the aroma, add guar gum – roast it for 1 min.
  • Next, add all the spices. Roast it for another 1 min. Add some nuts and some saffron(optional)
  • In another pot, boil 2 small cups of water with 1 tbsp jaggery. Allow the jaggery to get melted.
  • When ragi is roasted with herbs – add jaggery water and mix well.

Khichdi – Ayurvedic Food Recipes

Khichdi can be described as a porridge type of dish prepared from mung lentil and rice as the main ingredients. Various herbs and spices make it a healing recipe for various diseases. Ayurvedic therapies use it for cleansing due to its ease of digestion and assimilation.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup split moong dal (lentil)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee or sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp hing also called asafoetida
  • 1/2 inch finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorn
  • 4 to 6 cups of water depending upon the consistency desired.

Procedure

  • Wash the lentil and rice together.
  • In a heated heavy-bottomed saucepan or pressure cooker add ghee (clarified butter) or oil.
  • When ghee gets warmed, add hing along with cumin and mustard seeds. Wait till the seeds crackle.
  • Add chopped ginger, sauté for about 30 seconds.
  • Add rice, dal, turmeric, salt and whole black peppercorns.
  • Mix in gently.
  • Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep stirring occasionally. If using a saucepan, cover it, reduce heat to low flame and cook undisturbed until soft for about 30 minutes.
  • Switch off heat, let khichdi rest for 5 minutes.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cook the khichdi for one whistle.
  • Let the cooker cool off.
  • Fluff it up gently with a spoon, add a tablespoon of ghee (optional) and serve.

Variation: – You can use quinoa instead of rice. Vegetables can be added to make a one-pot meal. If root vegetables, sauté first then add rice and dhal. Green leafy vegetables can be added at the end when khichari is nearly cooked.  Garnish with rosemary/fresh dill.

Beetroot and Coconut Soup

  • 1 lb beetroot
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 large piece of ginger
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 large carrot (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of your favourite frying oil
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chive and fresh cream (optional, for serving)

Procedure

  • Peel and dice the vegetables. Grate the ginger.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the diced vegetable and the grated ginger.
  • Stir fry on high heat for 5 min. Keep stirring constantly.
  • Add coconut milk and one pint of water. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are quite tender. Next blend to a smooth soup.
  • Bring back to the boil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving – add the lemon juice.
  • Serve with chopped chives and a spoonful of fresh cream for a dramatic colour effect.

For more such tips and recipes on post delivery diet contact Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best nutritionists in Delhi, Kanupriya works with women to improve their pre and postnatal nutritional intake. She will not only share traditional post delivery diet plans but will also explain the quantity in which they should be consumed.

 

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