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    For new babies, the ideal food is mother’s milk.

    The quality of the milk is dependant on the state of the mother’s health and her diet. Babies need nutrients for growth and brain development, immunity, digestive activity and so many other functions.

    There are many nutrients that are particularly in demand during the first few months of life. It is recommended that lactating mothers include plenty of nutrient rich foods listed below in their own diets:

    Omega 3 fats including DHA and EPA – DHA is needed for building the structure of the brain. EPA is needed for the production of brain chemicals. Breast milk contains both these fats. They can be made in the body from the omega 3 fats found in hemp seeds (1), flax seeds (1,2) and walnuts (2) and their cold pressed oils.
    Zinc for the development of the immune system, healing and growth. The mineral zinc is found in whole foods especially pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, brown rice, eggs, pulses, peas, chicken, whole grains.
    Calcium is needed for the development of strong bones and teeth. Good sources include kale, chicory, savoy cabbage, watercress, broccoli, almonds, tahini, carob, dulse, figs, hazelnuts and alfalfa sprouts.
    Magnesium is vital for the utilization of calcium and for health of the nervous system. Magnesium is found in green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, avocadoes, bananas, brown rice, kelp, millet, almonds and hazelnuts.
    B vitamins are needed for the nervous system and energy along with many other body processes. B vitamins are found in whole grains, eggs, fish, bananas, spinach, broccoli, nuts and pulses.
    Water is vital for maintaining hydration. You will need more fluids than usual as you lose a lot through the milk.
    When you start weaning, please introduce new foods gradually into your child’s diet so that you can monitor reactions. If your baby develops symptoms within 48 hours of eating a food, eliminate that food and wait a couple of months before re-introducing it. Only introduce one new food every 2-3 days. In this way, you can watch for food allergies or sensitivities.

    For more information and support on Breast Feeding, discuss with our Nutritionist in the Club Forum. You can do this by joining our Club. Always consult with your GP or medical doctor.

    References

    1. Schwab US, Callaway JC, Erkkila AT et al. Effects of hempseed and flaxseed oils on the profile of serum lipids, serum total and lipoprotein lipid concentration and haemostatic factors. Eur J Nutr. 2006 Dec;45(8):470-7