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The best foods for breastfeeding

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Real mum's tip


"Definitely give breastfeeding a go, even if you don't do it full time. It gives you a great bond with each other."

Mums' Choice member Irene Smith, 36, mum to 10-week-old Jen-Mei

Breastfeeding is the best protection against illness you can provide. Breast milk gives your baby easily absorbable minerals, antioxidants and other antibacterial substances, helping protect him from both bacterial and viral infection. It also helps you bond with your baby.

But don't forget to look after yourself too. A healthy diet will give you the energy you need as well as giving your baby vital nutrients.

Make time for breakfast

A good healthy breakfast is top of the menu for exhausted mums who've been up with their baby several times in the night. Porridge is a guaranteed pick-me-up.

Try this

Add blueberries to your porridge for sustained energy through the morning.

Brilliant broccoli

Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day will mean both of you are getting plenty of immune-boosting antioxidants. Broccoli is a true superfood packed with vitamin C and folic acid.

Try this

Lightly steam broccoli or stir fry it with olive oil and soy sauce to accompany a meal, or eat it raw with houmous as a snack.

Go bananas

Try not to snack on cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars, which are high in refined sugars and fat. Healthy snacks include bananas, which contain the mood-boosting substance tryptophan, and fruit smoothies that provide instant energy and are easy to make.

Try this

Blend a banana with yoghurt, apple juice and a handful of berries for a delicious, nutrient-packed drink.

Salmon the superstar

Wild Alaskan salmon comes from clean, clear water and eating this will let you pass on nutrients that are excellent for boosting your baby's immune health and brain development. Eating two portions a week of oily fish is fine but don't have more than this – find out more at NHS Choices.

Try this

Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables and potatoes, makes a quick and easy supper.

"Bananas are a healthy snack and contain the mood-boosting substance tryptophan"