Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
What better time to talk about the benefits as well as the challenges of breastfeeding.
Before we get to that though, i just want to say that I also celebrate the moms who have made the decision to bottle feed for whatever reason. I know there is a lot of judgement out there about moms who breastfeed and moms who don’t but being a mom who bottle fed my first and then breastfed my second, I think I know a little about how each feels. Whichever way you choose make sure it’s the right choice for you. Both my kids are happy, healthy and thriving which I think is the most important.
But being World Breastfeeding week and all, I thought I’d talk a bit about some of the benefits of breastfeeding.
- tend to have fewer ear and respiratory infections
- have fewer allergies
- have easier digestion
- absorb more nutrients
- have less postpartum depression
- have less osteoporosis
- are less likely to have breast, uterine and ovarian cancers
Breastmilk is designed to meet the needs of your growing baby, changing as your baby changes. If even changes depending on if you’re in a warm or cold climate. Once you get the hang of it, it really is a wonderful thing but the challenge sometimes is exactly that – how to get it right. Many moms, myself included, really struggle in those first weeks. You’re exhausted and sleep deprived and you’re not sure if the baby is getting enough and it hurts sometimes! A lot! You forget all the things you’ve read about it taking a few weeks for your milk supply but breastmilk really is wonderful.
It supplies all the fat that your baby needs for brain development and it is regulated so the baby gets the most fat to feel full and satiated at the end of the feeding. Of course, it is also the best source of Omega 3s, proteins, vitamins, minerals and iron.
Your breastmilk will always be nutritious for your baby but part of making sure your baby gets all that she needs is making sure you get all that you need. That includes rest and good nutrition. I know it’s hard to find time to eat when you have a baby but try making things that are quick and nutritious and that can be stored in the fridge like my Power Up Protein Smoothie or my Peach Pina Colada Smoothie.
Remember to celebrate being a mama!
With my son in school full time now, I find myself having less time to eat breakfast which makes for a very grumpy me. So I had to find a way to get a power packed breakfast in the quickest way possible with the easiest delivery method (if you know what I mean).
So enter my Peach Pina Colada Smoothie!
It is smooth, creamy and intensely satisfying. Not to mention it has everything you need for a breakfast on the go AND makes you think of the beach!
The milk and yogourt are both a rich source of calcium and protein. The bacteria in the yogourt fosters a healthy colon, decreases yeast infections, boosts your immunity and can lower your cholesterol. No bad, huh?
Pineapple has one of the highest values of manganese. In fact, 1 cup of pineapple provides 77% of your daily manganese requirements. Manganese is an essential nutrient need for bone production, collagen production and the creation of specific enzymes to control blood sugar.
Coupled with the pineapple, the peach provides a good source of vitamins A and C and because of its skin is a great source of fibre.
What more can you ask for in a smoothie!
All you have to do is add everything to the blender. Process until smooth.
Then serve and enjoy!
Peach Pina Colada Smoothie
- 6 oz. milk of choice
- 1/4 cup yogourt, plain & unsweetened
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 cup pineapple, chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 1/2 cup ice
- Add milk, yogourt, peach, pineapple, vanilla and cinnamon (and honey if using) to a blender and mix on high speed until smooth and frothy.
- Add ice and blend until ice is crushed.
- Serve and enjoy!
I know it’s been a while…
What can I say? Summer has been super busy with camps and trips and prepping for the start of Kindergarten. I can’t believe my little guy has gotten so big!
He also started Lego club, as if I need more Lego in my life (as I roll my eyes), at the end of which they were sending the kids home with these pre-packaged snacks that were not very nutritious. So being me I decided to chat with the coordinator and at the end I was tasked with preparing nutritious snacks for 24 kids. I’m happy to help spread the good nutrition but it makes life a WHOLE lot busier!
Despite all those things, I have been working on a few recipes and testing them on my kids of course! This black bean nugget is super simple and really takes no time at all. I like to buy my black beans dry and pre-cook them. Then I put them in the snack sized storage bags for freezing and it’s the perfect portion size when I’m ready to cook. Best thing about this recipe is that everything happens in the food processor! Score!
The black bean nuggets are very versatile and can be paired with most anything. I actually like to do this with sweet potato fries and grilled cheese wraps. They’re also great as lunches with some mozzarella cheese sticks and crackers. I find that if you give kids a dip they will be more willing to try anything. Even if you use good old ketchup. Of course, find a brand that is low on sugar and doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup.
Now all you have to do is put all the ingredients in the processor and mix until if clumps together almost like a ball.
Using your hands, make 1” balls and place on lined baking tray. Press down to create the nugget shape. Et voila! You have nuggets.
Bake for 20 minutes turning half way through and you’re good to go!
These nuggets are packed full of the goodness of black beans. They’re high in protein and dietary fibre and are chock full of minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. It’s great for pregnant women because it contains about 64% of the daily value of folate, essential for baby’s neural development. The fibre makes it incredibly filling and as a complex carbohydrate it provides long lasting energy and keeps blood sugar levels stable. Not bad for a little bean!
- 1 tin/ bag black beans*
- 5-6 baby carrots, steamed
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax+3 tbsp water)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Put all ingredients in food processor and process until combined and mixture sticks together.
- Form into 1” balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten gentle with fingers to form nuggets.
- Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Serve with any dip and a side of sweet potato fries.
*I buy dried black beans and pre-cook the whole bag. I put the cooked beans in individual snack-sized storage bags and freeze. When I need it, I just pull out a bag and I’m good to go!
Bananas! I seem to be going bananas for bananas! I have been obsessed with finding the perfect banana bread recipe that could be a sweet treat and a breakfast on the go and the base for a sandwich.
I think I got it this time! This bread is not too sweet so it’s great and filling for breakfast but also sweet enough to curb any cravings, especially if paired with a hot cup of tea. Greatest of all, you can use it to make sandwiches! So far I’ve done it with cheese, with jam and with nut butter. It’s fantastic! Not to mention it’s totally easy and only uses one bowl! For me that’s the best part. I am definitely not a fan of doing dishes. It also stores really well in the refrigerator and toasts wonderfully!
You simply add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
Then add the wet and incorporate.
Finally, add the walnuts and just stir in.
Pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.
Slice and enjoy!
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
1 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Mix well.
- Add bananas, flax egg, milk and combine until incorporated.
- Add walnuts and mix until just combined.
- Place in greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from pan.
- Slice and enjoy!
*You can increase the sugar depending on your taste.
Tofu! I find it to be one of the most versatile foods. It can be breakfast, part of a main dish or a side dish. Tofu, especially firm tofu is a great source of calcium, as well as protein, fibre, vitamin A, folic acid and anti-cancer phytonutrients.
As you’ve probably already figured out by now, I like to keep things simple and quick. This recipe is great because you can prepare the tofu ahead of time and just make the sauce when you’re ready to serve. The sauce really takes about 8 minutes!
Sometimes I serve this dish with some ketchup so my kids can have something to dip. It seems that being able to dip makes a huge difference. The sauce also pretty versatile and can be used as a dip or as a coating for other vegetables. It’s sweet but very aromatic because of the garlic which makes it very balanced.
Simply coat your tofu in the arrowroot flour and bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
Combine your sauce ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat until it bubbles and begins to thicken. Add the tofu combine so the tofu is evenly coated.
Serve with a vegetable side dish and enjoy!
1lb extra firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tamari/ soy sauce
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
*You can substitute corn starch for the arrowroot flour
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease non-stick baking tray.
- Combine tofu with arrowroot until well coated
- Place in single layer on baking tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, turning halfway through baking.
- Set aside
*This can be done ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Combine arrowroot and water.
- In a sauce pan on medium heat, combine honey, tamari and arrowroot mixture.
- The sauce will begin to bubble and thicken.
- At this point, add the baked tofu and mix to coat well.
- Remove from heat after about 5 minutes.
- Serve warm with a side of vegetable rice and enjoy!