Q. “I’m breastfeeding, and I’m hungry all the time, with insatiable cravings for sweets! I try to eat fairly well and have healthy snacks, but I still seem to be topping up with biscuits and cakes. What can you suggest to keep me on track nutritionally and stave off the sugar cravings?”
Sara Doyle, VIC
A. Dietitian Brooke Longfield, APD, responds:
Many breastfeeding mums crave sugar. When you feel tired, high-energy sugary foods, such as biscuits and chocolate, can seem like a good solution. The problem is that once this sugar fix wears off, these kinds of foods leave you feeling more weary than you were in the first place. They’re also an easy way to consume excess kilojoules that can lead to weight gain.
Breastfeeding itself burns a lot of kilojoules — most new mums require an extra 2000kJ (about 480cal) per day — so it’s essential to eat regular meals and healthy snacks to maintain energy.
Choosing low-GI snacks will stabilise your blood-sugar levels and give you the stamina to get through the day. They’ll also keep you feeling satisfied, so you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy treats. The following snack ideas will help curb your sweet cravings.
Wholemeal crumpet with natural peanut butter, banana and honey
Low-fat yoghurt with a few spoonfuls of untoasted muesli
Smoothie made with fruit and low-fat yoghurt
Slice of raisin toast topped with reduced-fat ricotta