How To Build A 4th Of July BBQ Plate To Increase Milk Supply

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The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I often find myself celebrating the birth of the nation with family, friends, and a feast meant for kings. If kings barbecued that is. In my opinion, everything (especially pineapple) tastes better on the grill. If you're breastfeeding your baby this summer, however, you may be wondering how to build a 4th of July BBQ plate to increase milk supply.

When you're nursing, the things you eat play an important part in the quantity and quality of milk you produce for your baby. According to WebMD, mothers who breastfeed exclusively should add 300 to 500 calories to their diet to maintain a healthy milk supply. But that doesn't mean that you should take that as a reason to load up on donuts and ice cream. The best nursing diet is rich in fresh fruits, veggies, and grains, WebMD added.

So how do you navigate the picnic table when you have to think about maintaining your milk supply? Spinach, garlic, oats, and salmon are just a few of the tried and true options for foods that will help maintain a mom's energy and give her the nutrients she needs to produce the milk her baby needs.

And although you may want to celebrate America's birthday with a nice cold beer or glass of wine, it's important to do so in moderation when you're nursing. As WebMD cautioned, drinking alcohol actually lowers a mother's milk production.

Use this list to help you plan your menu, and experiment with fresh herbs and spices to give your food a fun boost of flavor.

1Spinach

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As Parents mentioned, low iron levels can be linked to low milk supply. Spinach is full of iron and can help increase the amount of milk you produce. Make spinach the main ingredient in a colorful 4th of July salad that includes your favorite fresh veggies.

2Oats

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Oats are another good source of iron and a great way to help boost your milk supply, as Kelly Mom mentioned. Although a bowl of oatmeal isn't exactly picnic food, a batch of oatmeal cookies or a parfait topped with granola can be the stars of your dessert table.

3Papaya

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Today's Parent also noted that papaya has been a popular milk producer in Asian cultures for years. Add it to a fruit bowl or even a savory salad for a refreshing summer treat.

4Salmon

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Salmon can help increase your milk supply by boosting your lactation hormones and giving your milk a little extra nutritional value, according to Mom Junction . Salmon is also a great source of Omega-3s and fatty acids, so load up with a filet (or two) of the BBQ dish.

5Chickpea

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Chickpeas are another iron-rich option that can help boost a nursing mother's milk supply, according to Parents . Hummus served with carrots or pita bread can be a delicious addition to your BBQ menu while helping to get your milk flowing. Pick it up in a variety of flavor options at your local grocery store, or DIY if you're feeling adventurous. You're definitely going to want to double dip.

6Asparagus

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Grilled or raw, asparagus is a fiber-rich veggie that should be a part of 4th of July menu. According to Mom Junction, asparagus is loaded with Vitamins A and K and will stimulate hormones in nursing mothers that are important to lactation.

7Garlic

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You may not like the way garlic makes your breath smell, but your baby may love the way it makes your milk taste. According to Belly Belly, garlic can give your milk supply a boost because your baby may nurse more frequently. So be sure to add some when you're seasoning your meats and veggies for the grill.

8Carrots

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You may have tried to push them off of your plate as a child, but carrots are a nursing mom's best friend. As Baby Gaga mentioned, carrots are loaded with Vitamin A, which aids in lactation. This versatile veggie can be served raw, grilled, or even juiced, and will give mom a major boost of energy.

9Water

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Nursing can take a lot out of you, including your fluids. Though it isn't technically a food, water is always the best choice when you're feeling thirsty. As Just Mommies mentioned, staying hydrated by drinking water can help increase your milk supply.