Thanksgiving just isn't really Thanksgiving without a heaping scoop of mashed potatoes on your plate, now is it? It's one of the ultimate indulgences, all swimming with cream and butter, perfectly salty and starchy. If you're a new mom and breastfeeding, it's extra great — your body can handle the extra influx of calories that something like a spoonful of mashed potatoes provides. But also if you're breastfeeding, you're probably also looking for little ways to boost your milk supply, so you might be pleased to know that there's a mashed potatoes recipe that might increase your milk supply this Thanksgiving. Grab your sack of potatoes, a heavy pot, and your masher and head to the kitchen.
If you're looking for a mashed potatoes recipe to make for Thanksgiving this year, you might want to try the Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious. The most important thing you pretty much have to do if you're trying to select Thanksgiving recipes — like mashed potatoes — that will help boost breast milk supply is to make sure you're adding in natural galactagogues. What's a galactagogue, you say? According to Donna Murray, RN, on Very Well, galactagogues are foods and herbs that may aid in increasing your production of breast milk. As Murray noted, women around the world eat certain foods after giving birth either because they contain vital vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for their period of recovery or because they might help with breast milk production.
Since mashed potatoes can be versatile, it might be one of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes into which to infuse breast milk supply-boosting ingredients. Garlic, for instance, is often considered to be a galactagogue, and it's one that pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes. Though the flavor does transfer to breast milk, as Murray noted, some babies like garlic-flavored milk so much that it helps them nurse longer, other babies might have an aversion to it so proceed with caution. The longer nurse time might be why they're considered by some moms to be absolutely essential when it comes to increasing supply. Garlic also goes well with the rest of the meal that'll be gracing your Thanksgiving table this year. And that's my number one rule when making my own Thanksgiving menu — no foods that don't play nice with the other flavors on the table.
Even better than all that tasty, slow-roasted garlic flavor is the sheer fact that these mashed potatoes come together in the slow cooker, meaning you can prep everything and turn on the slow cooker as you're prepping and putting the turkey in the oven. By the time everything else is ready and you're getting ready to sit down at the table to eat, all you'll have to do is add the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, and other herbs and aromatic seasonings, whip them up, and bring them to the table.
To rev up your Thanksgiving spread to include even more milk-boosting galactagogues, serve dark leafy greens like kale and spinach too. They have phytoestrogens that may help with milk production, in addition to being full of calcium, according to Murray. It's easy enough to stir some sautéed greens into your mashed potatoes, so that's always an option, or you could simply serve them side by side. Garlic mashed potatoes with garlicky sautéed greens. Why not? Double up on the garlic — and the galactagogues.
While they ultimately may or may not affect your breast milk production, one thing is for sure, they'll be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table. They're quick and easy and don't take up valuable space on the stove that you just can't part with on Thanksgiving Day. You never know, they just might become an annual tradition, whether you or a family member is breastfeeding during Thanksgiving or not.
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