Building the ideal Thanksgiving plate is like an art form for my husband. There is a way to place each side so that it has optimal juxtaposition to the turkey — the main event — and certain things have to be arranged just so before he can say to me 100 times, "Look at this — perfect, right?" It seems silly, but the truth is there are some cues that you can take from my husband if you are breastfeeding and seeking to build the perfect Thanksgiving plate to increase milk supply. Because why not use breastfeeding as a reason for packing in all of the things?
Whether it's recipes with milk-boosting garlic, citrus, and fennel in their ingredients or desserts that are safe to call "healthy" because they have oats and those are necessary for breastfeeding, then this list has you covered come Thanksgiving day. Plus, if you are anything like I was when I was breastfeeding, then chances are likely nursing is making you hungry all the d*mn time. So Thanksgiving seems like the perfect opportunity to stock up on the things your hardworking body is craving. And, yes, seconds are definitely in order. After all, it's for the sake of your baby.
1. Garlic & Herb Roasted Turkey
The average turkey recipe includes garlic, but take one look at this Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey from Taste of Home and you'll know it's the front runner for the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving Day table. Not only is garlic known for boosting milk supply, but a study of breastfeeding mothers who consumed garlic showed "the babies stayed longer on the breast, and nursed more vigorously," according to The New York Times. Granted, your breath might reek, but your baby won't have a care in the world when the milk is flowing.
2. Cranberry Orange Sauce
According to BabyCenter, citrus — in all of its vitamin C-rich glory — is not only a fantastic way to make sure your little one gets their daily dose of the good stuff, but that your breast milk production keeps healthfully chugging along. That's why this Cranberry Orange Sauce from Damn Delicious is a solid choice for you and your nursing baby. Plus, what table would be complete without it anyway?
3. Fennel & Onion Stuffing
No Thanksgiving table would be complete without stuffing, which is good news for you when it comes to this Fennel and Onion Stuffing from Rachel Ray. Fennel is believed to be a galactagogue, which is the category for an herb that brings about more breast milk, according to Verywell. Because who needs breastfeeding tea with fennel when you can have spoonfuls of bread paired with the herb?
4. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary Butter
I mean, the recipe title alone will have me gobbling these up and I'm not even breastfeeding anymore. Plus, in my opinion you can never have too many potatoes and these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Comté, Caramelized Onions, and Rosemary Butter from A Cozy Kitchen are no exception. Old wives' tales point at sweet potatoes as a galactagogue and Baby Center noted that a healthy diet for a breastfeeding mom includes complex carbs, so I say this recipe fits the bill.
5. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Serve up these Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars from Averie Cooks for dessert and not only will you earn yourself a delicious dose of pumpkin, but the oats are known for packing beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has been shown to increase prolactin (also known as "the breastfeeding hormone"). So, that means you should eat two — or three.
6. Chocolate Malt Chip Cookies
According to Today's Parent, when grains are germinated, they release malting enzymes, creating lactogenic beta-glucan. The result is barley malt, an ingredient that steals the show in these Chocolate Malt Chip Cookies from That's My Home. Well, the chocolate chips and butter are pretty rockstar too, but it's the barley malt that will help with your milk production.
7. Scrambled Egg & Roasted Asparagus Toast
If you are entertaining guests the morning after Thanksgiving or simply hosting a Turkey Day brunch, then you may want to add these Scrambled Egg and Roasted Asparagus Toasts from Foodie Crush to the mix. According to Breastfeeding-Problems.com, asparagus — along with corn, green beans, peas, and beets — is supposedly known for increasing milk supply in breastfeeding moms.
8. Carrot & Apple Oat Muffins
Again with the oats, but can you ever have enough? If you need another next-day recipe, then these Carrot Apple Muffins from Minimalist Baker are where it's at for a breakfast or brunch. Packed with carrots, apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk-boosting oats, they are bound to make your house smell ah-mazing.
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