Did you know that everyone's favorite eatery has several options that could be perfect for nursing moms? Panera Bread is far more than just a bagel stop these days, with a full, newly revamped menu including a wide variety of healthy breakfast and lunch options. It's a go-to for people of all ages, but for nursing moms specifically, there is a Panera Bread order that could increase your milk supply that you won't want to miss the next time you're dining at one of their locations.
From a healthy breakfast option to soup and salad combo, there's more than one Panera order that's great for breastfeeding moms. How can a meal help give your milk supply a boost in the right direction, you ask? In more ways than one, it turns out. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), foods that are thought to boost a woman's milk production are called galactagogues. Galactagogues work through targeting and boosting the milk making hormone prolactin and through giving moms an overall boost in nutrition (usually iron, protein, and omega-3's) and hydration.
Although the experts aren't certain that these ingredients will significantly boost your supply (as in, don't expect to be pumping buckets after eating an oatmeal cookie), they are thought to be overall beneficial for lactating moms. And if you can give your milk supply a little boost and eat at Panera, why the heck not? Here are two meals that will tempt you whether you're a nursing mom or not.
Although Panera is most famous for their many kinds of egg breakfast sandwiches, the meal that will truly boost your milk supply might not be at the top of their menu, but it's at the top of the list when it comes to nutrition.
Their Steelcut Oatmeal with Almonds, Quinoa, and Honey is conveniently loaded with galactagogues, giving your supply a boost first thing in the morning. First off, oats are one of the most common foods for boosting supply. According to Parents, aside from the fiber and subsequent energy boost, oats are suspected to help with milk supply because of their high levels of iron. They're commonly the first ingredient in most lactation cookies and supplements for this reason.
Aside from the oats, Paneras steelcut oatmeal contains almonds, another lactation powerhouse. Mom Junction noted that the omega-3s in almonds help boost your milk making hormones.
If you're eating Panera for lunch, although you may be tempted to grab a bagel or a bowl of their incredible pasta, there are a few prime options that will specifically target your milk making hormones, perhaps giving you just the boost you need.
Opt for the "You Pick Two" option from their menu which allows you to choose two half portions of any soup, sandwich, or salad on their menu. Instead of choosing a sandwich (it's tempting, I know), go for a half soup and half salad combo, specifically the cream of chicken and wild rice soup and the ancient grain and arugula salad.
The soup is a typical cream of chicken and rice soup, but little did you know that the brown rice in the soup can be a great asset to your milk supply. Holistic counselor Jacqueline Banks writes on Fox News that brown rice boosts seratonin production in your brain, which in turn, tells your body to produce more prolactin, the milk making hormone.
The salad takes a bit of digging to find the benefits, but when you search the ingredient list for Panera's Ancient Grain and Arugula Salad, you'll find black barley. According to the aforementioned piece from Mom Junction, barley not only aids in keeping you hydrated, it can boost your lactation as well.
Both options combined make for a well-rounded, galactagogue-packed lunch for you and, in turn, for your little one.
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