If any of you are (or have been) breastfeeding mamas, you totally understand the desperate hunger and shaky fatigue as you feel the last of your calories being drained from your body. Although this smoothie is great for anyone, my husband and toddler both love it, I drink one almost every day while breastfeeding and recommend it to my breastfeeding mommy friends. It meets all of my breastfeeding snack requirements!
- Easy to eat with one hand.
- Full of nutrition and protein.
- Dairy free.
- Fast and easy to make.
The Best Dairy Free Soy Free Protein Powder
When I discovered my first child, Corban, couldn’t handle dairy in my breastmilk, I began desperately searching for a good protein powder that was dairy free (for him) and soy free (for me). I can do some soy, but in large quantities it…um… bothers my tummy. Yeah, we’ll just leave it at that.
After trying a few, I discovered this organic rice protein powder on Amazon. The packaging says no soy, milk, eggs, wheat, corn, nuts, GMOs, gluten, or preservatives. It’s just high-potency protein powder of enzymatically processed rice protein from certified organic, whole grain, sprouted brown rice.
One heaping tablespoon delivers 12g of protein, providing much needed energy for breastfeeding. We also like to use it in chocolate smoothies that we take to the gym to drink halfway through our work out. About 45 minutes into a strength training class, I start to get dizzy and shaky unless I drink a protein shake. It really made a difference in my energy level in a major way.
I get that same energy boost now when I’m chasing a two year old boy off the dining room table while nursing my newborn. Why oh why are toddlers smart enough to save their real mischief for right when your breastfeeding?!
Super Nutrition for Breastfeeding Moms
This smoothie basically contains all of your fruits and a vegetable serving for the day. It’s packed with vitamins to keep you healthy and full of energy, at least until the next nursing session. The daily value percentages below are based on an average person. You actually need more of some of these vitamins while breastfeeding!
Vitamin A 59% DV – Infants and young children need vitamin A for optimal health, growth, and development, but almost all children are born with low stores of vitamin A. Breastmilk contains vitamin A to help increase it in the breastfeeding infant, and a mom’s intake of vitamin A can help increase the vitamin A content of their breastmilk. (Source)
Vitamin C 271% DV – Nursing mothers need slightly more vitamin C than they did during pregnancy (source) because Vitamin C plays a role in tissue growth and repair, making it essential for proper development of a breastfeeding infant. It’s also great for healing postpartum, speeding recovery from hemorrhoids and vaginal tears, or a C section. Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption.
Potassium 34% DV – Potassium plays an important role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in your body’s cells. Potassium also releases energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and what nursing mama doesn’t need more energy?
Iron 12% DV – While your breastmilk will contain plenty of iron for you baby whether you are low in iron or not, it can really be depleted in a postpartum breastfeeding mom. When I came down with postpartum depression, we found that increasing my iron made a huge difference in helping me to have energy and see situations clearly instead of through the fog of depression.
Vitamin B6 42% DV – This vitamin helps make the hormones that influence our mood, serotonin and norepinephrine, and our sleep and wake cycles, melatonin. (source) What mom doesn’t need help in those areas?
Protein 16.29g -Breastfeeding moms require almost twice as much protein as women who are not pregnant or nursing. If you’re exercising regularly, you need even more! Protein is an important component of breastmilk, so it’s good to make sure you’re getting enough. It can also aid in building muscle while losing baby weight.
I had to start eating 80 grams of protein a day when Corban was around 6 months old to keep up with breastfeeding and an active lifestyle. Since I couldn’t eat dairy, I came to rely on my daily protein smoothie to help me keep up.
Fiber 17.1g – I haven’t found any evidence of fiber making a difference for breastmilk, but it can be really helpful in combating postpartum constipation. I think every mom knows the fear of those first few times on the toilet. “The last time I pushed down there a whole baby came out!” Getting enough fiber can help keep things flowing and prevent any additional injury or pain in your nether regions.
Fast Easy Breastfeeding Snack
Really though, I make this green smoothie almost every day because it tastes fresh and bright, and I can make it in under five minutes while holding a squirming hungry baby and weighted down by a toddler clinging to one leg. Seriously. That’s my life. And I love it! (almost always)
- 1 kiwi
- 2 tangerines peeled
- 1 banana peeled
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon heaping organic rice protein powder
- Slice the stem end off the kiwi.
- Place the kiwi, tangerines, banana, pineapple chunks and spinach in the blender in order. This puts the juiciest fruits on the bottom to create liquid for the smoothie.
- Blend on high until everything is smooth.
- Reduce speed to low and dump in the protein powder. Make sure to put the lid back on before you turn the blender off or you may end up with smoothie on your ceiling!
Approximate cost/serving: I get all of the produce in bulk at Costco. I buy a whole pineapple and chop it up then freeze it. The protein powder I get from Amazon. The smoothie ends up costing me about $1.25 to make.
Vegetarian/gluten free: Yes to both and vegan too.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.