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Eat up for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding burns as much as 500 calories per day. While it may be tempting to consider this nature’s weight-loss aid—or an excuse to give in to your sweet tooth—it’s important to fuel up with quality calories. Wholesome food helps you stay energized and nourished.

Here are 8 nutritious and delicious tips to get the extra energy you need for feeding.

1. Drinking a fruit smoothie. Conquer hunger and thirst by blending OJ, cow or soy milk, a banana and frozen berries.

2. Snacking on a banana and milk. Or try a banana and café latte if what you really want is coffee.

3. Eating some comfort food. Grilled cheese sandwich, anyone? (Make it healthier with whole grain bread and by easing up on the butter or margarine.)

4. Enjoying an avocado. Avocados boast healthy fats essential to you and your baby. Slice some into a salad or mash it into a dip or sandwich spread.

5. Grabbing a handful of low-sodium nuts and seeds. More good fats, and highly portable, too.

6. Boosting the veggie quotient of convenience food meals by adding pre-washed, and/or frozen veggies. Chop baby carrots and frozen beans into canned soup. Toss frozen green peas into macaroni and cheese.

7. Spooning some yogurt. It’s rich in calcium and protein. Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream on baked potatoes. Or make a parfait with plain yogurt, sliced fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup.

8. Indulging in dark chocolate. It wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t get to treat yourself with delicious snacks. Nibble on an ounce of dark chocolate. It’s tasty but also contains heart-smart antioxidants.