Baby Md

2023 Diet Chart for Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your little one, and your diet plays a significant role in this incredible journey. 

As a breastfeeding mother, you want to provide the best nutrition for your baby and ensure your health and well-being to make the breastfeeding journey hassle-free.

This blog delves into the essential aspects of diets explicitly tailored for breastfeeding mothers. We’ll explore different types of diet charts for breastfeeding mothers, catering to various dietary preferences and lifestyles. Along the way, we’ll address commonly asked questions about diet and breastfeeding, offering valuable insights into what you should and shouldn’t consume. 

Diet and Breastfeeding Mothers

These are some food types that you can eat while breastfeeding

Regarding breastfeeding, ensuring you get the best nutrition is essential. Your body isn’t just feeding your little one and using energy and essential nutrients to support this beautiful natural process. Let’s explore the vital nutrients that are crucial during lactation, ensuring you and your baby thrive.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid): DHA is like a superhero for your baby’s brain and eye development. You can find it in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel. But if seafood isn’t your thing, don’t worry—there are DHA supplements specially made for a lactating mother. 

Staying Hydrated: Keeping yourself well-hydrated is a must for milk production. Your body needs those extra fluids to make that precious breast milk. So, aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you want variety, herbal teas or coconut water can be great choices.

Iron: Iron is a real champ in preventing anaemia, as breastfeeding can deplete your iron reserves. To keep them topped up, include iron-rich foods like lean meat, beans, lentils, and fortified cereals. And here’s a tip: eating foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits or bell peppers, can help your body absorb iron better.

Calcium and Vitamin D: Your baby’s growing bones need calcium, and vitamin D helps your body absorb it. Calcium is found in dairy products, fortified plant-based milks, green leafy vegetables, and almonds. To boost your vitamin D levels, consider spending time outdoors and discussing herbal supplements with your healthcare provider if needed.

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? Connect with an online paediatrician here for expert guidance.

25 Superfoods for Breastfeeding Mothers

Here are some superfoods for lactating mothers and their calorie count:

SuperfoodsNutrients and Calorie CountHow does it help?
AvocadosNutrients: Healthy fats, fibre, vitamins B6, C, E, and folate

Calories: 160 per avocado (medium-size)
Rich in vitamin A, it is essential for the vision and immune health of the baby. The fibre aids in digestion and promotes overall well-being.
Beans and Legumes like Green Gram and ChickpeasNutrients: Protein, fibre, iron, folate 

Calories: Varies (e.g., 1 cup of cooked green gram beans has about 212 calories)

Is an excellent plant-based protein source, aids in maintaining iron levels and supports muscle repair.
Sweet PotatoesNutrients: Vitamin A (beta-carotene), fibre 

Calories: 103 per medium sweet potato
Rich in vitamin A, essential for the vision and immune health of the baby. The fibre aids in digestion and promotes overall well-being.
Whole GrainsNutrients: Fibre, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins 

Calories: Varies (e.g., 1 cup of cooked quinoa has about 220 calories)
Helps sustain the mother’s energy levels and promote the baby’s digestive health.
YoghurtNutrients: Calcium, protein, probiotics 

Calories: 150 per 6-ounce serving of plain, low-fat yoghurt.
Supports bone health, provides protein, and contributes to a healthy gut microbiome for both mother and baby.
ApricotsNutrients: Vitamin A, C, fibre, potassium

Calories: 17 per apricot (dried)
Vitamin A aids in vision and skin health, while fibre supports digestion, helping prevent constipation.
Dark green leafy vegetablesNutrients: Iron, calcium, folate, vitamins A, C, K 

Calories: Varies (e.g., 1 cup of cooked spinach has about 41 calories)
Boosting iron and calcium intake is essential for blood and bone health.
Fennel seedsNutrients: Fibre, vitamins C and B6, calcium, iron 

Calories: 20 per 1 tablespoon
Promotes digestion, eases colic in babies, and can enhance breast milk production.
PaneerNutrients: Protein, calcium, vitamin D

Calories: Approximately 300 calories per 100 grams
Paneer is an excellent source of vegetarian protein, and it can help keep you feeling full for longer periods.
Chia SeedsNutrients: Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein 

Calories: 58 per 1-ounce (28 grams) serving
Provides essential fatty acids, support digestion and help with hydration.
Nuts and Seeds like almonds, pumpkin seedsNutrients: Healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals 

Calories: Varies by type (e.g., almonds have about 160 calories per 1-ounce serving)
Offers energy and nutrients, including magnesium, essential for lactating mothers.
OatsNutrients: Fibre, iron, complex carbohydrates 

Calories: Approximately 150 calories per 1/2-cup serving
Promotes milk production, stabilises blood sugar levels, and provides sustained energy.
EggsNutrients: Protein, choline, vitamins B12, D 

Calories: Approximately 68 calories per large egg
A high-quality protein source is essential for brain development and supports bone health with vitamin D.
Lean meat like chickenNutrients: Protein, iron, vitamin B12 

Calories: Varies by type (e.g., skinless chicken breast has about 165 calories per 100g)
Protein and iron-rich lean meat provide energy and also help prevent anaemia.
GarlicNutrients: Antioxidants, vitamins C and B6 

Calories: 42 per 100 grams
Boosts the flavour of dishes and may stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)Nutrients: Vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, and calcium

Calories: 150 g of amla contains 66 calories
Boosts immunity, aids digestion, and supports hair health
CarrotsNutrients: Beta-carotene (vitamin A), fibre 

Calories: 41 per 100 grams
Rich in vitamin A for immune support and fibre for digestive health.
PapayaNutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, fibre 

Calories: 43 per 100 grams
Supports digestion immune health, and provides essential vitamins.
QuinoaNutrients: Protein, fibre, vitamins B and E, iron 

Calories: 120 per 1/2-cup cooked serving
High-quality protein source, aids in tissue repair, and provides essential nutrients.
SpinachNutrients: Iron, calcium, vitamins A and K, fibre

Calories: 23 per 100 grams
It boosts iron and calcium intake, essential for lactating mothers and their babies’ development.
BroccoliNutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fibre 

Calories: 55 per 100 grams
Supports tissue repair, immune health, and digestion.
GingerNutrients: Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds 

Calories: 80 per 100 grams
May help alleviate nausea, promote digestion, and provide antioxidants.
DatesNutrients: Fibre, iron, and natural sugars

Calories: About 282 calories per 100g serving
Provide a quick energy boost.
Moringa LeavesNutrients: Vitamin A, C, Calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium

Calories: Around 64 calories per 100g serving
A powerhouse of nutrients that can enhance lactation.
BeetNutrients: Folate, fibre, vitamin C, iron 

Calories: 43 per 100 grams
Supports healthy blood levels, aids digestion, and provides vitamins and minerals.

How Many Calories Do You Need When Breastfeeding?

Calorie requirements for breastfeeding moms

Many new moms wonder about the ideal calorie intake while breastfeeding. It’s a valid concern because it can impact your health and your baby’s well-being.

The number of calories you need during this crucial period can vary depending on various factors, such as your pre-pregnancy weight, activity level, and your baby’s age. So, let’s break it down to help you figure out what’s right for you:

Baseline Calories

Generally, when breastfeeding, you’ll need about 300 to 500 extra calories per day compared to what you consumed before pregnancy. These additional calories are crucial to support milk production and ensure you get the necessary nutrients.

Weight and Activity

You might need more calories if you were underweight before getting pregnant or engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity. It’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional to determine your specific calorie requirements.

Baby’s Age

The age of your baby also matters. When your little one grows rapidly in the early months of breastfeeding, you might need more calories. However, your calorie needs may decrease as your baby begins to eat solids and breastfeed less often.

Quick Tip from Dr. Bee: 
Keep it balanced! Aim for a balanced diet with fruits, veggies, protein, and whole grains.

How Often Should You Eat While Breastfeeding?

Optimal meal frequency for breastfeeding mothers

While there’s no fixed answer to how often should you eat when breastfeeding, it is ideal to ensure that you take the following steps:

  1. Regular Meals: Should have three main meals a day, which are typically breakfast, lunch, and dinner and incorporate two to three healthy snack options in between. This pattern ensures a constant flow of essential nutrients and energy for you and your baby.
  2. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you’re hungry, take advantage of a meal or snack. Skipping can lead to a drop in energy levels and milk production.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Besides eating regularly, ensure you drink enough water throughout the day. Proper hydration is vital for milk production.
  4. Balanced Diet: Aim for a balanced yet healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, which we discussed in the previous section on superfoods. Diversifying your nutrient intake will benefit both you and your little one.
  5. Individual Needs: Keep in mind that every breastfeeding mom is unique. Some may need more calories and snacks, while others may need less. It’s essential to listen to your body and consult a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalised guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Foods for Breastfeeding Mothers

Quick Tip from Dr. Bee: 
Regularly take foods rich in omega-3 to support your baby’s brain development. Some commonly available omega-3-rich foods are flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans.

Things Breastfeeding Mothers Should Be Mindful of

Balanced nutrition for nursing moms: Important considerations

When trying to change your diet, it is important to be mindful of the following things:

Baby Allergies

Be alert to potential food allergies in your baby. Watch for signs like skin rashes, restlessness, or digestive issues after breastfeeding. If you suspect allergies, consult a paediatrician.

Healthy Food Choices

Carefully select your diet while breastfeeding. Avoid or limit:

  • Caffeine: Excessive caffeine can make your baby fussy and disrupt sleep.
  • Alcohol can negatively impact your baby’s development; moderation or avoidance is advised.
  • Cigarettes/Nicotine: Smoking reduces milk supply and exposes your baby to harmful chemicals. Quitting is ideal.
  • Junk Food and Soft Drinks: It’s important to avoid junk food and sugary soft drinks while breastfeeding. These items are often high in empty calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which can adversely affect both you and your baby.

Weight Management

Approach post-pregnancy weight loss gradually and healthily to maintain milk production. Embrace a balanced diet and gentle exercise, seeking guidance from a healthcare provider.

Avoid Fad Diets

Avoid extreme diets, as they can deprive you and your baby of vital nutrients. Prioritise a well-rounded diet and consider consulting a registered dietitian for personalised advice.

Healthy Weight Loss

Opt for a gradual approach if you aim to lose weight while breastfeeding. Aim for a calorie deficit of 300-500 calories daily while meeting your nutritional needs, with guidance from a healthcare provider.

Gaining Weight as Needed

Some moms may need to gain weight during breastfeeding for energy and nutrient reserves. Consult a healthcare provider to determine your specific dietary requirements.

Quick Tip from Dr. Bee: 
Fenugreek sprouts naturally boost the milk supply for breastfeeding mothers, thanks to their rich phytoestrogens and galactagogue properties.

Commonly Asked Questions about Diet and Breastfeeding

Different Types of Diet Charts for Breastfeeding Mothers

Free Diet Chart for Lactating Mothers

Here is the Indian diet chart for breastfeeding mothers with a variety of options for each meal, ensuring it covers all lactation-based nutritional needs:

TimeMealFood options
8:00 amBreakfast– Whole-grain cereal or oats with milk and sliced fruits (e.g., bananas or berries).
 – Moong dal chilla with spinach and a side of yoghurt.
– Poha (flattened rice) with vegetables
– Methi (fenugreek) paratha with yoghourt and pickle
– Idli with coconut chutney and sambar.
9:00 amMid-Morning– A bowl of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).
– A handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios).
– Papaya slices with a sprinkle of chaat masala.
– Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus.
– Dates and black raisins.
11:00 amLunch– Brown rice or whole wheat roti with dal (lentils), a vegetable curry, yoghurt, and salad.
– Dahlia or broken wheat khichdi with mixed vegetables 
–  Bajra (pearl millet) roti with drumstick and potato curry.
– Roti or brown rice with a protein source like chicken, fish, or paneer, and assorted vegetables.
–  Khichdi with ghee and yoghurt.
4:00 pmMid-Evening– Fresh fruit juice or a yoghurt smoothie.
– Guava slices with a pinch of black salt and chat masala
– A glass of buttermilk with cumin and mint.
– Roasted chana (chickpeas) with lemon and spices
– Fruit salad with honey and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
6:00 pmSnack– Sprouts salad with lemon juice and chaat masala.
 – Whole wheat bread with peanut butter or hummus
– Steamed corn on the cob with salt and chilli powder.
9:00 pmDinner– Egg Toast with Whole Wheat Bread
– Methi leaves paratha with raita and salad
– Moong dal khichdi with vegetable curry
Bedtime snack– Warm milk with saffron and a touch of honey.
– Herbal tea (fenugreek or fennel) for lactation support and relaxation
– A glass of warm milk or herbal tea (e.g., chamomile or peppermint) to aid relaxation and sleep.

Free Vegetarian Diet Chart for Breastfeeding Mothers

Here’s a sample 1-week meal plan focused on providing crucial nutrients for lactation. Use this plan as a template to help you organise your meals for the upcoming week. Feel free to customise the options and portion sizes based on your personal preferences and dietary needs.

DinnerBefore Bedtime
Day 1Oats porridge with milk, almonds, and dates.Freshly squeezed orange juice.Roti or brown rice with spinach and lentil curry (palak dal) and cucumber raita.Mixed fruit salad with chaat masala.Rajgira or amaranth pulao with mixed vegetables.Chamomile tea
Day 2Whole-grain toast with avocado spread and a boiled egg.Greek yoghurt with honey and mixed nuts.Roti or brown rice with chickpea curry (chana masala) and mixed vegetable salad.Roasted chickpeas with lemon and spices.Paneer tikka with mint chutney and jowar roti.Warm milk with turmeric.
Day 3Upma with vegetables and pomegranate juice.Steamed sweet corn.Roti or brown rice with dal, aloo and capsicum sabzi, and yoghurt.Dried apricots and figs.Bajra khichdi with spinach and buttermilk.Fenugreek tea.
Day 4Ragi dosa with coconut chutney and buttermilk.Sliced papaya with black salt and chat masala.Roti or brown rice with bottle gourd curry and moong dal.Curd rice with grated carrot and cucumber.Mixed vegetable pulao with mint yoghurt.Fennel tea
Day 5Whole-wheat paratha with aloo sabzi and yoghurt.A glass of fresh beetroot juice.Roti or brown rice with spinach and paneer curry and cucumber raita.A handful of mixed nuts.Vegetable biryani with raita and salad.Warm milk with cardamom
Day 6Poha and a glass of fresh orange juice.Boiled sweet corn with lemon and spices.Roti or brown rice with moong dal, bhindi masala, and yoghurt.A bowl of fruit chaat with a squeeze of lemon.Tofu tikka masala with naan or roti.Chamomile tea
Day 7Idli with coconut chutney and sambar.A small bowl of yoghurt with honey and mixed berries.Roti or brown rice with mixed dal, aloo gobi sabzi, and salad.Masala roasted makhana.Methi paratha with dahi and aloo baingan curry.Warm turmeric milk.

Weight Loss Diet Chart for Breastfeeding Mothers

MealAlternative low-calorie food options
Breakfast– Oatmeal with milk (no sugar)
– 2 boiled eggs or a small serving of paneer
– Small serving of fresh fruits (e.g., berries or papaya)
Mid-Morning Snack– Handful of almonds and walnuts
– Cup of green tea or herbal tea
Lunch– 1 serving of whole wheat roti or brown rice
– Lean protein (chicken breast, fish, tofu, or lentils)
– Generous portion of vegetables (e.g., spinach, broccoli, carrots)
– Small serving of curd or raita
Afternoon Snack– Cup of Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey
– Sliced cucumbers or bell peppers
Evening Snack– Small serving of roasted chickpeas or makhana (fox nuts)
– Cup of herbal tea (fenugreek tea or fennel tea)
Dinner– 1 serving of whole wheat roti or brown rice
– Lean protein (grilled chicken, fish, tofu, or lentils)
– Generous portion of vegetables (e.g., green beans, cauliflower, spinach)
Bedtime Snack (optional)– Glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric (haldi) or a small serving of Greek yoghourt

Please note, that your and your baby’s health and well-being are paramount. Before making any changes to your diet, especially while breastfeeding, it’s essential to consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional. We deeply understand the importance of nourishing your little one and want to ensure that no decision inadvertently affects both of you adversely. Always prioritise professional guidance.

Exclusive Diet Plan for Breastfeeding Mothers to Increase Milk

Here’s a sample diet plan for breastfeeding mothers that focuses solely on foods that promote milk production.


  • Oatmeal: Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal. You can cook it with milk for added nutrition. Top with chopped almonds and a teaspoon of honey.
  • Fenugreek Tea: Sip on a cup of fenugreek tea. You can find fenugreek tea bags or make your own by steeping fenugreek seeds in hot water.

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • Fruit Salad: Prepare a fruit salad with papaya, apricots, and other seasonal fruits known for their potential lactation-boosting properties.


  • Lentil Soup (Dal): Enjoy a serving of lentil soup with brown rice. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and iron.
  • Spinach and Methi (Fenugreek) Roti: Make rotis (Indian flatbreads) using whole wheat flour and incorporate chopped spinach and fenugreek leaves into the dough.

Evening Snack:

  • Fennel Seeds and Carrots: Snack on raw carrots and a small handful of fennel seeds. These are believed to support milk production.


  • Chicken Curry: If you’re a non-vegetarian, consider a chicken curry cooked with ginger, garlic, and fenugreek leaves. Fenugreek is known to promote lactation.
  • Brown Rice: Serve the chicken curry with a portion of brown rice or whole wheat chapatis.

Before Bed:

  • Almond and Flaxseed Smoothie: Blend almonds, flaxseeds, and a banana with milk or yoghurt to create a nutritious smoothie.

Additional Tips:

  • Stay well-hydrated by drinking water, coconut water, and herbal teas throughout the day.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, which can negatively affect the milk supply.
  • Monitor your baby’s cues and nurse or pump frequently to maintain milk production.
  • Rest and manage stress as much as possible; relaxation can also support lactation.

What Is the Best Diet for Breastfeeding Mums?

The best diet for breastfeeding moms prioritises maternal health and the nutritional needs of their growing infants. It should provide ample nutrients to support milk production, maintain maternal health, and potentially aid postpartum weight management. 

Aim to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your daily meals. These elements provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and energy to support you and your little one. Consulting with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can provide personalised guidance to ensure you meet your unique nutritional requirements. 

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best diet for breastfeeding moms. It’s about meeting your unique needs while providing the best nourishment for your baby. 

Your journey as a breastfeeding mom is beautiful, and a wholesome diet plays a pivotal role. This comprehensive guide explored various diet charts for breastfeeding mothers and addressed common questions and concerns. It offers valuable insights to help you make informed choices about what to eat while breastfeeding. 

However, it’s essential to stay mindful and make choices that consider your well-being and your baby’s health.  Should any specific concerns arise, always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that your breastfeeding diet plan aligns seamlessly with your health and your baby’s overall well-being.