Eating for Better Breastfeeding

The first time baby girl burped over my shoulder and I distinctly recognized the scent of taco sauce mixed in with her sweet milk breath, I knew, what I ate mattered when I was breastfeeding.

It’s not that it didn’t matter before, but I really loved (and still love) Taco Bell.  The smell of it on my newborn baby’s breath, however, I didn’t love.  Those who have breastfed know that the color, taste, and smell of breastmilk can be changed by what mom eats.  One day my milk had a green tinge that worried me, until I got online and found out that my milk could reflect the natural colors of the fruits and veggies that I ate. So what ELSE was coming out in my breast milk?

Milk production and quality is directly impacted by the food that the breastfeeding mother is eating. No one seems to understand that better than Ebeth Johnson, a food educator who believes in the “power and magic” of whole plant foods.  She currently serves as the Healthy Food Specialist at one of the Whole Foods stores in Washington, DC, and has held a host of positions as an advocate and teacher of healthy eating habits.

Ebeth Johnson is a Plant Based Culinary Nutritionist, consultant for nursing moms, and an advocate for family nutrition with her own innovative venture, Breastfeeding Chef. She helps nursing mothers assess the nutritional needs of their babies and themselves, as well as their family, in order to develop a strategic plan to achieve the health goals of the family unit.

Check out her Eating for Breastfeeding – Tour and Tasting (Saturday, February 9, 2013) and Yoga and Nutrition for Nursing Mamas (Sunday, February 17, 2013).

Eating for two for me while pregnant and nursing was a constant fight between what mommy wanted and needed, and what baby had to have. Ebeth’s creative recipes help nursing moms keep the balance between good and good for you.  Let’s take the Cinnamon Banana Boobie Boost Smoothie for example, designed for nursing moms, but something the everyone in the household can sip on and enjoy.  Check it out and see what each ingredient does to boost your boobies!


Cinnamon Banana Boobie Boost Smoothie

Makes about 4 ½ cups

(2 nursing mama servings)

The recipe is easily doubled to serve more people.


3 cups filtered water

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

4 medjool dates, pitted

2 large ripe bananas

2 tablespoons nutritional yeas

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup ice cubes



In a high powered blender, combine all ingredients. Blend 1 minute or longer until smooth.  Serve and enjoy!  Store leftovers up to 48 hours in a glass jar in the back of the fridge.

About the recipe:

What’s great about this recipe is it’s super easy to make.  Just throw the ingredients into a blender and whirl it up.  Once it’s made it becomes what I call a one-hander– a nutritious mini-meal easily consumed in one hand with a baby in the other– that keeps mom going and milk flowing.

About the ingredients:


1. oats are well known and used to increase milk production in breastfeeding women.

2. Oats are quick cooking and require little attention from a busy nursing mom with her eyes on her baby.

3 good source of fiber keeping mamas full

Hemp Seeds—

1.  Provide quality fats for breast milk lessening the likelihood of colic due to low fat hind-milk as well as failure to thrive

2. Great source of plant based protein

3. great source of fiber to keep mamas full and satisfied longer

4. Alkaline forming—an alkaline body environment is less likely to house illness and develop disease

5. Easy to digest- Gut health of the mother is directly linked to the digestive health of baby. So easy to digest foods and meals are important in preventing digestive upset in baby.

Sunflower seeds

1. Known for their support of breast milk production,

2. Source of trace minerals important to breastfeeding moms,

3.  Good source of protein and plant based quality fat.

Medjool dates–a nutrient rich whole food sweetener that removes the need to use processed sweeteners devoid of fiber and nutrients

Nutritional Yeast–a plant base source of B12 which helps nursing moms stay energized.

Cinnamon— a digestive aid important for breastfeeding mothers since the digestive health of mother is directly linked to the digestive health of baby


For more information visit Ebeth at | @breastfeedchef | Facebook