Now that I am a mom of two, my mornings are even busier than they were before. Whenever I have early morning plans, I like to have breakfast planned out the night before to help my nutrition stay on point. One of my favorite breakfasts for short mornings is overnight oats. All of the prep time happens the night before so that I am ready to eat, or can bring breakfast along with me while still having a balanced breakfast. Plus, there are endless variations to this breakfast so you can easily customize it however you prefer.
½ cup dry oats
½ cup milk
2 tbsp. walnuts
Directions: Mix together oats and milk. Add to a mason jar, and top with banana and walnuts, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in refrigerator overnight, and eat cold in the morning.
Oats are a whole grain with many health benefits. If you are a nursing mother, they can be even more important as oats may help increase milk supply if low milk supply has been a problem for you. One of the reasons why oatmeal can help increase breast milk production is that oats are a great source of iron, beta-glucans, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Oatmeal is also a comfort food and can be calming which can also help in establishing and maintaining a good milk supply. Oats are also rich in minerals including manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and zinc.
It is recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers have 3 cups or servings of dairy products a day and I fully support this. Cow’s milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Although you can get these nutrients from other sources, milk is an inexpensive and easy way to get it in. Calcium from cow’s milk is more easily absorbed than from most other sources. There have been several studies that have should that when calcium intake is adequate (at least 1000mg) there is a significant reduction in the rates of preeclampsia and preterm labor. Adequate calcium is also important during lactation to help maintain your bones while supplying adequate calcium to your baby. So make sure to include dairy products as part of your daily diet.
Some of my favorite toppings for overnight oats including bananas, walnuts and cinnamon, blueberries and sliced almonds, pumpkin puree with cinnamon, pecans, and maple syrup, and sliced strawberries with honey and cocoa powder.