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Changing my plate – increase protein and breast milk supply

This post is part of a regular series focusing on making small changes to improve our health. I shared my journey with changing my diet and moving to a clean eating approach which you can read here. I also had the lovely Katie Rainbird from Katie 180 undertake an analysis of my food intake for one day in that post, which was another step in the right direction.

Together we also offered the same opportunity to readers of Planning With Kids. We were blown away with the response and while I can’t guarantee will get to all of them this year, Katie has been busy working on many of the submissions already and we will publish as many as we can.

It is not possible for Katie to cover off everything in these posts. The aim is for her to find some small things you can change to what you are putting on your plate to help you achieve your current goal for your eating habits. You can read previous Changing my plate posts by clicking here.

Changing my plate – Annabel’s day

image_katieKatie Rainbird (AKA Katie180) is a Sydney-based Nutritionist who is just as likely to be found jogging as she is baking. She is a mother to two, a keen home cook, prefers to get around in her workout gear and has a major passion for the written word. You can learn more at

Katie reviewed what a reader Annabel (not real name) submitted that she ate in a 24 hour period. This is what Katie had to say about her day:

What is your current goal with your eating habits?
To have more nutritious food and pump up protein and iron levels. I often feed everyone else well but neglect myself and am an exhausted breastfeeding mum of 3 kids 5 and under. Major sweet tooth!

Homemade & eaten at home at 9am – 2-3 cups of chamomile tea and a small bowl of homemade toasted muesli with lots of seeds and some almonds in it. Made with maple syrup and coconut oil. Not too sweet.


Homemade & eaten at home at 1pm- vegetarian chilli (sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin) with some grated cheese and some sour cream (when I’m being more conscientious I have it with natural yoghurt instead!) Had a few corn chips with it which it didn’t need but was yum 😉

This is fine but you can add some beans for protein, perhaps chickpeas, cannelini beans or the like. Sprouts too – packed full of protein, perhaps snow pea or mungbean.

Homemade and eaten at home at 7pm – Pasta with peas, yoghurt, spinach, garlic, pine nuts and chilli and feta.

I think I’ve seen this on Instagram, yummy!

Snack 1
7am – Banana had as a pre breakfast whilst breastfeeding the baby and before the school run.

I was wondering if you ate prior to 9am! Does this tide you over until 9am? If not can you prepare a Bircher style muesli to eat first thing?

Snack 2
4pm – Home grown raspberries, an apple and a few cashews


Snack 3
A couple of small pieces of chocolate throughout the day.

Ok if you feel like you can eat more nuts, please go ahead and enjoy more: you could double this.

Snack 4
I’m sure I would have had a few bites of things whilst preparing kids food – cheese, more nuts etc.
Ok if you feel like you can eat more nuts, please go ahead and enjoy more: you could double this.
Mindless snacking, unless your weight is an issue and the food isn’t “good” then this is OK. But just keep tabs on it. I usually chop up a piece of fruit into quarters to eat as I prepare the kids food, this way I’m not snacking on crusts, crackers, cheese slices etc.

8pm Chamomile tea and some chocolate.

Just be mindful of how much chocolate you are consuming: aim for no more than 50g, even if you take the block that you eat from and break it into 50g portions, mix it with nuts, seeds and dried fruit then you can eat freely from this bag or container and when you’re done, it’s up to you whether you eat more or choose something different altogether. For example: nut butter on crackers or sourdough toast, cottage cheese with fresh tomato on similar, yoghurt with seeds and fresh cut fruit, hot chocolate made with sugar free cocoa, nut milk or coconut milk and sweetened with honey or maple syrup.

Nutritional supplements
Herbs of gold Breastfeeding support x 1. I’m supposed to be also taking a vitamin D and liquid iron but with a house full of sickies, I’ve kept forgetting this week.
Ensure you take your supplements as you have paid for them and letting them go past their use-by is a waste and if you aren’t a red meat eater who has had 3 kids in a short time frame then you likely need your iron! Put your supplements next to the kettle or alongside your mascara: somewhere you’ll SEE them first thing and just take them.

Daily fluid intake
2-3 litres of water. 4 cups of camomile tea. I usually have a cup of milk too but with the virus we all had, I skipped it.

Water intake is great. No caffeine at all with 3 kids? Whoa! Ensure the milk you drink is organic. If you are still BF then you might like to try a lactation tea: Holle makes a nice blend else you can just drink straight fennel tea.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
I’m breastfeeding and have low supply. I don’t eat red meat but I do eat chicken and fish a couple of times a week. I’m great with eating veggies and fruit, but often neglect protein if I’m not paying enough attention. I am also an emotional baker!!! Sometimes this is healthy and yummy baking and sometimes it’s not healthy at all!

I’m not sure if you’re still breastfeeding but if you are then OATS are great for boosting supply, I’m pretty sure you’d be familiar with the “lactation cookies” recipes that float around the mama/foodie web pages but in case you haven’t I’ll include a link to one for you. Even if you have stopped BF by the time you read this, they are a nutrient dense baked good that can be enjoyed no matter if you are BF or not.

Katie’s Summary
I know you’re a keen home cook so I’d suggest whizzing up some nut butters, dips made from beans (humus style) and protein balls made with nut meal, seeds, coconut and dried fruit etc. to have on hand for snacking. Also just buy a big bag of organic carrots weekly and grab one, give it quick rinse then just tuck into it with the dip and some hard cheese instead of chocolate. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just eat it. We see these images of amazing raw food spreads on social media but do these people GET what life at home with kids is like?? Seriously. I eat my lunch standing up in the kitchen to steal time away from the children and it’s the most luxurious 10 minutes of my day, ha!

Make your oat-based breakfasts on coconut milk for extra protein and nourishing fats. Perhaps try a smoothie mid afternoon: frozen banana, nut milk, a dash of honey or some dates that have been soaked in boiling water then strained, some pulsed seeds and a dollop of coconut oil. Aim for your chicken or fish every other day so that you are day on, day off with your animal protein. And focus on protein rich grains: quinoa, brown rice, barley, spelt etc.

Further reading and recipes


Katie is a qualified nutritionist (Adv. Dip. Nutr. Med.).

Any diet or lifestyle changes that you implement as a result of reading this blog are your own responsibility.

This blog does not provide medical advice, any particular health conditions must be managed by your own health professional.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.