It is imperative for the new mother to include different sources of vitamins and minerals in her diet. Rohit Shelatkar, fitness and nutrition expert, VP, Vitabiotics Ltd tells us more.

Calcium: The growing baby needs to develop its bone structure, and calcium is the best aid for that. It also plays a crucial role in the development of the newborn baby’s teeth, and thus needs to be included in the diet. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, tofu and nuts are some of the foods that are rich in calcium and must be included in the diet. Calcium is vital for lactating mothers as well.

Iron: Iron aids in the development of the brain and blood cells for the baby and should be a part of the new mother’s diet. Lentils, beans, tofu, spinach and cashews are natural sources of iron and must be incorporated into the meal plan. Iron is also a very essential nutrient for new mothers as there is loss of blood during the delivery, followed by tiredness and long nights with the infant.

Good Fat: Fats create energy, aid in brain development, keep skin and hair healthy and strengthen the baby’s immune system to fight infections. Due to this, the inclusion of fat in the new mother’s diet must be a priority. Good sources of fat such as avocados, cheese, dark chocolate, ghee, chia seeds and extra virgin olive oil are natural sources of fats.

Protein: Responsible for providing energy and aiding in the development of cells, proteins are necessary for the newborn baby’s growth. Beans, legumes, lean meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese and tofu are rich in proteins and need to be included in the diet.

Omega 3: A crucial source of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), Omega 3 fatty acids offer a host of benefits including aiding the development of the baby’s eyes and brain, reducing risk of chronic diseases, decreasing effects of ADHD, and more. The best source for Omega 3 fatty acids is fish like salmon and trout and for vegetarian mothers, flaxseed, soy, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are fine sources for the same. Fish oil supplements should be considered if fish is not a part of a new mother’s diet.

Probiotics: Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria that help fight ‘bad’ bacteria that cause infections. This is important for the newborn, as, during this time, their immune system is very weak. Yoghurt, paneer, green peas, kimchi, pickles, idli and buttermilk are excellent sources of probiotics that should be incorporated into the meal plan.

Vitamins: Vitamins hold a special place as they offer multiple benefits to both mother and child. For the newborn baby, vitamins help in hair growth, vision development, strengthening of the immune system, protecting cells from damage and blood clotting. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K are vital and need to be a part of the diet.