Chinese confinement foods are popular in Singapore; however, we seldom take time to understand their nutritional content. Consequently, we end up eating too much of our “favourite foods” and sometimes miss to take in essential nutrients.
If you are a new mom or soon-to-be mom, don’t leave everything to the confinement nanny. Read on and find out what foods you need to revitalise your body, give you strength, rebuild your body as well as help baby to grow and what to say no to.
Foods That’ll Revitalise Your Body and Mind
Most confinement meals in Singaporeare prepared using sesame oil. Traditional Chinese and Malay healers have used sesame oils for centuries to aid in treating conditions such as inflammation and constipation. These oils are also rich in vitamin E and are believed to have anti-depressant qualities.
Also, traditional confinement herbal soups made using ingredients such as ginger, red dates, Chinese wolfberry are known for their anti-oxidant and body revitalising qualities. These ingredients are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc and selenium which play an important role in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls metabolism.
Foods That Give You Strength
As a new mother, you need no less than 500kCal per day just to produce sufficient breast milk to feed the little one. You’ll notice that you have an increased appetite for energy giving foods and fluids. Therefore, traditional confinement soups are important parts of any confinement meal menu.
Moreover, you need excellent energy boosters in your confinement meal.
Foods such as oatmeal, various types of meats and brown rice are perfect ingredients for energy supply. In addition to being energy foods, ingredients such as oatmeal and brown rice contain high levels of dietary fibre, which helps to fight constipation. Brown rice also helps is stabilising mood swings while oatmeal and various types of meat are also packed with protein, which is essential in the rebuilding of the body.
Foods that Rebuild Your Body and Help Baby’s Development
During pregnancy, the mother supplies nutrition to her unborn child, and her body, including the ecosystem that sustains the fetus. During delivery, a lot is taken away from the mother, and there’s often substantial loss of blood. It’s not a surprise that new mothers need plenty of time to recuperate.
However, at the same time, new mothers breastfeed their infants who grow by at least 2.5 centimetres and gain 800grams to 1000grams each month.
Therefore, many confinement food caterers often pack foods rich in protein and calcium-rich and iron-rich foods. One ingredient often found in Chinese confinement foods in Singapore that stands out due to its ability to supply all these vital nutrients is black beans. Fish meats such as salmon are also popular in confinement meal menus. They are rich in omega 3 and supply healthy protein to your confinement food menu.
Lastly, Foods to Avoid
During confinement, the above foods will aid the recovery of mother and development of the baby. However, there are certain foods that would be detrimental to your health or that of the baby. You should exclude these foods from your confinement menu and also have a chat with your confinement nanny to keep the temptation away. Beverages with high caffeine levels, carbonated drinks, junk food, and alcoholic beverages are not suitable for recuperating mothers.