Cooking for mom

I love to cook. Like most people who share the culinary passion, I tend towards a particular style of cooking. Although my repertoire has changed over time the basic genre would be Mediterranean. In fact I can think of very few times I have cooked a meal where, lemons, onions and garlic were not present. That is until my wife and I had our first baby.

As every new parent knows the number one prime directive is to get sleep, and to get sleep baby must sleep. Now gas in the newborn is the mortal enemy of sleep, and if mom is breastfeeding then what goes in her goes in baby. So off to the books to consult where we could have gone wrong. Garlic, onions, peppers, dairy, acidic foods (aka lemons) were the possible culprits. Getting rid of these key ingredients was not easy for me. Thus I needed to find a new way to feed the family in the grand fashion they were accustomed to dining.

Enough applause, here’s what I have discovered. Since I was unable to use my usual staple of ingredients, I was forced to find substitutes. Fennel for onions, produce a subtler flavor for risotto or chicken Marsala. Small amounts of lemon zest produce a lot of flavor with limited acid. Herbs of all kinds; fresh rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, tarragon will produce a great deal of flavor and produce the clean fresh style of cooking I like. And since I can’t find a substitute for garlic I would chop up finely garlic to sprinkle on my food along with small amounts of dried red pepper. Olive oils of all types help with flavor especially if you add a small amount of really good stuff or olio nuevo atop a finished meal.

As time passes (the baby is four months at this writing) and the baby seems to tolerate a little more spice, I have been adding in small amounts of whole garlic for flavoring or larger pieces of onion and remove them before serving. I keep experimenting with new ingredients looking to grow the staple of foods that I choose from. If it tastes good and the bay sleeps then we have victory. My repertoire is expanding and the baby is sleeping, but I would love to hear what other ingredients readers would recommend? I’d also love to hear about how others have adapted to the special needs of breastfeeding mothers and newborn babies.

Re: Cooking for mom

There are some great tips here. Pity I stopped breast feeding before I read this! One thing that helped my daughter sleep was a wind down routine (bath, hugs, music, book). Once she was down I had a beer. I think this made a difference to the effectiveness of the midnight feed. She’d invariably sleep till morning. So would I!

Foods I didn’t eat included cabbage, cheese and curry.

Re: Cooking for mom

I agree there are fantastic suggestions here. Love the infusion of fresh herbs for flavor. I could not eat salad, raw vegetables or beans while I was nursing my second child. I ate alot of fresh fish, grilled meats, steamed veggies and broth based soups.

Re: Cooking for mom