Can I Eat Sloppy Joes While Breastfeeding?

  • By: Katie
  • Date: March 14, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Sloppy Joes are one of the most popular comfort foods in America. And if your family does too you might have heard someone ask if it is safe to eat this sandwich while breast feeding? This blog post will provide you with information to help answer that question such as whether there are specific ingredients that should be avoided and it will also offer some suggestions on how to make your own healthy homemade version of this comfort food.

What is a sloppy joe?

It is a sandwich served on a hamburger bun and consists of onions, ground meat of beef, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. It originated in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century.

What are the benefits of eating sloppy joes while breast-feeding?

Ground meat, preferably beef, is typically used to make this sandwich. It is an excellent source of protein, iron, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, as well as vitamins B-6 and B-12, but it is also high in calories and saturated fat. 

They are served with a white hamburger bun, which is a good source of carbohydrates and B vitamins. Whole-wheat hamburger buns are a healthier option. 

Traditionally, its sauce is composed of canned tomatoes or ketchup, spices, and aromatics. Vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium are abundant, making them low-calorie and fat-free.

Spices such as mustard, chili powder, paprika, and garlic contain antioxidants that protect cells and lower the risk of chronic diseases. 

What are the possible health concerns of eating sloppy joes while breastfeeding?

Sloppy joes in their traditional state aren’t considered healthy foods. Depending on the quality of the ingredients, they may contain high amounts of salt, saturated fat, carbohydrates and sugar.

In order to provide their infant with sufficient nutrition and growth, nursing mothers need 400–500 extra calories per day. However, excessive calorie consumption can also be a factor in weight gain, obesity, as well as diseases related to obesity, such as diabetes and cancer. Consuming processed meat, saturated fat and cholesterol contribute to heart disease. 

The production of breastmilk is typically supported by more sodium in new mothers. A good baseline for salt consumption is around 5 grams per day or about 2.5 teaspoons. For those who exercise or follow a low-carb diet, needs will likely be higher. Sweat contains a lot of sodium. 

Too much salt, however, causes water retention. An excessive amount of water can make your kidneys work harder, leading to swelling and high blood pressure. There’s no harm in having a little bit, but don’t overdo it with fatty and processed foods and ingredients.

How much of this sandwich can I eat when breast-feeding?

One serving should be more than enough in one day. But you shouldn’t be eating this sandwich every day, once a week is fine.

It entirely depends on the ingredients as well as the method of cooking. As a general rule about certain food, avoid processed or canned sloppy joes because they contain high amounts of fat and sodium which you don’t want especially if you’re breast-feeding your baby.

Does eating this sandwich affect breast milk?

There is no evidence that sloppy joes affects breast milk. However, if you are concerned, you can always monitor your own body and how your baby reacts to the sandwich. If your baby experiences any adverse reactions after eating this sandwich, consult with your pediatrician.

Additionally, there have been reports of babies being gassy after their mothers ate this sandwich. If this happens to your child, stop eating the sandwich and consult your doctor.

How can you make this sandwich healthy for breast-feeding mothers?

You can definitely make this comfort sandwich healthy especially if you’re concerned about its ingredients. You can swap out ingredients for healthy alternatives based on your preference.

Reduce calories and fat by substituting lean ground meat. Three ounces of ground turkey or chicken meat have 196 calories, 11 grams of fat, and three grams of saturated fat. Add crumbled veggie or soy burgers to the sauce to make a vegetarian version. There are 124 calories in one soy burger, 4 grams of fat, and 1 gram of saturated fat.

As a substitute, you could use one cup of dried, uncooked lentils for every pound of ground beef. Brown and green lentils can be used as a beef substitute because they have a milder flavor than red lentils, so they will soak up different flavors more readily when cooked properly.

Instead of using ketchup or store-bought tomato sauce, you can always make a tomato puree at home.

And if you want a meatless recipe, it is available too! There are many recipes online featuring vegan and vegetarian versions of this American favorite comfort food.

Takeaway

If you have heard about concerns regarding sloppy joes, you might be concerned too. Sloppy joes can be a healthy food to eat while breast-feeding, but it is important to watch the ingredients and how your baby reacts. There are many ways to make this food healthier, so women don’t have to worry about not being able to enjoy this classic comfort food. Regardless, it is fine to enjoy it once a week.

Most mothers are unsure if they can eat this food while breast-feeding because of the unhealthy ingredients in most recipes. They can enjoy them while breast-feeding women by making a few simple adjustments to the recipe. By using healthier ingredients, such as grass-fed beef and whole wheat bread, mothers can rest assured that they are providing their children with quality nutrition. However, if you are still on the fence, the best course of action is to avoid this sandwich for a while.