franjos kitchen - mothers nutrition
One of the wonderful products we sell for mums and mums-to-be is our range of cookies and crackers for pregnancy & lactation. We know how important it is to have snacks to keep you going, and these are packed with good things for you and your body. We spoke to Jo, a naturopath & nutritionist and one half of Franjos Kitchen, to learn a little more about nutrition for mums and the Franjos range.
Tell us how Franjos Kitchen came about?
Franjos Kitchen is a collaboration between myself and my neighbour, Fran (but not for much longer, I am losing Fran back to yours and her homeland of NZ!).
One sunny day in 2013 we met at the lights whilst walking our 6 month old babies. We got chatting and the rest is history. Fran was on maternity leave from her corporate law position, as was I from my naturopathic business.
Whilst breastfeeding Phoebe, Fran starting having supply issues with her milk and set about looking for ways to naturally increase her supply. She started making lactation biscuits from recipes off the internet. At this time, I had also founded another healthy cookie company and had much interest in healthy baking and manufacturing. I checked out Fran’s recipe and gave my naturopathic opinion as one does. I suggested a number of changes to improve the nutritional profile of it so both Fran and Phoebe could benefit even more from them. A few days later Fran knocked on my door saying “Jo…. I have a business idea!” Before long, Franjos Kitchen was born.
Why is nutrition so important whilst breastfeeding?
Eating a nutritious diet is vital for you to not only keep up with the demands of motherhood but also to create enough satisfying milk for your baby. If you are not eating well or eating enough you will see a direct effect on your milk supply. The bonus of our biscuits and crackers is that their base is so highly nutrient dense. In these products we are not only supplying you with amazing galactagogues (a Greek word for substances that promote lactation) such as oats, brewer’s yeast and flaxseeds, but we are also loading you up with some of the most nutrient dense super foods one could eat.
How have your products helped your own nutrition?
I was eating up to a cylinder a day in the first week post birth with my twins, Florence and Charles. Obviously I needed to make double the milk so for singles you won’t have to eat as many as I did, but I am convinced this helped build my supply. As I went on my feeding journey with Florence and Charles I noticed times when my supply dropped i.e when they were 6 months old and drinking 1L of milk EACH per day. So I had to make 2L/24hrs. The lactation biscuits were a must at this point.
What inspired your new range of pregnancy/lactation crackers?
When Florence and Charles were 6 months old I was eating tons of our biscuits and I was looking for a savoury option. Don’t get me wrong I love our sweet biscuits, but I was so keen to have something that did the same job but was savoury.
So off I went in to the kitchen (often with breast pump attached whilst they were sleeping) and got baking / trialling. I developed the Fennel and Fenugreek. I was very excited about them, not only in taste but of course their effectiveness.
After making these crackers I thought, why not a cracker for the pregnant mums too? Often pregnant mums don’t always want a sweet snack, they want something salty, something savoury. Also, many pregnant mums experience tummy troubles such as bloating, discomfort and constipation. I started playing around with the amazing superfood, activated charcoal. I added in some mineral rich Murray River Pink Salt Flakes, and a delicious and healthful cracker was born. This cracker can help to help aid digestion, is not overly powerful in taste, and delivers nutrient dense foods to mum and growing bub.
Top tips for breastfeeding mums?
1. Eat well and hydrate yourself. If you are not nourishing yourself with quality food and in good amounts your body will not produce the required amount of milk. I know, I hear you, post baby overhang and extra weight is in the back of your mind but please try and let this go. Your body will crave food, so listen to it and feed yourself well.
2. Buy some good breast pads
3. Stress is your worst enemy. If the whole process of breastfeeding is causing you more angst than milk, then maybe it is best for you to take a step back and reassess. Do what you can to help your situation but do not break down in the process, you are too valuable for that to happen. Let go and enjoy all the other amazing aspects of being a mother.
4. Drink lots of breastfeeding teas, and eat our biscuits! 2-4 per serve every 3-5 hours prior to the next feed or when you want to express.
What is the best feedback you have received since starting Franjos?
We get loads of wonderful feedback from our customers, it is a joy to hear from mums benefiting from our products.
There are a couple of mum’s stories that do come to mind straight away. One mum was 2 weeks away from going back to work and on the cusp of giving up feeding as she was not able to express enough for her son. She was trying everything and then came across Franjos lactation biscuits. She thought, what the heck, worth a shot. After a day of eating the biscuits she went from expressing not quite 50ml per feed to over 100ml… She was thrilled and able to go back to work knowing she was able to continue to feed her son.
We met another mum at a Baby Show in Melbourne just recently. She too was about to give up feeding but took a cylinder home to try out. She returned to the show two days later just to see us and tell us (in tears) that they had worked and she was feeding her baby properly again.