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Nutrition For The Nursing Mom: A French Treat (With Recipe!)

We could come up with a whole kitchen full of great recipes to nourish the nursing mother, but let’s be real—you’re probably barely finding extra moments to squeeze in a shower and a bathroom break, let alone the free time to whip up elaborate lunches.

But as a nursing mother, you can’t neglect your body’s needs for nutrient-packed meals. The trick is to find small, dense options that you can eat quickly—and preferably with one hand. Here, we look to the French for the perfect solution: the tartine.

Recently one of my favorite neighborhood bistros added a few new seasonal menu items, one of them being a fig and prosciutto tartine. I was ecstatic for the warm, crusty, open-faced sandwich built on rustic cinnamon-raisin bread and composed of a generous layer of goat cheese, fig jam, Granny Smith apples, and prosciutto. Truly this is hand-held art, not to mention a power pack of protein, complex carbohydrates and decadent flavor.

The tartine lends itself to great creativity, or rather, it tolerates whatever you have in the refrigerator. Cream cheese, goat cheese, Boursin, herbed mayo, even peanut butter all make respectable spreads to top your bread. A make that bread something rustic, nutty, seeded, or otherwise dense, healthy, and tasty. You’ll want to toast the bread. Add your spread and then get some protein in there. Thinly-sliced meats like prosciutto, turkey, or ham work well, as do tuna and egg salad. Give it a quick sit in the toaster oven or under the broiler if you have some cheese you’d like to melt, and then sprinkle with dried or fresh fruits, tomato, cucumber, or a handful of greens.

The best part is not only the ease with which you can create this meal, but the ease with which you can eat it. When you use a nice rustic bread, the slices will generally be a squat oval shape—perfect for one-handed dining. Baby in one hand and tartine in the other: pure satisfaction.

Have some Thanksgiving leftovers? Make a tartine!

Thanksgiving-Style Tartine

1. Toast a piece of rustic bread.

2. Top with cranberry sauce or cranberry mayo or goat cheese with cranberry sauce.

3. Add slices of turkey.

4. Add a shmear of your leftover sweet potato dish. Have a few apple slices? Throw them on!

5. Sprinkle with toasted or spiced pecans.

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