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What should I be eating as a new mum?
The arrival of your new baby is extremely exciting yet can also be stressful as it requires you to make a lot of adjustments. It is common that new mums and dads experience appetite disturbances, where they may feel disinterested in food. This is often caused by sleep disturbances. Your diet gives you the energy you need during the day and keeps your body nourished so that it runs at its peak. Five small meals a day is recommended, but if you are finding it difficult to fit everything in as well as taking care of your new born, make sure you are eating at least three meals daily. This is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need to recover from the birth as well as helping you make milk if you are breastfeeding. We advise the following to ensure you maintain a nutritious and healthy diet.
- Eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables daily. These provide vitamins and minerals for your immune system and overall health.
- Eat plenty of breads and cereals which include wholegrains, rice and pasta for energy.
- Eat protein every day including meat, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese. Protein helps to repair tissues and keep your body in good condition.
- Eat plenty of foods which contain calcium, milk and dairy products are the easiest way to get calcium. Your body requires more calcium if you are breastfeeding.
- Drinking adequate water will also prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make you feel even more tired and lethargic. So aim to drink 6-8 glasses daily.
There are many myths about foods that breastfeeding mothers should not eat for fear of upsetting the baby. Some mothers find that if they eat a lot of rich or spicy foods their babies might be upset. Others find they can eat anything. So it’s a matter of trial and error.
- Meals such as fresh pasta with vegetables or a salad can be prepared in a few minutes and give your body a real boost.
- Fruit, vegetable sticks, cheese, yoghurt and muesli bars all make for healthy, easy snacks to grab when you’re busy with baby.
- Frozen vegetables can be great shortcuts for healthy, tasty and nutritious meals.
- Nuts such as almonds and cashews are a great source of protein and can be eaten as snacks or part of a full meal.
- Tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, corn and other foods can be included in pasta sauces, soups and casseroles.
- Tinned fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines are good sources of protein.
- Soup makes a quick hot meal.
- Cook for two nights instead of one, or freeze portions for another time.
- Keep leftovers for snacks and toasted sandwiches.
- Save on washing up by cooking one-pot meals such as soups, curries and casseroles.
If you would like more information or perhaps a more detailed diet plan for your new role as a busy mum, you can contact your local Dietitian for specific health advice.
Emma Morris is a highly qualified and experienced Dietitian and Sports Dietitian at Stay Tuned Sports Medicine. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement as well as a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. Stay Tuned Sports Medicine is an allied Health clinic with centres in Elwood and Boronia. For more information, visit her website www.staytuned.com.au
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