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According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 300 extra calories are needed daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. When you are breastfeeding, you need a total of 500 extra calories each day to stay healthy and to produce nutritious breastmilk. Your diet should be balanced and contain the appropriate amount of calories and nutrients in order to fulfll these special needs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently replaced the familiar food pyramid with MyPlate to assist adults in choosing foods that provide them with the nutrients they require. You may lose up to 20 pounds in the postpartum period. More weight loss will be easier with moderate exercise and a smart eating program. The food guide can serve as a reference to both balance and moderation.

Diet and

Nutrition

The Food Guide states that for a 2,000 calorie diet, you need the amounts from each food group below.

Grains Make half your grains whole: Eat at least 3 oz. of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. 1 oz. is about 1 slice of bread, about 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cereal or pasta. Eat 6 oz. every day. • Vegetables Vary your veggies: Eat more dark-green veggies like broccoli, spinach and other dark leafy greens. Eat more orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Eat more dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans and lentils. Eat 2½ cups every day.

Fruits Focus on fruits: Eat a variety of fruit. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit. Go easy on fruit juices. Eat 2 cups every day.

Dairy Get calcium-rich foods: Go low-fat or fat-free when you choose milk, yogurt and other milk products. If you don’t or can’t consume milk, choose lactose-free products or other calcium sources such as fortifed foods and beverages. Get 3 cups every day.

Protein Go lean with protein : Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it or grill it. Vary your protein routine – choose more fsh, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Eat 5½ oz. every day.

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Great Expectations – 33

Go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information.

Choose MyPlate

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