Nutrition in a Nutshell

We have covered a lot in the sections above regarding food, nutrition and healthy eating. In this section we show you how to put it into practice with a handy food checklist and two sample meal plans - one for breastfeeding mums and another for bottle feeding mums.


Food Checklist

The table below shows the recommended daily amount of food from each food group that is required for breastfeeding mums. Mums who are bottle feeding should refer to the food checklist in "Planning for pregnancy", as the energy and nutritional requirements are different from that of breastfeeding mums.

Food Group Recommended number of serves per day Examples of "one serve"
Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles 5 - 7 2 slices of raisin toast
1 cup of cooked porridge
3 whole wheat cereal biscuits
1 cup of cooked pasta
1 cup of steamed rice
1 cup of cooked 2 minute noodles
2 pikelets
Vegetables and legumes 7 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables (e.g. diced pumpkin, green beans)
1 cup of salad (e.g. shredded lettuce, sliced beetroot, cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup of split peas
1 medium potato
Fruit 5 1 medium piece of fruit (e.g. apple, banana, pear, orange)
1 cup of canned/diced fruit (e.g. peaches, fruit salad, sliced strawberries)
4 tablespoons of dried mixed fruit
1/2 cup (125mL) of apple juice
Dairy & dairy substitutes 3 1 cup of milk (preferably reduced fat) with MILO
200g tub of low fat fruit yogurt
1 cup of calcium enriched soy drink (preferably reduced fat)
250mL of iced coffee (preferably reduced fat)
2 slices (40g) of reduced fat cheese
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts 2 100g of grilled steak or chicken
120g of steamed fish fillet
2 eggs
1/2 cup of baked beans
1/3 cup of peanuts
Extra foods 0 - 2 1/2 1 1/2 scoops of ice cream
1 small packet of potato crisps
1 tablespoon of margarine or oil
1/2 bar of chocolate
2 tablespoons of cream or mayonnaise

Sample meal plan for breastfeeding mums

Breakfast

2 slices of raisin toast with a scrape of margarine
Bowl of porridge with ½ cup of reduced fat milk topped with fresh strawberries
1 apple
Provides: 2 serves of breads/cereals, 1 ½ serves of fruit, ½ serve of dairy.

Morning Snack

Mango milkshake (1 mango blended with reduced fat milk)
Provides: 1 serve of fruit, 1 serve of dairy.

Lunch

Wholemeal bread roll with 1 small can of tuna (drained) & reduced fat mayonnaise
Side salad of lettuce, avocado, olives and sun-dried tomatoes
Small glass of MILO made with reduced fat milk (served hot or cold)
Provides: 1 serve of breads/cereals, 1 serve of vegetables, 1 serve of dairy, 1 serve of meat / fish, ½ serve of extra food.

Afternoon Snack

4 wholemeal cracker biscuits with low fat ricotta cheese, sliced tomato and cracked pepper
Small glass of orange juice
Provides: 1 serve of breads/cereals, ½ serve of vegetables, 1 serve of fruit, ½ serve of dairy

Dinner

Mexican Beef Tortillas:
100g of lean beef mince
½ cup of red kidney beans
2 cups of vegetables (onion, capsicum, corn, canned tomatoes)
Olive oil
2 flour tortillas
Provides: 1 serve of breads/cereals, 5 serves of vegetables & legumes, 1 serve of meat, 1 serve of extra food.

Evening Snack

Sliced banana and custard sprinkled with sultanas
Provides: 1 ½ serves of fruit, 1 serve of dairy.
  • Remember, your fluid intake is just as important as the food you eat. Try to drink around 2 litres of water or sparkling mineral water every day.

Sample meal plan for bottle feeding mums

Breakfast

Small bowl of raw muesli topped with half a banana and diced dried apricots
½ cup of reduced fat milk
Toasted wholemeal English muffin with strawberry jam
Small glass of pineapple juice
Provides: 2 serves of breads/cereals, 2 serves of fruit, 1½ serves of dairy.

Morning Snack

Tub of reduced fat, natural vanilla yogurt with ½ cup of canned peaches stirred through
Provides: ½ serve of fruit, 1 serve of dairy.

Lunch

Tandoori chicken and salad sandwich:
2 slices of wholegrain bread
80g of marinated tandoori chicken breast
1 ½ cups of salad vegetables (avocado, sliced tomato, fresh/canned asparagus)
Provides: 1 serve of bread/cereals, 1½ serves of vegetables, ¾ serve of meat.

Afternoon Snack

2 pikelets with ½ cup of stewed/canned blueberries
Mug of hot MILO made with reduced fat milk
Provides: 1serve of breads/cereals, ½ serve of fruit, 1 serve of dairy.

Dinner

Steak Dianne:
100g of grilled fillet steak
2 tablespoons of Steak Dianne sauce
1 ½ cups of vegetables (spinach, carrots, mushrooms)
1 baked potato with a tablespoon light sour cream
Provides: 4 serves of vegetables, 1 serve of meat, 1serve of extra food.

Evening Snack

Small bowl of low fat ice cream with fresh strawberries and passionfruit
Provides: 1 serve of fruit, 1 serve of extra food.
  • Remember, your fluid intake is just as important as the food you eat. Try to drink around 2 litres of water or sparkling mineral water every day.

Where to go for further dietary assistance

If you are after more specific or tailored dietary advice, then see an accredited practising dietitian (Australia) or a registered dietitian (New Zealand). Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian in your area. Alternatively, if you live in Australia, the website of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) provides a tool where you can search for a dietitian in your area. If you live in New Zealand, go to the website of the New Zealand Dietetic Association to search for a dietitian in your area.