Meeting your needs
To guard against the risk of low iron stores, eat a variety of foods rich in iron. The iron in red meat, poultry
and fish is absorbed much more easily than the iron in plant-based foods like legumes, vegetables and
grains. You can help to increase your absorption of iron from plant based foods by adding a Vitamin C
rich food or drink to your meal.
To help build up your reserves of magnesium, iron, folic acid and vitamin C, aim to eat a variety of foods
from the examples below.
There is magnesium in:
Dried fruit (apricots, dates, figs), nuts (peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds), wheat bran (unprocessed and
processed), soy beans, tofu, cocoa powder and chocolate.
You will find iron in foods:
Of animal origin: meat (e.g. beef, lamb, chicken, pork, kangaroo), offal (e.g. liver, kidney), fish and shellfish
(e.g. oysters, mussels).
Of vegetable origin: legumes (e.g. chick peas, lentils, baked beans), bran flakes, wheat flake breakfast
biscuits, wholegrain bread, eggs, nuts (pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts) spinach and bok choy.
Excellent sources of folic acid (a B group vitamin) include wheat flake breakfast biscuits, corn flakes, bran flakes,
asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli and spreads made from yeast extract. Very good sources of folic acid
include green beans, green peas, leek, parsnip, cabbage, beetroot, spinach, capsicum, cauliflower, chickpeas,
peanuts, oranges, orange juice, oats and wholegrain bread. Other good sources include cos lettuce, avocado,
carrots, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, wheat germ, bananas and canned salmon. As folic acid is destroyed
by heat, eat these foods raw or try cooking them for short periods of time only.
You will find Vitamin C in many fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, kiwis, blackcurrants, strawberries, papaya)
as well as in certain vegetables (parsley, capsicum, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, red cabbage, cabbage, spinach
and watercress). Vitamin C is sensitive to cooking and therefore tends to be lower in cooked foods.
Good eating tips for breastfeeding mums
Breastfeeding mums need more kilojoules than bottle feeding mums – an extra 2500 kilojoules
(that’s 600 calories) per day in fact! Producing milk uses up a lot of energy – which explains why nursing
mums often lose the fat built up during pregnancy faster than those who bottle feed. The extra kilojoules
you need when nursing should come from nutritious snacks like yogurt, MILO with reduced fat milk,
fruit (fresh, canned or dried) and wholegrain sandwiches with fillings like canned tuna, salmon,
sardines, baked beans, hummus, reduced fat cheese and salad.
There are some extra goodies you need when you are breastfeeding.
An extra 16g of protein is needed each day for the first six months of lactation. This is equivalent to either 65g
of cheese, meat, poultry or fish, or 2 large eggs.
Good eating tips for bottle feeding mums
Bottle feeding mums need fewer calories than breastfeeding mums. Nursing mums need an extra 2500
kilojoules a day to produce milk, whereas bottle feeding mums do not have any extra energy requirements.
The key to healthy eating for bottle feeding mums is the same as for the general population include a wide
variety of nutritious foods, in the right balance. The guide to healthy eating provides an overview
of what to eat.
Every day, aim to include a variety of:
Vegetables and fruits – fresh, canned and dried.
Wholegrain breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles.
Reduced fat or low fat dairy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, custard and ice cream.
Lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood.
Legumes like red kidney beans, baked beans, lentils, chick peas, split peas.
Unsalted nuts and seeds.
Small amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated margarines and oils.
Plenty of fluids, especially water.
Occasional treats for your pleasure.