New Mums not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

June 14, 2012 BY: LISA

New Australian research has found first-time mums are skimping on fruit and vegetables, putting their babies at risk of longer-term health problems.

The Melbourne study into the eating habits of 529 new mothers found just 58 per cent met the recommended fruit intake of two serves a day, and only one in ten (7%) met the recommended five serves of vegetables a day.

The research, published this month in the Dietitians Association of Australia’s journal Nutrition & Dietetics, found breastfeeding mothers were doing better than their non-breastfeeding counterparts.

Lead researcher Deborah Leslie from Deakin University said: ‘Our study found breastfeeding mums eat about half a serve more vegetables, or around an extra ¼ cup of cooked vegetables, than non-breastfeeding mums. They also eat a greater range of fruit and vegetables.’

Despite this, she said the new mums in her study, whether they breastfed or not, had a poor intake of fruit and vegetables and this was concerning for the health of future generations.

According to Ms Leslie, mothers who eat more fruit and vegetables, and a greater variety of healthy foods, are more likely to have children who try new foods and eat a varied diet.

‘Babies are exposed to flavours before they’re born and also through breast milk. So a mum who regularly eats a range of fruit and vegetables will be helping to improve her child’s acceptance of those foods,’ said Ms Leslie.

And for mothers, she said eating enough fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.

My thoughts:

Another thing that strikes me about new or old mums is their meals are given a lower priority than the kid’s meals. That is, Mum will always make breakfast or between meal snacks for the children however often go without herself. Skipping meals leads to weight gain.

In the short term skipping meals or grabbing cheese on toast instead of a vegetable soup and grainy bread may seem like a time saver however in the long run weight gain and poor health will have to be dealt with. Take some time to think about how you will increase fruit and vegetables in the diet as this clearly has benefits to you and your kids.

The best advice I give Mum’s is to consider you own needs as important as your children’s- this way you will at least eat regular healthy meals and maybe include a few more fruit and veggies!

Lisa- Accredited Practising Dietitian


All enquiries, Lisa 0413 956 107 Appointments 1300 725 806
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