The Eat Well Healthy Plate is made up of half vegetables, a quarter meat or meat alternative and a quarter starch or grains served with a portion of fruit and dairy. *Photo supplied
The Eat Well Healthy Plate is made up of half vegetables, a quarter meat or meat alternative and a quarter starch or grains served with a portion of fruit and dairy. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16: Eating the right foods will provide the energy required in caring for young children.  If breastfeeding, eating the right foods will replenish your body while you are passing on important nutrients that your baby needs to grow up strong and healthy. 

A healthy diet makes it easier for you to recover from childbirth and helps in managing emotions.

Eating three meals a day may help to prevent blood sugar fluctuations which cause fatigue. 

Never skip breakfast.  Eating a variety of foods helps to boost your vitamin and mineral levels. 

The new Bermuda Dietary Guidelines provide information on the different types and proportions of food required to have a healthy and well-balanced diet. 

Check food labels to make healthier options.  Use the Food Label Guide leaflet available in the Food Section of the www.health.gov.bm website. 

Choose foods more often that fall into the “green or go” category for total fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar and limit foods that fall into the “yellow or sometimes” category and rarely use the foods that fall into the “red or not too often” category. 

Portion control

If you want a nutrient dense diet without watching calories, follow the proportions and advice on the EatWell Bermuda Plate.

Choosing the five inch plate is a cinch in supporting weight loss and making half the plate non-starchy vegetables ensures a high vitamin levels of A, C, E, B6 and Zinc, following with a quarter of the plate whole grain starches that are high in fiber keeps you regular (good for getting that tummy back in shape), and a quarter of the plate with lean meat, beans or nuts supplies protein helpful in repairing, building and maintaining body tissues.

Round out the meal with a calcium rich choice and a small fruit serving help supple pro-biotics for good digestion and are beneficial for satisfaction and providing balance to the meal.  The eight inch plate with the same proportions of foods is good for weight maintenance and the 10 inch plate may be helpful in gaining weight if necessary.

Choose healthy snacks one or two times per day if necessary. 

Make snacks count like choosing vegetables or whole grain crackers with hummus, fruits and nuts.  Cutting back on sugar and refined products may cause fatigue, blood sugar spikes and may be helpful in decreasing fat storage and reduce risks of inflammatory diseases. Breastfeeding does require drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, prevent constipation, fatigue and painful cracked nipples.  

Do not wait until you are thirsty— a sign of dehydration; keep a water bottle nearby.

Exercise is good in helping to restore muscle strength and tone and boost your metabolism which ultimately helps in weight loss. 

Exercise also is helpful in reducing the risk of post-partum depression. 

Start slowly and gradually build up your endurance and strength. It is best to start with walking ten to fifteen 15 minutes a day.

Lastly, rest is important.  Sleep deprivation causes the body to release cortisol, stress and hunger hormones that are associated with weight gain. 

So, try to rest when the baby rests.

For more healthy eating information on a budget, visit the www.health.gov.bm website where you can also find: “Menu Planner” and “Stretching your Food Dollars”

Mellonie Furbert, RD is a Public Health Nutritionist.