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Eating Well With Canada's Food Guide for new Moms


a veggie burger with lettuce and tomato


Sometimes, it's challenging to make healthy choices about what to eat - or what not to eat - after you've had a baby.

Here's some information that can help. 

Canada's Food Guide can help you to figure out how to get the nutrients you need.  Other options for ensuring healthy eating after pregnancy include the following:

  • Contact your local health unit to speak with a dietitian Your community dietitian can give you healthy eating resources and suggest places that may be able help if you have limited money. If you don’t have access to a community dietician, your public health nurse, pregnancy outreach program or other service agencies can help.
  • Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC - Healthlink BC dieticians are available online and by telephone to answer your diet and nutrition-related questions. Call 8-1-1 free-of-charge from anywhere in B.C. to speak to a registered dietitian 8am - 8pm Monday to Thursday and 8am - 5pm Friday. You can also email Dietitian Services any time for reliable, confidential nutrition information and advice for you and your baby, during pregnancy and after you’ve given birth. Translation services are available upon request in more than 130 languages.

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (Canada’s Food Guide) can help you with healthy eating choices during pregnancy, breastfeeding and for the rest of your life.

Recommended Number of Food Group Servings Each Day

(for Adult Females 19-50)

Vegetables and Fruit

Recommended Number of Servings: 7-8

  • Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.
  • Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

Examples of one serving:

    • 1 piece of fruit
    • 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned
    • vegetables
    • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
    • 1/2 cup 100% fruit juice 

Grain Products

Recommended Number of Servings: 6-7

  • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.
  • Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt.

Examples of one serving:

    • 1 slice bread
    • 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice
    • 3/4 cup hot cereal
    • 30 grams cold cereal
    • 1/2 bagel 

Milk and Alternatives

Recommended Number of Servings: 2

  • Drink skim, 1% or 2% milk each day.
  • Select lower fat milk alternatives.

Examples of one serving:

    • 1 cup milk or soy beverage
    • 3/4 cup yogurt
    • 50 grams (1 1/2 oz) cheese 

Meat and Alternatives

Recommended Number of Servings: 2

  • Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often.
  • Eat at least two Food Guide servings of fish each week.
  • Select lean meat and alternatives
  • Prepared with little or no added fat or salt.

Examples of one serving:

    • 1/2 cup cooked fish, shellfish, 
    • poultry, or lean meat
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup cooked legumes
    • 2 Tbsp peanut or nut butter
    • 1/4 cup shelled nuts and seeds 

Oil and Fats

Recommended Number of Servings: 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp)

  • Include a small amount of unsaturated fat each day. 

Examples of one serving:

    • 1 Tbsp oil used for cooking
    • 1 Tbsp salad dressings
    • 1 Tbsp margarine or mayonnaise 

Source: Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, Health Canada, 2007. Reproduced and adapted with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2010.

Resources & Links:

Dietary Guidelines for Good Health 
Quick Tips: Making Fast, Healthy Meals 
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop 
Nutrition While Breast-Feeding 
Dietitians of Canada
Canada's Food Guide

Last Updated: August 8, 2013