For Parents & Parents-To-Be

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Healthy Eating

Follow Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide, choose foods from each of the four food groups every day, eat when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty. Breastfeeding mothers do not need to follow a special diet. Breastfeeding women may need more calories and can choose 2-3 extra Food Guide Servings from any of the four food groups each day.  See My Food Guide Servings Tracker for women who are breastfeeding! Breastfeeding moms should not try to lose weight through dieting. Weight gained while pregnant will gradually be lost over time with the help of healthy eating and exercise. Talk to your Health Care Provider about continuing to take a multivitamin after the birth of your baby.  More information about Healthy Eating is available.


Caffeine can be found in many foods and drugs as well as beverages, e.g., foods containing chocolate, some pain relievers and cold remedies, coffee, tea, most cola soft drinks, and some energy drinks.    Caffeine can pass through breastmilk to your infant/child. Too much caffeine can cause changes in your infant/child’s behavior e.g., wide-eyed, active, have difficulty sleeping, or be more fussy than usual.  Limit caffeine to no more that 300mg per day.  This is equal to just two small (8 ounce) cups of coffee. For other sources of caffeine click here.  Try to get more sleep and rest rather than drinking more coffee or tea to stay awake.  


Exercise is good for families, and there are lots of family friendly activities available for you and your infant/child. Speak to your Health Care Provider at your six week postpartum appointment about increasing activity slowly.  Remember don’t try to do too much - start with light exercise and gradually increase your activity when you feel ready.  Follow the link to find information about physical activity and breastfeeding.

For more information on healthy eating, physical activity, breastfeeding and services in Simcoe Muskoka, please contact your health care provider or contact Health Connection by calling 1-705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by email or connect with us wherever you are on Facebook or Twitter.