How to get Pregnant » Food Guide Pyramid Postpartum

Food Guide Pyramid Postpartum

How to Get Pregnant


After having a baby, most women expect to get back to their normal size too quickly. As this can take a toll on their body after just having gone through the physical and emotional trauma of labor and delivery, it is not always wise to think about dieting. In fact, it is recommended that women do not even begin to pursue a weight loss regimen until at least eight to twelve weeks after giving birth. The best way to take care of her body in order to get it back in shape is to follow the food guide pyramid postpartum, as established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Untied States Department of Health and Human Services.

Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group

Over the years, the food guide pyramid postpartum has changed. Because of the need to add fiber to the diet, the revised guide lists six to eleven servings of foods in this category. Eleven slices of processed white bread would not be recommended. Use common sense and choose foods made with whole grains. Slow burning carbs help to even out the metabolism, while refined sugars get stored as fat quite easily.

Vegetables Group

On the food guide pyramid postpartum, it is suggested that three to five servings of vegetables be eaten daily. It helps to understand that there is a difference between raw and cooked vegetables. For instance, one cup of chopped cooked vegetables counts as two servings, whereas one cup of raw leafy vegetables counts as a single serving. Most raw vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber.

Fruit Group

This is another group that needs to be thought about in terms of serving size. One piece of fruit, such as a melon wedge would constitute a single serving but a cup of canned fruit would be two servings. A cup of dried fruit is equivalent to three servings and a cup of fruit juice is just that, a single serving. When using canned fruits to meet the requirements of the food guide pyramid postpartum, try to avoid fruits packed in syrup. Buy those labeled as '"light" or "no sugar added."

Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group

Only three servings daily of this group are required. Try to avoid processed cheeses and full fat milk if at all possible. Natural cheeses are best as are low-fat and nonfat dairy products. This is another change in the pyramid which many of us will recognize. In years gone by this group was labeled dairy. Now it is much more specific in that it defines the foods categorized as dairy. Notice that butter is particularly missing as it is now considered a fat and not a dairy product.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group

When choosing the three recommended servings of this group, pay special attention to any red meats being consumed. Opt for lean meats and notice that a single serving is only 2 to 3 oz of meat, poultry or fish. Two eggs would be a single portion while four tablespoons of peanut butter would meet the criteria. This is another level on the food guide pyramid postpartum that has significant changes in the new revision.

Fats & Sweets

At the very tip of the pyramid, they have added fats and sweets. Most notable is the fact that no servings or serving sizes are required. The USDA simply states to "use small amounts." The logic behind this is in the fact that fats and sugars will be present in many of the foods we eat, thus it really isn't necessary to add any to the diet. A good example would be peanut butter that is high in fats or bread that is actually a carbohydrate (sugar).

The new food guide pyramid postpartum can tend to be confusing. Within recent years it has undergone changes and the categories have shifted to some extent. While it is not recommended that women be concerned with losing weight too soon after delivery, it is recommended to follow the USDA requirements for a healthy diet.