Subject: Re: Milk consumption by breastfeeding moms? No food groups


>> From: Linda Burton <>

>> Anytime you recommend the avoidance of a complete food group,

>> you run the risk of an unbalanced diet.

> ^^^^^^^^^

>A what?? Even the USDA has given up the notion of food groups and their

>implication that meat and dairy are necessary and are (each!) as important

>as fruits and vegetables combined.


>> Although some vegans can plan a

>> balanced diet without dairy products, it takes a lot of conscious effort

>> that you will not get from ALL moms.


>Let's see.... Eat enough calories; take some calcium supplements (iff you

>don't eat enough kale and such); make sure you are out in the sun a tiny

>bit (or eat some other food that is fortified with vitamin D); and....

>Hmmm, that's about it. I would hope that someone who is about to raise a

>child could muster that "lot of conscious effort". It is certainly

>trivial compared to the total attention that eating a healthy diet

>(omnivorous or vegan) requires.


>Whether or not the reasons for pregnant or lactating women to avoid dairy

>are stronger than the reasons for the rest of us to do so, the reasons for

>them to seek it out are no more compelling (i.e., not at all so).


>--Carl Phillips, PhD

> U of Michigan SPH

>Dear Carl- I don't know what your experience is in the nutrition education

field, but I have been teaching and consulting for 20+ years.

Unfortunately, MOST people want to spend as little time as possible thinking

about what they eat and even less about the nutritional value of what they

eat. I stand by my statement that you will not get compliance from ALL moms

for any kind of dietary advice. I absolutely agree that there is no better

reason to pay attention to your diet than for the sake of your unborn child,

but the sad fact is many moms do not! Just talk to any WIC counselor! I

have found that the simplest dietary recommendations are the best and the

Food Pyramid, even with its inherent weaknesses, is very easily

understandable, gets across the importance of grain products and fruits and

vegetables and communicates the idea of proportion (grains, f&v, dairy and

meat). For those who express interest in a vegetarian diet, vegan or not,

further instruction on planning meals will be possible. But without that

extra interest anything beyond planning meals using basic food groups as a

guide is a pipe dream! In the best of all "nutrition worlds" everyone

would pay attention to what they eat and want to learn more, but that isn't

reality. We (nutrition educators) need to be more pragmatic. Some of the

moms I have worked with actually have to be taught that children have to be

fed regularly and frequently! You can see how basic nutrition education has

to be for moms like this. Linda B.