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Dietitian Shares: Breastfeeding This CNY? Time to Have More Fruits!

Dietitian Shares Breastfeeding This CNY 3 Reasons to Have More Fruits!Being able to feed and nourish your child well is one of the most rewarding parts of motherhood, whether it’s through breastfeeding or formula feeding. As we know, breastfeeding is recommended to be the sole nutrition for your baby for at least the first 6 months of their life. This is due to the fact that breast milk evolves according to your baby’s needs and growth. 

As Chinese New Year is right around the corner, pregnant moms should not lose sight of eating healthily during this festive season. One of which is your fruit intake! Fruits are important to have daily as they are one of the main sources of vitamin C and fibre in our diet. 

Importance of Fruits and Vegetables in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

Although researchers see a link between inadequate vitamin C and the risk of preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restrictions and preterm birth, vitamin C supplementation did not show improvement in any of the outcomes above among mothers who had inadequate vitamin C levels.

Maternal fruit and vegetable intake, as they breastfeed, can influence their child’s intake of fruits and vegetables in later infancy and childhood. Researchers found that mothers who had high vegetable intake and breastfed for a long duration were linked with high child vegetable intake at 6 years old, regardless of their background and vegetable availability. Although fruits may not be a typical lactogenic food, this study shows early evidence of how exposure to vegetable flavours via breast milk may be able to encourage later child consumption of vegetables. 

Thus, it is important for mummies to understand that eating adequate fruits and vegetables as they breastfeed will help to set up their children to eat better as they grow up.

Recommendations by the Singapore Health Promotion Board

Recommendations by Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends we have 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of vegetables per day for adequate fibre intake. Despite the public health advocating this again and again, a local study in 2018 among  385 participants found that only about 30% of them were aware of this recommendation, and only about 20% of them were actually adherent to it. 

Scientific evidence indicates that people who have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of many diseases, including heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

What About This Chinese New Year?

Since the variety of fruits is pretty abundant in Singapore during Chinese New Year, let’s look at the different fruits mummies should look out for. At least two servings of fruits a day is the goal!

Singapore is blessed to have fruits like banana, papaya, pineapple, guava, watermelon and jackfruit, which are non-seasonal and abundant! Seasonal fruits like durians, mangosteen, rambutans, and longans are some of the key fruits many people around the world do not enjoy easily due to the climate and terrain. 

That being said, culturally, the Chinese have a specific selection of fruits that should be eaten during the Chinese New Year. It is believed to be auspicious as it symbolises wealth and good fortune. Here are some of the favourites!

Dietitian Shares Breastfeeding This CNY 3 Reasons to Have More Fruits!


They are largely cultivated in China and Japan. Mandarins are important during the Chinese New Year celebrations due to several reasons. Firstly, it is a seasonal fruit that is only available during mid-winter to mid-spring when the New Year falls. Thus, it is the reason why you can find them easily in our local supermarkets in Singapore during this time of the year. It is such a popular fruit to be exchanged with one another as it is believed to symbolise giving wishes of prosperity and blessing to one. 

Nutritionally, mandarin oranges are great sources of Vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin, healing wounds and supporting the immune system. The vitamin C content of breast milk is also somewhat influenced by the mother’s nutritional intake of vitamin C from foods. Thus, if it is inadequate, there may be lower levels of vitamin C available for the baby via breast milk. 


During Chinese New Year, pomelos are often placed around the house and consumed for good luck. The Mandarin word for pomelo is “you”, which also means “to have”, which can mean that there will be no lack. There will be good fortune, health and happiness within the household. 

Nutritionally, it is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium! Did you know that vitamin C is a heat-sensitive vitamin? This means that even though some vegetables are good sources of vitamin C like broccoli, bok choy or capsicums, when cooked,  some of the vitamin C can be destroyed. Thus, having freshly cut or peeled fruits is one of the best ways to obtain adequate vitamin C. Besides that, fruits like pomelo are a good source of potassium. Potassium plays a role in supporting healthy muscle contraction and normal blood pressure. 


Pineapple is an auspicious fruit that the Hokkien people love to eat all year round, not just during Chinese New Year. This is because, in Hokkien, pineapple is called “ong lai” which directly translates to “ fortune come”. Hence, pineapple is often not only part of the food like pineapple tarts but also part of Chinese New Year decorations. 

Nutritionally, pineapples pack a punch! It contains vitamin B6, vitamin B1, folate, potassium, magnesium, and so much more. It is particularly high in vitamin C and manganese. Manganese is known to play a role in helping your body metabolise carbohydrates and fat to produce energy and protect body cells from cell damage. It is also used to support the body in forming strong bones and supporting the immune system. 

Sometimes, you may have heard that pineapple is not suitable for pregnant mothers as it may cause abnormal bleeding due to the presence of bromelain. However, this is untrue, as the amount of bromelain needed to cause abnormal bleeding requires mothers to eat multiple whole pineapples in one setting. A slice or two of pineapple a day will not harm pregnant mummies. It is also safe for breastfeeding mummies to eat pineapple. It will not cause diaper rash to your baby via your breast milk due to the acidity of pineapple, as these foods do not change the maternal pH of the blood that flows to the breast tissue.


All in all, fruits are amazing foods to have in our diet. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are good for our bodies and the baby. This Chinese New Year, let’s try to make healthier choices and aim for at least 2 servings of fruits per day. 


  • Eunice Tan, In-house Dietitian

    Eunice Tan graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition from International Medical University. She is a certified Prenatal Dietitian, Accredited by Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association and also the in-house dietitian for Tian Wei Signature and ReLacto. With her expertise and interest in nutrition for women and diet planning, Eunice helps to support mothers get the key nutrients they need for recovery and lactation.