Planning a vegetarian prenatal diet
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just restricting meat and dairy, you can easily meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy. Follow these helpful tips.
To assure that you eat enough protein—
- Include a variety of alternative protein sources:
- whole grains such as wheat germ
- dried peas such as split peas
- beans such as white or navy beans, red beans, black beans, and lima beans
- soy products such as tofu
- nuts or nut butters
- Eat a variety of protein sources each day.
- Drink three to four glasses of cow’s milk or soy milk, or eat three servings of other reduced-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Getting enough calories in a vegetarian diet can sometimes be difficult. That’s because a vegetarian diet is typically high in fiber, due to all the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can make you feel full before you’ve actually eaten adequate calories. During the second and third trimesters you’ll need an extra 300 calories each day for your necessary weight gain.
Calcium, iron, and zinc can be in short supply in a vegetarian diet.
Calcium can be found in:
turnip greens, almonds, tempeh, tofu, oranges, broccoli, and molasses
Iron and zinc can be found in:
dried peas and beans, fortified cereals, wheat germ, spinach, raisins, and molasses
Discuss your eating habits with your health care provider since you may need to take a calcium supplement in addition to the standard prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement.