Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Which of the following is an antioxidant?
Vitamin E
Vitamin B

 Healthy Kitchen: Vegetarian Diets for Pregnancy  
During Pregnancy your need for all nutrients increases. For example, you will need more calcium, more protein, and more folic acid. But calorie needs increase only modestly during pregnancy. In fact, you will need to pack all of that extra nutrition into just 300 extra calories a day. For that reason, all pregnant women need to choose their meals wisely. It is important to eat foods that are rich in nutrients, but not high in fat or sugar or excessive in calories.

Vegetarian diets, based on nutritious whole foods are healthful choices for pregnant women. Use the chart below to plan your meals.

Whole Grains, Breads, Cereals
6 or more servings
Serving = 1 slice of bread, « bun or bagel, « cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta, 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
1 to 2 servings
A serving is « cup cooked or 1 cup raw kale, collards, mustard or turnip greens, or spinach or broccoli.

Other Vegetables and Fruits
4 to 5 servings
Serving = « cup cooked, 1 cup raw, 1 piece of fruit, _ cups fruit juice, ¬ cup dried fruit.

Beans and Soy Products
3 to 4 servings
« cup cooked beans; 4 ounces tofu or tempeh; 8 ounces soymilk.

Nuts, Seeds, Wheat Germ
1 to 2 servings
Serving = 2 tablespoons nuts or seed, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons wheat germ.

Guidelines for Good Health During Pregnancy
Begin a healthful diet before you become pregnant. The early growth and development of your baby is supported by your body stores of nutrients.

Maintain a steady rate of weighs gain. Aim for about 3 to 4 pounds total during the first trimester and then about 3 to 4 pounds each month during the second and third trimesters.

See your health care provider regularly.

Limit empty calories found in highly processed foods and sweets. Make your calories count!

To make certain that you are getting adequate nutrition, pay particular attention to these nutrients:

Calcium: All of the groups above include foods that are rich in calcium. Be certain to include at least four servings of calcium-rich foods in your diet every day. These include tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, bok choy, broccoli, beans, figs, sunflower seeds, tahini, almond butter, calcium-fortified soymilk (try Westsoy Plus or Better Than Milk brands), and calcium-fortified cereals and juices.

Vitamin D: This nutrient is poorly supplied in all diets unless people use foods that are fortified with it. Many brands of ready-to-eat cereals are fortified with vitamin D. However, the body can make its own vitamin D when skin is exposed to the sun. Pregnant women who don't use fortified foods should be certain to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of direct sunlight on their hands and faces two to three times weekly.

Vitamin Bl2: Vitamin B12 is not found in most plant foods. To get enough of this important nutrient, be certain to consume one serving every day of a food that is fortified with vitamin B12. These foods include many breakfast cereals, some meat substitute products, and some brands of soy milk. Certain brands of nutritional yeast are good sources of vitamin Bl2. Be certain to read the label to find out which foods are fortified. Seaweed and products like tempeh are generally not reliable sources of vitamin Bl2. Vitamin Bl2 is also in all standard multivitamins and in vegetarian supplements.

Iron: Iron is abundant in plant-based diets. Beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, nuts and seeds, and whole grain or fortified breads and cereals all contain plenty of iron. However, women in the second half of pregnancy have very high iron needs and may need to take a supplement regardless of the type of diet they follow. Your health care provider will discuss iron supplements with you.

A word about protein... Protein needs increase by about 30 percent during pregnancy. However, since most people consume abundant amounts of protein anyway, the average woman consumes more protein than is needed by a pregnant woman. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all protein-rich foods. The preceding meal planning chart provides plenty of protein for pregnancy.

Menu Ideas
Plan meals around nutritious whole grains, beans and vegetables. Add sesame seeds, wheat germ, or nutritional yeast for flavor and nutrition.

Cooked leafy green vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrition. Add them to soups and casseroles.

Snack on dried fruits and nuts to boost your intake of iron and other important trace nutrients.

The guidelines for breastfeeding mothers are similar to those for pregnant women. Milk production requires more calories so you will need to boost your food intake a little bit.

Sample Menu for Pregnant Woman

Cold cereal topped with fruit and fortified soymilk
Toast with peanut butter

Tofu spread on whole grain bread with lettuce
Tossed salad with herbs and lemon juice

Lentil and Rice Casserole flavored with nutritional yeast and chopped tomatoes
Cooked Broccoli
Spinach salad
Fortified soymilk

Trail mix with almond and raisins
Tofu and fruit shakes

 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and......more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     April 3-July 3, 2018
     Los Angeles, CA USA
2018 National Wellness Conference
     June 18-20, 2018
     St. Paul, MN USA
Additional Calendar Links
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar