Many vegetarian pregnant women think that their diet is not healthy and the baby is not receiving enough nutrients to be strong and healthy. The baby of a vegetarian pregnant mother can receive the nutrition needed to grow if the mother follows a proper vegetarian meal plan. It is necessary to choose those foods that provide enough calories and proteins to the baby. Following are the guidelines for healthy vegetarian eating during pregnancy.
- Don’t take extra calories for the first three months
During pregnancy, the woman does not need extra calories but in the last three months she should start in taking extra 300 calories from rich foods to help the baby grow. Eat at least four serving of calories rich food per day in the last six months.
- Intake of extra nutrients
If the pregnant woman is vegetarian, she should eat nuts, peanut butter, legumes, soy products etc. to fulfill all the nutrients her baby needs to grow up.
- Food high in starch and fiber
A vegetarian pregnant woman should eat food rich in starch and fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables provide the body with calcium, iron and Vitamin B.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body to use calcium. A pregnant vegetarian woman should spend at least 10-15mins in the sunlight every day to receive adequate amount of vitamin D from the sunlight.
- Iron rich food
Pregnant women should ensure that they receive at least 27mg. of iron in their daily diet. They should eat iron rich foods like eggs, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, peanuts, dried peas and beans.
- One source of Vitamin C every day
Vitamin C is present in fruits like oranges, grapefruits and strawberries. Honeydew, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens also contain Vitamin C in them.
- Folic acid
A pregnant vegetarian woman should eat at least one source of folic acid per day. Sources of folic acid include dark, green and leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps form and maintains healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, turnip and apricots.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.A vegetarian pregnant woman should have the main sources of vitamin B12 likeeggs, fortified foods such as soymilk, meat, milk and milk products, organ meats (liver and kidney) and poultry every day.
- Limit salty food
Salt food is not injurious to a vegetarian pregnant woman but intake of salty foods can result in feeling overly bloated. A vegetarian pregnant woman should not limit salty food unless prescribed by the doctor.
- Fats and cholesterol
A vegetarian pregnant woman should reduce total amount of fat to 30 percent. It will help the pregnant woman to stay healthy and active. A vegetarian pregnant woman should also limit cholesterol intake to 300mg per day.
- Do not diet
If the vegetarian pregnant woman will diet, her health and the health of the baby will be badly affected. During pregnancy, the woman needs proper nutrients to stay healthy.
- Caffeinated drinks
Vegetarian pregnant woman should cut back on caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola because they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron.
Pregnant woman should eat a strong vegetarian diet which helps to improve her health and also helps baby to grow properly.