Even for the most conscious and healthy eaters, finding out you are pregnant makes you take a good hard look at every dietary decision you make. Is it safe? Is it cooked enough? Am I getting the right nutrients?
Being a pregnant vegetarian is not necessarily difficult, but it does require expecting moms to pay careful attention to make sure that both moms and babies are getting the specialized nutritional needs that pregnancy requires.
Some of the biggest concerns during pregnancy (for all moms!) is making sure to get enough protein, as well as DHA for healthy brain development.
Here are a few good sources of vegetarian proteins and fats that make healthy eating both delicious and easy…
Greek Yogurt 1 of 6For pregnant vegetarians, good sources of protein are essential for helping babies grow. Greek yogurt is one of my favorite options, providing a whopping 23g per cup! Top with almonds and fresh berries for a delicious summer breakfast.
Quinoa 2 of 6Quinoa is popping up all over the place these days, and can usually be found in supermarkets in either the grain aisle or a bulk foods area. As one of the only vegan sources of complete protein, it's a delicious way to add protein to hearty meals. See below for a few quinoa recipe ideas!
Eggs 3 of 6I have never appreciated eggs more than I do now that I am pregnant. A great source of both fat and protein, they are filling, healthy, and full of good things for both moms and babies. For the most natural and fresh option, try to source your eggs from local markets and farmers.
Flax Seed 4 of 6Omega 3's and DHA are big concerns for pregnant women, and finding vegetarian (non-fish) sources can feel like a challenge. Ground flax is a great way to boost your daily DHA. I like to sprinkle a little bit into my oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt at breakfast!
Walnuts 5 of 6Walnuts are another good vegetarian source of DHA, and it doesn't hurt that they are totally delicious. Add them to healthy baked goods, grain bowls, and leafy salads for a boost in every bite.
Coconut Oil & Coconut Butter 6 of 6Fats are essential for growing moms and babies, and it's important to choose healthy fats from the best sources. Coconut oil and coconut butter are both great ways to get a bit of saturated fat without eating animal products. The delicious coconut flavor gives grains or veggies a summery, coconut taste that I love!
For a few ideas for using quinoa, check out the following recipes:
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Mexican Quinoa with Black Beans & Avocado
- One Pot Quinoa & Greens
- Quinoa & Bean Corn Chowder
- Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Quinoa
- Black Bean Cocoa Quinoa