You don’t have to eat meat to give your baby what he or she needs for healthy development. You just need to pay attention to what you’re eating and be smart about planning your pregnancy diet. (Actually, that’s what all pregnant women should do!)
If you’re vegetarian, follow the guidelines for a healthy pregnancy diet, and also make sure you get enough:
- Protein from beans, nuts, soy, dairy products, and eggs
- Calcium from milk products, calcium-fortified soy milk, and dark-green vegetables
- Zinc from soy foods, milk, yogurt, whole grains, beans, and lentils
- Iron from beans and lentils
- Vitamin D from milk and dairy products, and cereals and soy milk fortified with vitamin D
- Vitamin B12 from animal products, like milk and eggs
If you’re vegan and don’t eat any animal-based foods, be sure to take your daily prenatal vitamin. Follow the same guidelines as vegetarians, but skip the eggs and dairy and be sure to:
- Eat a variety of plant-based proteins
- Eat plenty of calcium-fortified foods
- Consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement
Let us know if you’re vegetarian or vegan. We may encourage you to talk with one of our nutritionists to make sure that you get all of the nutrients your baby needs during your pregnancy.
Find healthy meal-planning ideas and recipes at Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health blog.