Ifyou’re the type of “vegetarian” who actually tucks into the occasional chickenleg, you’re not likely to need extra care. But if you truly do not eat animalproducts, you’ll have to work a bit harder to get enough good stuff for yourbaby and yourself. Even if you do eat5 dairy, don’t assume that is the wholeanswer.
Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in protein,iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12, B2 and D. Serious nutrient deficienciescould have an impact on your baby’s development.
Ironintake is often the biggest problem. Plant sources of iron like potatoes, driedfruit, dark green vegetables and beans should be included in your diet on adaily basis. Combining iron-rich foods with foods rich in vitamin C can enhanceiron absorption.
So,when you eat spinach, drink a glass of orange or guava juice to ensure that theavailable iron is readily absorbed. Routine iron supplementation duringpregnancy is advisable for vegetarians, so chat to your doctor or midwife abouta suitable nutritional supplement.
Othernutrients to look out for if you’re a preggie veggie:
- Calcium: milk, yoghurt and cheese; or tofu, dried fruit, figs, rhubarb and whole-wheat bread.
- Zinc: ricotta cheese or avocados, tomatoes and spinach.
- Vitamin D: butter, margarine and oil (go for canola or olive oil).
- Vitamin B12: look out for bread or cereal fortified with this vitamin.
- Vitamin B2: whole-wheat bread and cereal, almonds and seaweed (spirulina).