An increasing number of people are now choosing to consume a vegetarian or vegan diet. Whilst vegan and vegetarian diets do have a number of health advantages they often lack nutritional value in a number of key areas. Whilst this may not be a problem for you personally, the reduced nutritional value can have a significant impact on your unborn baby. In this article I discuss how you can adapt your vegan or vegetarian diet and ensure your baby is getting adequate nutrition in just three simple steps.
1) Consult your Doctor:- The very first thing you need to do is tell your doctor that you are a vegan or vegetarian. This needs to be done as soon as possible with your first pre-natal checkup being an ideal time to mention it. Your doctor will then be able to assess your current diet and then give you advice on the additional foods you should be consuming. In certain cases they may also recommend you take supplements to compensate for a vitamin or mineral deficiency. You should only take supplements when your doctor advises because overdosing can cause significant damage to your baby. I would recommend you get your doctor to write this information down so you can always have a list of the foods and/or supplement you need available.
2) Look at some Recipes:- Once you have the list of recommended foods from your doctor I would then advise you to do a little research. Go to the library or look on the Internet for some vegetarian or vegan recipes and then choose a selection that you like and that also include the foods on the list given to you by your doctor. If you spend an hour or two looking at recipes with your list, you should soon be able to come up with a long and varied selection of tasty meals that provide all your nutritional requirements.
3) Exeriment, Experiment, Experiment:- Just because you have an initial selection of suitable recipes that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. This is the perfect time to try new foods. Why not try some mediterranean cooking? Perhaps try some Italian cuisine? This is a really great opportunity to to improve your culinary skills and sample a range of new and exciting foods.
Being pregnant does not mean you have to give up on your vegan or vegetarian diet. With a little thought and preparation you can stick to this type of diet and even make it more varied and interesting. Just remember to follow the advice of your doctor and build on this to create an exciting, nutritional vegan or vegetarian diet.