Essential Nutrition for Pregnancy and Motherhood

You can eat a plant-based diet and obtain all the necessary vitamins and minerals for you and baby.

Breastfeeding moms need adequate nutrition to support optimal lactation. Nutrients not only affect the baby’s health, but they also provide the foundation for a balanced diet down the road. According to the Mayo Clinic, “eating a variety of foods while breast-feeding will change the flavor of your breast milk. This will expose your baby to different tastes, which might help him or her more easily accept solid foods down the road.” 

If you’re a new mom who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s especially important to choose foods rich in iron, protein, and calcium. The CDC also recommends a vitamin B12 supplement. 

Eat a plant-based diet and obtain all the necessary vitamins and minerals for you and baby.

Sources of Plant-Based Iron

Iron comes in two different forms — heme and non-heme. Heme iron is easier for the body to absorb, but is only available in animal products. Those who follow a plant-based diet consume harder-to-absorb non-heme iron, which means that recommended daily intake (RDI) needs to be 1.8 times higher than normally recommended. According to WebMD, “the average amount of iron a vegan needs is 32 milligrams per day for women and 14 milligrams per day for men.”

Plant-based foods rich in iron include tofu, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds.

Elephant Plate meals high in iron: Manna Misr Wot (25% per serving), Surya Braised Tofu (17% per serving)

Sources of Plant-Based Protein

Protein is abundant in plant-based foods. Let’s compare some foods in a ½ cup measurement and their respective protein amounts (with the help of Cleveland Clinic):

Beans: 6-9g

Lentils: 12g

Edamame: 9g 

Oats: 5g

Garnish your dishes with nutritional yeast: One tablespoon sprinkled on top of your meal adds 2g of protein.

Elephant Plate meals high in protein: Supercharged Spirulina Saag Paneer (17.8g per serving), Moroccan Stew (11.8g per serving)

Elephant Plate meals help you find time, energy, and balance. 

Sources of Plant-Based Calcium

While several dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are high in calcium, not all of them allow for equal absorption of calcium in the body. According to Healthline, “vegetables also contain variable levels of oxalates, which bind to calcium in your gut and make it more difficult for your body to absorb.” Turnip greens, broccoli, and kale have low to moderate levels of oxalates, so it’s easier to absorb the calcium in these vegetables.

Elephant Plate meals with kale: Kale Fried Rice with Ginger Tofu, Karmic Kale Bowl 

Modern motherhood is busy, and we want to help make your lives a little less complicated and a lot more convenient. Let Elephant Plate prepared meals help you find time, energy and balance in your hectic day, while providing all the necessary nutrients delivered right to your door.

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