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Vegetarian Eating during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Vegetarian diet including a variety of foods can meet the nutritional needs. You should take an iodine-containing supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Plant foods do not provide vitamin B12. If you do not consume eggs or milk, vitamin B12 supplement is needed. Eat a variety from the following:

Food packed with protein:

  • Eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt, tofu, soy products, different kinds of dried beans, nuts and seeds

Iron rich foods:

  • Eggs, nuts, seeds and beans

  • Breakfast cereals fortified with iron

  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, Chinese spinach, bok choi, choy sum and kale, etc.

  • Include vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables in meals to increase iron absorption

Calcium rich foods:

  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt

  • Soy products e.g. calcium fortified soy milk, tofu, etc.

  • Nuts, seeds e.g. almond, sesame, etc.

  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Vitamin B12 rich foods:

  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs and foods fortified with vitamin B12 (such as breakfast cereal, soy milk or nut beverages)

Foods provide Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Nuts, flaxseed, sesame

Vegetarian mothers are advised to discuss with the healthcare professionals about the needs for vitamin and mineral supplements.


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