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The Pregnant Vegetarian

By Jill Tomlin

If you're a pregnant vegetarian, don't worry: nobody's going to make you trade your humus for a cheeseburger.

In fact, babies born to vegetarian moms are just as healthy as other infants, according to experts at the American Dietetic Association. "Vegetarians do fine during pregnancy," says Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D. "They do just as well as mainstream eaters, as long as they know the pitfalls."

Ward offers tips for vegetarians who are eating for two in her book, Pregnancy and Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby (John Wiley).

For vegetarians, it can sometimes be difficult to gain enough weight, Ward says. Doctors usually advise women to put on an extra 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. To do that, you need to eat an extra 300 calories per day, experts say. "Weight gain during pregnancy is linked to birth weight," Ward says. "And birth weight is linked to the baby's health."
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