Daily Servings Guide
Daily Servings Guide
by Erin Pavlina
When I first went vegan I wanted to know what my new food groups were and how many servings from each of them I should get. I spent a week or two planning my meals to make sure I’d get enough of everything; calories, protein, calcium, etc. After a while I realized I didn’t need to be quite so vigilant. There were certain foods I knew I had to keep handy because they were great sources of certain vitamins (like B12 or omega-3’s), but I was getting all my other vitamins easily. So I stopped worrying so much about those.
When I got pregnant, I did the same thing. I planned my meals for a few weeks to make sure I was getting enough calories and vitamins, and once I’d gotten the hang of things I didn’t plan so much. One important thing I learned during pregnancy was to stop eating non-nutritive foods like white flour, sweets, and too much juice. I concentrated on eating whole grains, more legumes, more nutritional yeast, and lots of avocados. Occasionally I would check in with my daily servings guide to make sure I was getting variety and all my vitamins.
Below is a guide to help you figure out what and how much of certain foods you need to eat. Please note that this guide is just one of several vegan pregnancy guides available. I’ve seen at least three and none of them are exactly the same. My best advice is to eat a varied diet full of fruits and vegetables and to be sure to add in some meat analogs, a reliable source of B12, some flax oil, and a healthy dose of sunshine.
- Whole Grains (6 servings)
Serving = 1 slice of bread; 1/2 bun or bagel; 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal
- Vegetables (4 servings)
Serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw
- Fruits (4 servings)
Serving = 1/2 cup cooked; 1 cup raw; 1 piece of fruit; 3/4 cup fruit juice; 1/4 cup dried fruit
- Milk Alternatives (4 servings)
Serving = 8 ounces soymilk
- Legumes, Nuts, Seeds (3 servings)
Serving = 2 tablespoons nuts, seeds, or nut or seed butter; 1/2 cup cooked beans; 4 ounces tofu or tempeh