Cooking With Kurma

Kurma Dasa

Ask Kurma - Answers

Cooking With Kurma > Ask Kurma > Answers

Question "Could you please suggest me a good book about vegetarianism for women, women in pregnancy, and children from early ages?"
Thank you.

Jasmina, Zagreb, Croatia

AnswerHello Jasmina,
Thank you very much for your letter!

I asked a friend of mine, L. D. from Tampa, Florida, who is an active healthy mother, a vegetarian and a big reader, and she gave me this information to pass on. I think you will find it substantial. Thanks for visiting my website. Feel free to keep in touch.

"As a matter of fact, I have a great book to recommend called The Vegetarian Baby by Sharon Yntema. It's my all-time favorite! It includes chapters on pregnancy and lactation (if she plans to breastfeed) and contains sample menus for kids from birth through age 2.

A new edition is called, New Vegetarian Baby: An Entirely New, Updated Edition of the Classic Guide to Raising Your Baby on the Healthiest Possible Diet by Sharon K. Yntema, Christine H. Beard and only cost $11 in the US.

Oh, and this one too: Vegetarian Children: A Supportive Guide for Parents by
Sharon Yntema

I always give these books as a gift to my friends who have new babies and want to be feel more confident about raising them on a vegetarian diet. It's a very vulnerable time because many grandparents suddenly voice concerns about a veg diet when babies come into the picture. Well-meaning friends and family members often pressure veg parents and try to convince them that vegetarianism is not healthy during pregnancy nor is it safe for newborns. Of course, this is simply an uneducated fear.

I believe there is a series of these books by the same author though I've never read any others. You may want to check at

I'd also recommend books from the "What to expect..." series. "What to
Expect When You're Expecting
and What to Eat When You're Expecting" by Arlene Eisenberg & Heidi Murkoff were very helpful during my first pregnancy and
though not exclusively geared for vegetarian families, I found a lot of other good info there.

The newest (Third Edition) of What to Eat When You're expecting is by Heidi Murkoff and is currently available at

It includes great recipes and lots of info on microwave exposure, pollution, etc etc. Amazon also sells another book called Eating for Pregnancy: An Essential Guide to Nutrition with Recipes for the Whole Family by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson. It's not all veg as it does contain recipes for chicken and tuna dishes, but it has many other worthwhile recipes and important nutritional info. I haven't read it myself, but looked through the table of contents.

The best thing I did was to copy the pregnancy nutrition charts listed in the Veg Baby book. I printed out multiple little sheets to take to work with me every day. I made columns showing each food group at the top. This way I could stay aware of the servings I needed to eat in each of the food groups on daily basis and check them off in each column as I ate so I knew I wasn't missing anything.

I was working at a design studio then AND going to college at the same time. I was very busy and needed an easy way to keep track so I'd always be sure to get enough protein, Vit A, Iron-rich foods, Calcium, etc. It appeased my concerned family members, kept me confident and made my midwife happy too. It's not hard and doesn't take a lot of extra effort to be conscious of eating a well-balanced veg diet when pregnant. Moms who eat a vegetarian diet are often more healthy than non-veg Moms and have fewer complications going to term and giving birth too.

Meat and meat products are always the last food introduced to babies anyway as they are difficult to digest (and of course we know they are ultimately entirely unecessary). Meat - eating is a learned behavior and is not required for completely good health for anyone. I'd recommend these too: Your Vegetarian Pregnancy : A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition by Holly Roberts and Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony by Joanne Stepaniak, Vesanto Melina. You can read more about them and see the reviews too online at

Best of luck Jasmina !

Previous Answer >>