Moms of Multiples Meal Plan

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Protein is necessary for every cell in the body; from our skin, muscles, organs, nails, and hair, to our blood and hormones. For this reason, our protein needs increase when pregnant and breastfeeding to help support a growing uterus, breastmilk, and blood supply, as well as help our baby develop and grow. 

In general, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women over 19 years old is 46 grams. For pregnant and breastfeeding women it is 71 grams. 

But if you’re pregnant with multiples – (twins, triplets, or more!) – your protein needs are even higher. For moms pregnant with twins, the recommendation is typically to eat 100 grams or more of protein each day, and that amount increases with each baby.

Many foods are rich in protein, and not just foods from animals. Here’s a helpful guide of protein sources and amounts based on their recommended portion size. However, with your increased protein and calorie needs, you may benefit from doubling or even tripling the portion size of protein-rich foods to meet your needs:

  • Meat, poultry and fish: 3 ounces cooked contains 18 – 24 grams
  • Eggs: 1 egg contains 6 grams
  • Dairy: 1 cup milk has 8 grams; 1 ounce cheese has approximately 6 grams; 1 cup yogurt has 12 grams; 1 cup Greek yogurt has over 15 grams (with some brands over 20g per serving)
  • Soy products: 1 cup soy milk contains 7 grams; ½ cup tofu contains 10 grams
  • Nuts and seeds: ¼ cup nuts has 5 grams
  • Beans and peas: ½ cup beans has 7 grams
  • Whole grains: 1 cup cooked quinoa has 8 grams; 1 cup cooked oatmeal has 6 grams; 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread has 4 grams
  • A minimally processed protein powder supplement (such as collagen, whey protein, or pea protein) may be helpful to meet your needs. Many have 15-25g protein per serving.

Pro tip:

  • Not all protein sources are created equal. Paying attention to the types of foods you eat for protein is just as important as the amount of protein you consume. Focusing on eating lean proteins – such as safe to consume seafood like salmon and cod, eggs, white meat poultry, nuts and seeds, beans and peas, and whole grains – will serve you well as these choices offer a host of other nutrients in addition to the protein.

The below meal and snack ideas will help you meet your protein needs (with plenty of vegetarian options if you don’t eat meat!).

Breakfast

  • Option 1: Eggs scrambled with veggies and topped with shredded cheese and diced avocado, side of whole grain toast
  • Option 2: Overnight oats or muesli made with low fat Greek yogurt or Kefir, a scoop of nut butter, dried fruit and sprinkled with flax or chia
  • Option 3: Smoothie made with peanut butter, banana and/or frozen fruit and low-fat plain Greek yogurt or protein powder
  • Option 4: Cottage cheese with diced melon; toast with peanut butter and banana slices
  • Option 5: Two-egg sandwich with cheddar on a whole grain English muffin; side of low-fat plain Greek yogurt with berries

Lunch

  • Option 1: Lentil salad mixed with flaked canned salmon and chopped cucumbers; whole grain pita with melted cheese
  • Option 2: Canned salmon or chicken salad made with walnuts and grapes on whole grain bread; apple with peanut butter
  • Option 3: Black bean soup topped with cheddar cheese; side of cottage cheese topped with tomato slices and black pepper
  • Option 4: Whole grain pasta salad with grilled chicken strips and cherry tomatoes with an olive oil and vinegar dressing; side of cut up veggies and hummus
  • Option 5: Grilled chicken, avocado and veggie sandwich on whole grain bread, side salad with assorted veggies, chickpeas and your favorite dressing

Dinner

  • Option 1: Sautéed seafood blend in tomato sauce with whole grain linguini; side of oven roasted carrot slices
  • Option 2: Salmon burgers with avocado slices on a whole grain roll; roasted potato wedges
  • Option 3: Whole grain bow tie pasta with chicken, red peppers and artichokes; spinach salad with sliced almonds and grated parmesan cheese
  • Option 4: Tofu teriyaki stir fry with mixed veggies over brown rice or quinoa
  • Option 5: Vegetable and cheese whole grain lasagna; garden salad topped with lentils and a scoop of hummus

Snacks

  • Option 1: hard boiled eggs
  • Option 2: mixed nuts and dried berries
  • Option 3: low-fat plain Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Option 4: Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Option 5: Wedge of cheese and whole grain crackers
  • Option 6: Smoothie made with fruit, nut butter, low-fat plain Greek yogurt/whole food protein powder supplement or silken tofu
  • Option 7: Shrimp cocktail
  • Option 8: Veggies with hummus or low-fat plain Greek yogurt dip

For more on this topic, check out the following articles:

Serve Up Those Superfoods

Serve Up Those Superfoods

Serve Up Those Superfoods

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