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Nutrition for Multiples

When you’re pregnant with multiples it’s imperative that you eat a well-balanced diet that optimizes your babies’ growth and keeps you healthy during pregnancy. Barbara Luke, ScD, M.P.H., R.D., has revolutionized the way doctors around the globe treat women who are pregnant with multiples. Through her research she has proven that women expecting twins or more need to follow a diabetic diet and need to gain more weight early in the pregnancy. Luke has a large range of healthy recipes as well as menu options outlined in her best-selling book co-authored with Tamara Eberlein, When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy. She has kindly agreed to share nutrition information and a recipe from her book:

Estimated Nutrient Requirements for Expectant Mothers of Multiples:

Nonpregnant Total calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should total approximately 2,200 kcal
  • Proteins (20%) from meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products should total approximately 110 grams
  • Carbohydrates (40%) from breads, cereals, pasta, dairy, and fruits should total approximately 220 grams
  • Fat (40%) from dairy products, nuts, and oils should total approximately 98 grams
Singleton Total calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should total approximately 2,500 kcal
  • Proteins (20%) from meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products should total approximately 126 grams
  • Carbohydrates (40%) from breads, cereals, pasta, dairy, and fruits should total approximately 248 grams
  • Fat (40%) from dairy products, nuts, and oils should total approximately 112 grams
Twin Pregnancy Total calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should total approximately 3,500 kcal
  • Proteins (20%) from meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products should total approximately 176 grams
  • Carbohydrates (40%) from breads, cereals, pasta, dairy, and fruits should total approximately 350 grams
  • Fat (40%) from dairy products, nuts, and oils should total approximately 155 grams
Triplet Pregnancy Total calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should total approximately 4,000 kcal
  • Proteins (20%) from meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products should total approximately 200 grams
  • Carbohydrates (40%) from breads, cereals, pasta, dairy, and fruits should total approximately 400 grams
  • Fat (40%) from dairy products, nuts, and oils should total approximately 178 grams
Quadruplet Pregnancy Total calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should total approximately 4,500 kcal
  • Proteins (20%) from meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products should total approximately 225 grams
  • Carbohydrates (40%) from breads, cereals, pasta, dairy, and fruits should total approximately 450 grams
  • Fat (40%) from dairy products, nuts, and oils should total approximately 200 grams
Here’s a sample recipe:

Cashew Chicken

1/2 cup chicken broth 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (such as Kame sauce) 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1-1/2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons oil 1 cup chopped green onions 1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges 1/2 cup diagonally sliced carrots 1 cup snow peas 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces 1/4 cup canned pineapple chunks in juice, drained 1/4 cup cashews 6 cups hot cooked rice

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a stir-fry pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup green onions and the onion wedges; stir-fry 1 minute. Add carrots; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan; keep warm. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 5 minutes. Add broth mixture, cooked vegetables, pineapple, and cashews; bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, or until thick. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup green onions. Serve with rice. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrient Content Per Serving: Calories: 391 kcal Protein: 22 g Carbohydrate: 52 g Fat: 10 g Fiber: 10 g Calcium: 47 mg Iron: 2.6 mg

Copyright: When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, by Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein, HarperCollins Publishing, 2004.

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