Our NutritionalCommitment

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Our Promise

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At Barley + Oats, we’re committed to a superior nutritional standard.

We’ve worked our hardest to squeeze the most nutrition into each and every bite, with many of our dishes satisfying the full RDA for one or more micronutrients on their own. To do so, we’ve created a complex set of requirements based on sources well beyond nutritional texts (like the comprehensive Essentials of Life Cycle Nutrition, which helped form our foundation), antiquated governmental guidelines + oversimplified pre and postnatal recommended values.

We started with an in-house Registered Dietician who filtered through emerging science + ever-changing standards. Then, we consulted with integrative health experts, nutritionists, hormone experts, lactation consultants, geneticists + fertility specialists. We even hired chefs that also happen to be moms to source the finest ingredients—ones they insisted on for their own pregnancies.

While most food companies stick to the bare minimum required by the FDA, you see us go the extra mile to disclose nutritional facts time and time again. We publish a guide, nutrient spotlights on our packages, and a list of all the vitamins + minerals + their Daily Values on our site for all of our food products.

For the gold standard in nutritional convenience, our “Nutritionist’s Pick” menu (available through our Complete plan) fulfills, and in some places exceeds, 100% of the required nutrient levels for pregnancy + lactation. A full week of meals + snacks designed especially for expectant + breastfeeding mamas, it contains as much average daily nutrition as a prenatal vitamin.

At Barley + Oats, we take nutrition very seriously. In fact, you might say we have it down to a science.

Pregnancy

Requirement*

B+O

Nutrition/Day**
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  • Calories 2200-2900
    2875
  • Fat 85-110g
    125g
  • Potassium 4700-5100mg
    6300mg
  • Carbohydrates 300-400g
    340g
  • Fiber 28g
    70g
  • Protein 75-100g
    125g
  • Vitamin A 110%
    600%
  • Vitamin C 112%
    550%
  • Calcium 100%
    115%
  • Iron 150%
    175%
  • Vitamin D 300%
    345%
  • Vitamin E 100%
    110%
  • Vitamin K 100%
    1550%
  • Thiamin 130%
    295%
  • Riboflavin 130%
    275%
  • Niacin 195%
    200%
  • Vitamin B6 145%
    250%
  • Folate 150%
    340%
  • Vitamin B12 110%
    240%
  • Pantothenic Acid 120%
    120%
  • Phosphorous 100%
    275%
  • Magnesium 225%
    230%
  • Zinc 140%
    150%
  • Selenium 110%
    180%
  • Copper 110%
    300%
  • Manganese 112%
    600%
View Our Full Nutritional Guide
*Source: Essentials of Life Cycle Nutrition, edited by Judith Sharlin and Sari Edelstein, 2011 edition. Small rounding adjustments were made within a range of 2 percentage points.

**Barley + Oats daily nutritional averages only apply to the Nutritionist's Pick Menu on our Complete Plan (15 Meals/Week), when enjoyed with the complimentary daily servings of our Banana Butter cookies included in the plan.
  • Whoa, why so many calories + fat?

    Calories equal energy and during pregnancy, your energy needs grow to feed you + your baby. Our Nutritionist’s Pick meals are specifically designed to meet your elevated energy + nutritional needs for pregnancy + breastfeeding, and our Mama snacks are available to provide additional energy as your baby grows. Because every ingredient is providing a nutritional purpose, there are no “empty calories” in our foods.

    Fat is a highly concentrated source of energy and some fat-containing foods are the best sources of key vitamins + minerals (like Vitamin E or Omega-3). The proportion of fat in your diet doesn’t change much, but the sources can have a significant impact on fetal development + maternal health. As a result, the overwhelming majority of our fats come from nutrient-dense whole foods: things like almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds + avocado.

    Many studies have shown that eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, increased consumption of healthy fats can actually help you lose or maintain a healthy weight. Our meals are designed to ensure you get the right balance of essential fatty acids every day, from Omega 3 EPA- + DHA-rich fish oils to Omega 6-filled eggs + nuts.

  • Do I really need all this protein?

    Proteins are the building blocks of fetal development, which means you need more to ensure healthy growth and help your body protect your growing baby. We offer a variety of vegetarian options, packed with protein-rich legumes, organic quinoa, nuts + seeds. Even our omnivorous dishes feature a mix of vegetarian sources of protein + lean, organic, sustainably sourced animal proteins so we can avoid unwanted saturated fats.

  • I'm taking prenatal vitamins, is it possible to "over-supplement" with your food?

    Recognizing that most moms and moms-to-be are supplementing their daily nutrient intakes with prenatal or other multi-vitamins, B+O meals will never put you at risk of “overdosing.” Why? Well, first, we’ve checked the levels of standard prenatals and ensured that, when combined with our food, the numbers work out. Secondly, food is processed differently than synthetic versions and is unlikely to carry the same risks.

    To target optimal health, we have chosen to provide greater quantities than the RDA for some nutrients. In these instances, emerging science supports that your body’s requirements may be higher than those set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board (for example, Vitamin D).

    Worried about the recent Folic Acid studies? Don’t worry. Folate is the food based form of folic acid, and, as with most food-based forms of vitamins + minerals, does not carry the same risks of over-supplementation.

  • Why so much Vitamin D?

    More and more studies are coming out linking much higher intakes of Vitamin D than previously thought necessary for optimal results in healthy birth outcomes. Many experts now agree that the number should be closer to 4,000 IU/day. However, it is very difficult to get Vitamin D from diet alone. At Barley + Oats, we provide more D than the average prenatal vitamin, both from food-based sources + food-derived supplemental oils. In addition, we recommend all pregnant women still take a Vitamin D supplement to satisfy your body’s full requirement.

  • What if I am not pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Our nutritional commitment was based on the nutritional needs of pregnancy + lactation but our meals are packed with nutrients to support all the phases of womanhood. We understand that active women who aren’t pregnant or even those in early pregnancy, may not need so many calories. In these cases, we recommend supplementing only 1-2 of your meals/day with Barley + Oats meals. Our 3, 5 or 10 meal/week plans are perfect for that purpose.

  • Where’s all the added sugar?

    Too much added sugar can take a big toll on your hormones, energy + mood and increase your risk for gestational diabetes. Instead of refined sugars, we rely on natural forms of sweetness, like honey or maple crystals, and we keep their total inputs to less than 15g/day.

  • Holy moly! What's with all the Vitamin K?

    Found in abundance in leafy greens, Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting. It is crucial for mamas after labor and for females, in general, any time we get a knick, scratch or scrape. Considering only greens can fulfill some of the pregnancy + lactation requirements, you would expect the K requirement to be higher. That’s why ours is over 1000%. So the next time you need a band-aid, thank all that kale you’ve been eating!

More Questions? Read Our FAQ

Note from

Our Nutritionist

Read Note

Not even a six-year degree and a decade of nutrition experience prepared me for the overwhelming task of being a pregnant dietitian. I poured over nutrition textbooks and specialty cookbooks to create weekly meal plans during my first pregnancy. The meals were quick, inexpensive and worthy of an “A”—and I ate them, knowing that I was meeting “the recommendations”—but they lacked variety and flavor. How I wished for something like Barley + Oats.

The B+O Nutritional Commitment goes well beyond “eating for two.” We formed the foundation for all the recipes by considering longstanding nutrient recommendations, emerging science and naturally nutrient-rich food sources. We studied the unique nutritional needs for fertility, pregnancy and lactation. By following the Barley + Oats meal plans, you can rest assured that you are getting energy, vitamins, minerals, and so much more, from the most natural sources—food.

It is my honor to work with Ashly and the B+O team to create extraordinary meals that meet or exceed nutrient recommendations in crave-worthy culinary creations.

—Bonnie Johnson, MA, RD

With 20 years of nutrition experience and extensive work in health food research + development, Bonnie holds a Masters in Nutrition Education and is a Registered Dietician. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a passionate advocate for healthier foods. A mother of five, Bonnie lives in Colorado with her husband and two youngest daughters.

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