Pregnancy Plate: Healthy Pregnancy with Customized Meal Plans

During your pregnancy, you’ll probably get advice from everyone. Smart healthy food choices are the keystone of pregnancy nutrition. Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. After all, the food you eat is your baby’s main source of nutrition.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have it all planned for you when you are set to welcome one of the most exciting journeys of your life! Customized meal plans based on your week of pregnancy.

Shannon Irving, Founder, Pregnancy Plate

We caught up with Shannon Irving, Founder of Pregnancy Plate to chat about her business. Prior to founding Pregnancy Plate, Shannon worked in the marketing and ecommerce sector.  Shannon’s love for cooking and healthy eating led her to set up the healthy lifestyle guide for pregnant women.

At a Glance

Startup – Pregnancy Plate

Founder – Shannon Irving

Launch – 2018

What it does – Provides pregnancy meal plans week by week

Genesis of the idea

Shannon: I knew I would be losing my job at the end of 2017 because the company I worked for moved out of state. My husband and I agreed that I could take a chance and look into doing something on my own. I am passionate about eating well, especially during pregnancy. There is a ton of research proving the benefits of a healthy prenatal diet, not just in the short-term, but throughout the child’s life! But, I know how hard it is to learn to cook if it’s not already a habit, and how time consuming it is to plan meals each week. Add to it pregnancy, when you’re tired, stressed, have a bunch of rules to follow, and it is incredibly overwhelming! So I created Pregnancy Plate, which provides weekly meal plans to make it easier to cook nutritious meals during pregnancy. While I was developing Pregnancy Plate, I became pregnant with my second daughter, so I was able to experience first-hand the benefit of using the product.I can tell you it saved me a lot of time, helped me eat a greater variety than I normally do, and made it more fun and motivating to cook at home. I had a very healthy baby girl, and a fast recovery…there are many factors that played a role in this, but Pregnancy Plate certainly contributed to it.

What does the Pregnancy Plate membership include?

Shannon: We offer a free 2-week trial, and have monthly ($18/month), 3 month ($50), and 6 month ($90) membership options. The membership includes education on a key nutrient, 5 dinner recipes that incorporate the key nutrient, breakfast, lunch and snack ideas, and a cooking tip each week. All of the recipes are validated by a registered dietitian.

What makes your product different from others that are already in the market?

Shannon: Pregnancy Plate is unique because it is customized for pregnancy in a couple ways. Each week focuses on a key nutrient that is important based on the baby’s development, like protein for a growth spurt, DHA in the 3rd trimester when it is most important, or Vitamin A when the eyes are developing. We talk about why the nutrient is important and where to find it, so if she doesn’t stick to the plan, she can make smarter choices. The recipes for the week incorporate those nutrients. It is also customized based on trimester – first trimester focuses on easier, bland foods in case she’s feeling sick and fatigued. Second trimester helps fine-tune her cooking skills and brings in a lot more variety and flavors. The third trimester gets back to easier recipes and bigger batches to freeze leftovers for after baby, but still focuses on variety.

What has been the biggest challenge so far on your startup journey?

Shannon: Probably similar to a lot of startups, the technical side is my biggest challenge. I don’t have a technical cofounder, and it is difficult to find a reliable, good developer. There are so many small and big changes that I think could make a big difference for the business, but I don’t have someone to quickly test or tweak things on the site. It’s a process to find someone to make any changes, and always a gamble on my time, money, or both.

Future Outlook

Shannon: Pregnancy Plate has been in its current state since July 2018, so it is early and I am still in MVP mode. The next step is to build the base of users and get feedback so that I can prioritize the next round of changes to the site such as new/improved features or expanded content. I’m looking to adapt based on what consumers want, so Pregnancy Plate could look completely different in a year compared to what it is today!

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Shannon: Prepare yourself emotionally – starting a business is a mental challenge, but it’s also emotionally draining. Everyone has good days and bad days, but when you are on your own, it is magnified. Find a trigger that reminds you why you started your business, so that when you are feeling down, it can motivate you. And when you’re feeling good, it can keep you focused on moving forward instead of getting distracted.

How to connect




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