The growth and development of an embryo or fetus highly depend on what the mother feeds on during the gestation period. Mothers are demanded to feed on healthy food which is well balanced to enhance the effective growth of a fetus. Mothers should feed on food rich in calcium to enhance the growth of the fetus teeth and bones. These foods include yogurt, milk, orange juice, and cottage cheese. She will also need food rich in choline which assist in preventing brains and spinal cord related problems. These foods include eggs, white and red meat, cauliflower or broccoli. Food rich in Docosahexaenoic Acid will also be needed to assist in boosting vision and brain development. These foods include fortified eggs, catfish, canned light tuna, blue crab and Coho salmon.
Food rich in Folic acid will also be required in the first month of pregnancy to assist in protecting the child over spinal cord related birth defects. These food include lentils, spinach, enriched spaghetti and white enriched rice, orange juice, enriched bread and broccoli (Johnson, 2015. Iodine will be required to assist in the development of nervous system and brain. The best food sources for iodine include yogurt, unpeeled baked potatoes, cottage cheese, cod, navy beans, fish sticks, cow’s milk, and baked turkey breast. Iron will be needed to prevent still birth. The best food sources include white and red meat, canned white beans, whole grain, cheerios, and enriched rice. Potassium will also be required to maintain suitable fluid balance and blood pressure checked. The best food sources include raisins, white beans, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, spinach, orange juice, lentils, yogurt and sweet potato. Zinc will also be required for development of brains. The best food sources include beef, pork, crab, white beans, cooked oysters, yogurt, and whole grains (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Some of these food are demonstrated in the pictures below.
Pregnant mothers also requires a high intake of vitamins. Vitamins help in improving the mother immune system, increasing red blood cells and prevent anemia, bones formation and increase in the absorption rate of other nutrients in the body. Some of these vitamins include vitamin C, B6, B12 and vitamin D. The main food sources for these vitamins include milk, yogurt, orange juice, breakfast cereals, beef, chicken breast, backed potato, halibut, pork tenderloin, garbanzo beans, salmon, rainbow trout, light tuna, wheat cereals, orange juice, grapefruit juice, broccoli, strawberries, sweet red pepper, and tomato (Johnson, 2015). More is demonstrated in the picture below:
It is important to note that one can get more than one required nutrient from one type of food and thus food balancing is required. Mothers are required to balance their meals and to take the required nutrients in certain portion. The chart below directs pregnant mothers on how to serve their meals to ensure effective balancing of nutrients as required.