The woman needs good food in order to keep herself healthy and for her baby to grow and be born with adequate weight. If the pregnant nourishes herself badly, she may become anemic and undernourished. Her baby may be born with low weight, be more susceptible to diseases and take more time to recover from them.
Healthy food contains varied food, clean, fresh and in sufficient quantity. It is very important to be concerned about the food quality and quantity. Both the food lack and the food excess may harm health.
For healthier food it is necessary to give preference to fresh food and avoid industrialized food, mainly soft drinks and salty snacks. The way to prepare the food is also very important: it is always better to eat roast and boiled food rather than fried food.
Iron is an important nutrient for a healthy pregnancy and for the good development of the baby in the mother’s belly.
The lack of iron may cause anemia, a disease very common in childhood, pregnancy and adolescence, phases in which the necessity of this nutrient is high, because the changes in the body are more intense. Therefore, the pregnant woman should eat food rich in iron, such as:
• Meat, poultry and fish;
• Giblets as heart, liver, kidneys, spleen;
• Grains: beans, lentil and pea;
• Dark green leaves vegetables: arum, cabbage, watercress, parsley, green onion;
• Molasses, Brazil nut, cashew nut and peanut.
Iron is best consumed when the pregnant woman eats food rich in C and A vitamins at the same meal.
Vitamin C helps to prevent infections, muscle weakness, gum bleeding and heals scars from injuries. Some food rich in C vitamin are, for example:
Crude fruit: lemon, orange, pineapple, cashew, papaya, acerola, “murici”; Crude greens: dark green leaves, pepper.
Vitamin A helps to prevent diarrhea, infections, protects the vision and helps the baby to grow in the womb and also strengthens the body defences. Some food rich in A vitamin are:
• Orange and red vegetables: pumpkin, carrot;
• Dark green leaves;
• Milk, butter, cheeses;
• Egg yolk;
• Yellow fruit: mango, kaki, papaya, “pequi”;
• Fruit of palm trees: “buriti”, cabbage, “tucumã”, palm oil.
Iodine is important for the physical and mental development. The lack of iodine in the pregnant’s body has an affect on the baby’s brain formation. Food having iodine:
• iodine salt;
• Fish and shellfishes;
• Greens, vegetables and fruit planted in soil rich in iodine, that means, soils next to the sea
Calcium is important for the pregnant woman and for the baby because it helps forming and preserving strong teeth and bones. Some food rich in calcium are:
• Milk, cheese, curd and yoghurt;
• Dark green leaves;
• Small fishes.
Leader, orient the pregnant to prepare a maximum of food for two meals each time. Thus she will not consume old food and will reduce the chance for spoiled food. Orient her to avoid fried food and to value roast and boiled food.
• Folic acid as in viscera, beans and dark green leaves vegetables, help to prevent problems in the baby’s brain and spine.
• Leader, you can help the pregnant and the family to better consume the food and to improve her nutritional condition advising that:
• A dish with varied food of different colours has more vitamins and minerals;
• The seasonal and regional food are fresh, more tasty and nutritious and cheaper;
• Each meal should have at least one crude food which can be a salad or a fruit;
• It is better to eat the food right after preparation. Reheated food or boiled for a long time may cause nutrient loss;
• The leftovers of cooked food should be kept in the refrigerator or in a fresh place covered by sieves or cloths;
• The vessel where the water is kept should be covered;
• Coffee, Paraguay tea, black tea, milk and derivatives, chocolate and soft drinks may prevent the iron absorption and should be avoided up to two hours after the meals.
Everyone has the right to eat quality food and in the necessary amount to have health. This is safe feeding and nutrition.