Main foods (carbohydrates)
In most parts of the world, people eat one main food at each meal. This main food
may be rice, maize, wheat, millet, cassava, taro, plantain, breadfruit, or another
low-cost starchy food. These foods give the body energy. But to grow and stay
healthy, the body needs other types of food too.
Grow foods (proteins)
Grow foods contain protein, which is needed for the growth of muscles, bones,
and strong blood. Everyone needs protein to be healthy and to grow.
Some grow foods high in proteins:
• legumes (beans, peas,
• nuts and seeds
• cheese, milk,
• meat, fish, and insects
Note: Meat, fish, and cheese are nutritious foods but they can carry
parasites or disease when they are eaten raw. Pregnant women should
only eat fish, meat, or cheese that is well cooked or pasteurized.
Fish, especially fatty fish, can also contain mercury and other poisons
because water is often contaminated. Pregnant women
should avoid fatty fish, to be safe.
Glow foods (vitamins and minerals)
Glow foods contain vitamins and minerals, which help
the body fight infection and keep the eyes, skin, and
bones healthy and strong.
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals. It is
important for women to eat as many different fruits and vegetables as they can.
Go foods (sugars and fats)
Go foods contain sugars and fats, which give the body energy. Everyone needs
these foods to be healthy.
These days, many people eat more sugars and fats than they need. That is
because more people drink sugary soda pop, or eat foods that come from packages
instead of foods made at home. These packaged, sugary foods are expensive and
not as healthy. They also damage the teeth. It is better to eat go foods that are
natural, not packaged.
Some healthy go foods
high in sugars:
Some go foods
high in fats:
• nuts and seeds
• vegetable oil,
butter, ghee, and lard
• fatty meat
A Book for Midwives (2010)