The Top 5 Essential Nutrients for Supporting Your Baby’s Growth

To ensure your baby receives the necessary nutrition for growth, it’s important to understand the recommended amounts of each nutrient and where to find them in food sources.

The Top 5 Essential Nutrients for Supporting Your Baby's Growth

Eating salad during pregnancy is beneficial for both your baby’s growth and your overall health. It’s essential to understand the appropriate levels of various nutrients required for your body during this time.

During pregnancy, it’s natural to feel that your baby requires more than your pre-conception diet provided. In fact, your baby needs double the amount of nutrients to support its growth. To simplify matters for you, below is a list of essential nutrients crucial for your baby’s development.



During pregnancy, it’s recommended to consume 1000 mg of calcium daily to promote the healthy development of your baby’s bones, as well as support their heart and nervous system. You can monitor your calcium intake by understanding the calcium content in different foods such as milk, cheese, and corn tortillas. For example, 225 grams of skimmed milk provides 301 mg of calcium, 225 grams of mozzarella cheese contains 222 mg of calcium, and two corn tortillas offer 92 mg of calcium.

Folic acid

A pregnant woman should aim for a minimum daily intake of 600 mcg of folic acid, crucial for preventing neural tube defects and other birth abnormalities due to its role in DNA production. Various foods can contribute to meeting this requirement, such as lentils, fortified cereals, and asparagus. For instance, half a cup of lentils provides 179 mcg of folic acid, half a cup of fortified cereals contains 133 mcg, and four boiled asparagus spears offer 81 mcg of this essential nutrient.


Pregnant women require 27 mg of iron daily to meet the increased nutritional needs of their growing baby, which is double the usual requirement for women. Iron plays a vital role in the production of new red blood cells, oxygen transport to cells for energy production, and the formation of bones, cartilage, and tissues. Various foods can contribute to meeting this iron requirement, such as fortified cereals, lentils, and spinach. For example, a cup of fortified cereals provides 24 mg of iron, half a cup of cooked lentils contains 3.3 mg, and the same amount of boiled spinach offers 3.2 mg of iron.



Pregnant women require a daily intake of 4700 mg of potassium to support electrolyte balance, muscle contractions, energy metabolism, and nerve function. This can be obtained through various foods: one baked potato provides 844 mg, 225 grams of prune juice offers 706 mg, half a cup of cooked lima beans contains 484 mg, and a quarter cup of dried SB1 apricots yields 378 mg of potassium.

Vitamin C

Pregnant women require 85 grams of vitamin C daily for tissue repair and collagen production, crucial for tendons, cartilage, skin, and bones. Sources include: 225 grams of orange juice providing 124 mg, one baked potato with 0.7 mg, and half a cup of chickpeas offering 0.6 mg of vitamin C.

In addition to the mentioned nutrients, a balanced pregnancy diet should also include sufficient phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iodine, copper, zinc, and other essential elements.