Nutrition is how we get the food we need to grow healthy. Vitamins and minerals help our bodies function and grow.
Why is Nutrition important for children?
Eating the right foods is especially important for children, as they are still growing. Children’s bodies need nutrition to develop strong bones and muscles. If you don’t get all the vitamins and minerals you need as you grow up, you won’t be as tall and healthy as you normally would be.
There are five main food groups that you should eat every day. By eating a number of foods from each of these food groups, you’ll get the nutrition you need to grow and stay healthy.
- Grains – bread, cereal, pasta, rice
- Dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt
- Fruits – apples, oranges, berries, grapes, bananas
- Vegetables – broccoli, beans, spinach, carrots, peas
- Protein – beef, chicken, pork, eggs, nuts, fish
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a plate picture to help us ensure that we are getting all the nutrients we need at every meal. Here is the picture:
As you can see, each of the five food groups is plotted on the plate. Note that servings of vegetables and grains are slightly larger than servings of fruit and protein. This gives you an knowledge of what foods to eat and the amount of each.
The USDA also provides other guidelines for healthier eating. Some can help you:
- Drink skim or low-fat milk.
- Eat whole grains for your cereal. An example is bread instead of white bread.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Calories are a measure of the amount of energy present in food. When we eat, we increase calories and this gives us energy to run and do things. If we eat more calories than we use to move, our bodies store the calories as fat. If we use more calories than we take in, our bodies will start burning stored fat.
Interesting facts about nutrition
Some foods that are said to make you smarter include red cabbage, egg yolks, tomatoes, berries and nuts.
The average American will eat about 12 pounds of chocolate in a year.
People will try all sorts of crazy diets, but the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and exercise.
Empty calories are foods that contain calories but little nutritional value. These include solid fats and added sugars.
Oil is a liquid fat at room temperature. Some oils, like fish oil and nut oil, are good for you in small amounts.