Good Nutrition

The Basics:

Staying healthy includes a balanced diet, staying clean, getting plenty of exercise as well as keeping your heart strong and free of drugs.

People who practice good nutrition, hygiene and exercise patterns develop a lifetime of habits that will keep them healthy for many years. Especially when they are older!

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Let's see, how can we be sure to get a balanced diet? We think the nutrition information given below will be very helpful for you.

MyPyramid for Kids helps to promote the 3 basic rules for a healthy diet:

  1. Variety
  2. Balance
  3. Moderation

Variety means that you must include many different foods from each level of the Food Pyramid because no single food can supply all of the nutrients that your growing body needs on a daily basis. This can help to expand your food choices. It is best to eat foods of all colors. The more colors and textures in your daily meals, the better range of nutrients you'll get.

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Balance means that you must eat the right amounts of foods from all levels of the Food Pyramid each day. This way you will get all the calories and nutrients you need for proper growth and development.

Moderation means that you are careful not to eat too much of any one type of food.

Let's take a closer look at the Food Pyramid to see how it can help you to plan good meals.

To make the most out of the Food Pyramid, we'll need to figure out what counts as a serving. Let me help explain this. Next to each section of the Pyramid below you will see how many servings of each food it suggests that you have each day.

The size of each serving depends on your size. That is why there is a children's menu at restaurants, so you don't get stuck with an adult sized meal!

The right amounts of servings from each of the food groups depends on your age, sex, body size and activity level, but the table below will give you an idea of where you fit in:

Preschool children
Most children and Teenage girls
Teenage boys
Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta
6 servings
9 servings
11 servings
Fruits
2 servings
3 servings
4 servings
Vegetables
3 servings
4 servings
5 servings
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
2-3 servings
2-3 servings
2-3 servings
Meats, Fish
5 ounces
6 ounces
7 ounces

MyPyramid for Kids reminds you to be physically active every day, or most days, and to make healthy food choices. Every part of the pyramid symbol has a message. Click on the different food groups in the picture below to get a closer look at the common foods that make up each group.

MYPyramid

If you would like to find information about what vitamins and minerals do, Doctor P. Body thinks you might enjoy visiting the food section at www.kidshealth.org

Want to know the amount of each food group you need daily? By clicking here, you may enter your information to find out and receive a customized food guide.

A lot of the time you will find that the meals you eat are made up of parts from more than one food group. Let's take a look at some examples:

This meal includes a piece of toast with butter, an egg, 2 slices of bacon and a glass of orange juice. There are 4 different food groups included in this meal:

  • butter = 1 from fat group
  • eggs and bacon = 2 servings meat group
  • orange juice = 1 serving fruit group
  • toast = 1 serving bread group

This meal includes a sandwich with bread, turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, a banana and a glass of milk. There are 5 different food groups included in this meal:

  • 2 slices of bread = 2 servings bread group
  • turkey = 1 serving meat group
  • cheese and milk = 2 servings milk and cheese group
  • lettuce and 2 tomatoes = 2 servings vegetable group
  • banana = 1 serving fruit group

This meal includes a slice of pizza with crust, tomato sauce, cheese, green pepper, mushrooms, olives and pepperoni and a can of soda pop. There are 5 different food groups included in this meal:

  • crust = 2 servings bread group
  • cheese = 1 serving milk and cheese group
  • tomato sauce, green pepper, mushrooms and olives = about 2 servings vegetable group
  • pepperoni = 1/2 serving meat group
  • olive oil and soda pop = 2 from fats and sweets group

Can you think of your own examples? For more food fun, look in the activity section for some pages to print and color.

Remember: Healthy eating does not have to mean giving up foods you like best, just learn to balance the food choices you make. You can enjoy snacks and meals while still keeping yourself in good health.

FOOD FUN! Find out more about the foods you like or even the ones you dislike! By searching for a particular food or clicking on the calorie counter below you will exit the Doctor P. Body site:

Enter the food or activity to find:
 
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