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Optimal Food Pyramid Diagram For Kids
- Depending on the age of your children, different amounts of each type of food should be eaten each day.
- Fruit juices are good sources of these important nutrients but should be consumed in moderation because of their higher sugar content.
Today, children are facing higher levels of obesity and heath problems than ever before. That means parents have an even greater responsibility to ensure their children are eating a balanced diet but that can be a challenge. Research has shown that a high fat diet does lead to an increased rate of obesity in children. One thing that can make the job easier is the food pyramid guide for children. Below is an explanation of this food pyramid information.
Background of the Food Pyramid Diagram for Kids
Although the food pyramid promoted by the U. S. government has been around for decades, the government changed the pyramid just a few years ago to suggest a more balanced approach to eating. Color coded sections are now used to illustrate the different types of foods and the width of these sections refers to how much of them should be consumed daily.
While eating a balanced diet is one of the primary recommendations of the food pyramid guide for children, the pyramid also shows a child climbing a staircase along the side of the triangle to illustrate the need for daily activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Basics of the Food Pyramid Information
While the color-coded pyramid may be a good illustration of a balanced diet, most parents need something a little more concrete to help them plan healthy menus for their child. Depending on the age of your children, different amounts of each type of food should be eaten each day. With the grain group, for example, children between 4 and 8 should eat about 4 to 5 ounces of grains a day. Older children should have 5 to 6 ounces per day. One ounce would be the equivalent of one cup of cereal, one slice of bread, or one-half cup of pasta. Between two and three ounces of those grains should be whole wheat products.
Of course, vegetables and fruits are both critical to good health. The newest food pyramid guide for children divides these two types of foods to emphasize how important they are to a child’s healthy, balanced diet. Children should eat between 1 ½ cups of vegetables (for 4 to 8 year olds) and 2 ½ cups (for 9 to 13 year olds). Dark greens and orange vegetables are particularly good for young children. Kids of any age should be eating 1 ½ cups of fruits daily and those fruits can be fresh, frozen, or canned in light syrup. Fruit juices also are good sources of these important nutrients but should be consumed in moderation because of their higher sugar content.
Although daily products are important for growing children, their high fat content means they should be consumed with some moderation. The equivalent of 2 to 3 cups of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products should be consumed daily by kids under the age of 13. Whenever possible, these products should be low-fat or no-fat options.
One of the smallest categories on the food pyramid guide for kids is the meat and beans category. Children do need protein and iron which are plentiful in these foods. Children need 3 to 4 ounces (4 to 8 year olds) or 5 ounces (9 to 13 year olds) from this food group. One-fourth of cooked beans, one tablespoon of peanut butter, or one egg would be the equivalent to one ounce of lean meat.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Eating Habits4 Dec 2008|