The Food Guide Pyramid is one way for people to understand how to eat healthy.
A rainbow of colored, vertical stripes represents the five food groups plus fats and oils.
Here's what the colors stand for:
yellow: fats and oils
blue: milk and dairy products
purple: meat, beans, fish, and nuts
How Much Do I Need to Eat?
Everyone wants to know how much they should eat to stay healthy. It's a tricky question, though.
It depends on your age, whether you're a girl or a boy, and how active you are. Kids who are more
active burn more calories, so they need more calories. But we can give you some estimates for
how much you need of each food group.
Grains: They are measured out in ounce equivalents. An ounce equivalent equals:
1 slice of bread
1/2 cup of cooked cereal, like oatmeal
1/2 cup of rice or pasta
1 cup of cold cereal
* 4- to 8-year-olds need 4-5 ounce equivalents each day.
* 9- to 13-year-old girls need 5 ounce equivalents each day.
* 9- to 13-year-old boys need 6 ounce equivalents each day.
Vegetables: You need especially dark green and orange ones. Vegetable servings are measured in cups.
* 4- to 8-year-olds need 1/2 cups of veggies each day.
* 9- to 13-year-old girls need 2 cups of veggies each day.
* 9- to 13-year-old boys need 2 and half cups of veggies each day.
Fruit : Here's how much you need:
* 4- to 8-year-olds need 1 and half cups of fruit each day.
* 9- to 13-year-olds need 1and half cups of fruit each day.
Milk and Other Calcium-Rich Foods: They build strong bones to last a lifetime.
* 4- to 8-year-olds need 2 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.
* 9- to 13-year-olds need 3 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.
Meats, Beans, Fish, and Nuts: These foods contain iron and lots of other important nutrients. They are measured in ounce equivalents.
An ounce equivalent would be:
1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
1/2 cup cooked dry beans
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1/2 ounce (about a small handful) of nuts or seeds
* 4- to 8-year-olds need 3-4 ounce equivalents each day.
* 9- to 13-year-olds need 5 ounce equivalents each day.
Just remember those stairs climbing up the side of the Pyramid and take it one step at a time for a better Weight Loss, Diet and Nutrition Management
As part of a healthy diet your child should eat 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks a day. Snacks are an important part of daily food intake, especially for children. They need to be nutritious, tasty, quick and easy to prepare.
· Slice of fruit loaf/bun/raisin bread
· Fruit/date/pumpkin/ or plain scone.
· Small pita bread (spread thinly with cheese spread, grated carrot, sprouts and roll up to serve).
· Small handful of rice crackers or baked wheat pretzels.
· Wholemeal crackers with a slice of low fat cheese.
· Rice cakes with thin scrape reduced-fat cream cheese
· Cup of popcorn (pop in the microwave). Add a small amount of dried fruit for variety.
· Slice of low fat cheese with a bundle of carrot and celery sticks.
· Fresh fruit - available in many varieties all year.
· Piece of fresh fruit or 1 cup of fruit salad in a container or canned fruit snack pack.
· Small handful of dried fruit or nuts (for over 5 year olds only).
· Grissini sticks.
· Homemade pizza.
· Vegetarian quiche or frittata.
· Low fat cheese cubes or sticks.
Water is the best drink for children.
Processed snacks can contain a lot of hidden fats. Check the nutrition panel and choose product with <10g fat per 100g/100ml.
Involve your child in choosing their own lunch from a range of healthy options. Children who are involved in their own food choices may be more likely to change to good life-long eating habits