Thirdly, grains are also an important food group, such as bread, rice, pasta, oats, cereal, and tortillas are all parts of the grain groups. Most grains that are consumed should be whole grain which are more nutritious. White bread, white rice and sugary cereals are made with processed grains, which have lost of a lot of their nutrients. Grains contain carbohydrates which the bodies use for energy. They also contain a lot of fiber which is good for the digestive system. Children need about five ounces of grains a day, They could have half bagel for breakfast, a sandwich with multigrain bread for lunch, and a whole wheat pasta at dinner.
Fourthly, a balanced and healthy meal also has protein. The protein food group includes meats such as chicken, beef, and fish. It also includes eggs, nuts, beans, and tofu. Beans are part of both the protein and the vegetable groups. The bodies use protein to build muscles. Children need about four ounces of protein a day. They could have a piece of wheat toast with peanut butter in the morning, a salad with chicken at lunch and a small piece of fish at dinner. It is better to get the protein from different kinds of foods.
Lastly, dairy is another part of a balanced meal. For example, milk, soy milk, cheese and yogurt are all parts of the dairy group. Dairy foods have calcium which the bodies use to grow healthy bones, teeth and hair. Milk is a great source of vitamin D too which the bodies need in order to get calcium. Children should pick plain milk that is lower in fat, such as skim or 1% milk fat (1%M.F). Chocolate and strawberry milk are not good choices because they have tons of sugar. Children need about two-and-a-half ounces a dairy a day. They can have yogurt with fruit in the morning, small cartoon of milk at lunch and a little cheese at dinner. When children eat, take a look at the plate, because half plate should have fruits and vegetables with a bit more vegetables. The other half should have grains and protein with more grains. There should be some dairy too. It is better to explore foods from all the food groups so that you eat balanced meals and stay healthy.
The next topic is about the reasons why you should eat healthy foods. This is because food is the fuel for the body. When we eat, our digestive system breaks down food and takes in nutrients. The body needs nutrients to grow and stay healthy. Milk, yogurt, cheese are high in calcium, which is a nutrient the body needs to build strong bones. Vegetables, nuts and beans have nutrients that help to keep eyes, skin and hair healthy. Some foods are not as nutritious or healthy as others such as junk food.
Junk food is food that has few nutrients and is high in fat, sugar or salt. Foods that are high in sugar can change the mood or how you feel. After eating sugary snacks, children might feel really hyper and have too much energy. But the mood can change quickly, and they can get tired or grumpy. Eating too many foods that are high in fat and salt can cause health problems later on. Therefore, it is important to remember about how much to eat from different food groups and keep up a balanced diet (fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy).
In conclusion, the body needs healthy food and drink to stay healthy (see Figure 1.), so pay attention to what you eat or drink.
Figure 1. The Food Groups