Food Pyramid

Food Pyramid

  Autor NN Team Data: 22.10.2008

Food Pyramid
Any mother knows that nutrition is important for the overall health of children but also for their proper and harmonious development. A proper nutrition can prevent many medical problems, including obesity, bone deformity or diabetes. Also, by nutrition, we ensure the proper growth of children. But what is a proper nutrition and what it means? We will see below. 

From 2-3 years, child nutrition should resemble that of the entire family, three meals and two snacks each day. Like adults, children need to eat all groups of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. In addition, the diet must provide vitamins and minerals they need, their needs being greater than those of parents. What is the proportion of each nutrient in the daily diet, the food pyramid shows us. Food pyramid was created by American specialists, to give people a quick guide to what that the daily diet should include. 

At first glance, the food pyramid tells us that: must have a varied diet that shall include all food groups, we should eat less of certain foods and more of others. 

If we are more attentive, the food pyramid shows the proportion of food to be consumed in each group. Let's start with the base. 

At the bottom of the pyramid is water. In many illustrations and explanations of the pyramid, the water is missing. Perhaps some authors consider that it is obviously significant, both for children and adults. However, water must be part of the pyramid, being the most important element for our life. We need eight servings per day. 

At the second level there are the carbohydrates, that means grain of all kinds (rice, oats, corn, etc.)and grain products: bread, pasta, etc... Why are they close to the bottom of the pyramid? Because they provide the energy we need to accomplish our daily activities. We all know how much energy children consume, so it is pointless to insist on this aspect. Needs vary according to age: 
  • Adults and children over nine years need 6 servings daily. 
  • Children between four and eight years need 4-5 servings daily, depending on their desire. 
What means a serving? A serving of carbohydrates may be:
  • A slice of bread 
  • A half cup of cooked cereal (rice, oats) 
  • A half cup of rice or pasta 
  • One cup of cereal (from those for the breakfast), without sugar ads or chocolate. 
The third level is split between fruits and vegetables. As any mother knows, vegetables are very important, especially those orange or with dark green leaves. They are rich in the most diverse vitamins. The human body cannot store vitamins, so we need to consume them daily. For vitamins to be kept, you should not cook the vegetables. Most vitamins are lost at high temperatures. What are the daily needs? 

Adults and children over nine years need three servings daily.
Children between four and eight years need two servings.

A serving of vegetables is the equivalent of a cup of chopped vegetables. What vegetables you should put on the table depends on the child's tastes. Ideally, he should eat a little of everything. A mixed salad is ideal. 

Fruits also have a rich content of vitamins and, moreover, are delicious. All children, regardless of age need at least two servings of fruit daily. A serving is one cup of chopped fruit. Again, variety is the key. Do not clean the peel, as in it lies the greatest amount of nutrients. 

The fourth level is split between dairy and meat products. All of them contain proteins, but dairy products are in addition a large amount of calcium, essential for bone development, so for harmonious growth. One serving of milk is one cup of milk, yogurt or cow cheese. Obviously the best are milk and natural yogurts, without sugar ads and flavours. Children between four and eight years need two servings daily, while those that are more than nine years need three servings per day. 

On the right of the fourth level there are the meat products, beans, fish and nuts. All have a high content of protein, plus iron and other nutrients. Choose lean chicken or beef meat and prepare it as possible without frying it. Sausages, even if they seem weak, contain artificial preservatives and other substances that are not ideal for children. Meat can be cooked by boiling, baked or grilled and you shall get a delicious and healthy meal at the same time. How many foods from this group we need? 

Five servings for adults and children over nine years
3-4 servings for children between four and eight years.

A serving is: 
  • 30 grams of meat or fish 
  • A quarter cup of dried beans 
  • One egg 
  • A spoonful of peanut butter 
  • 30 grams of nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds. 

It can be difficult to keep the account of all these recommendations in the daily diet, especially when your child is cranky or does not seem to cooperate at all. Obviously he doesn't understand the importance of food, but you as mother, are obliged to pass on healthy habits. Let's not forget that nutrition is the basis of life for any creature. 

Read the English version of this article: Food Pyramid