Help your children be healthy by talking with them about why it's important to eat foods that make them strong and healthy.
Even young children respond well when you tell them why it is better to eat good food at home than to run over to Burger Doodle for those fun, fatty foods.
Don’t Underestimate What Your Child Understands
Explain that they need the combination of foods that good eating (like following the Food Guide Pyramid) can give them. Explain about vitamins and minerals and the building blocks that make them strong and healthy. It can be difficult for parents to compete with fast-food restaurants and snacks advertised on television that may offer little nutrition but lots of fun and great packaging. Along with the information provided below, take your kids to "The Great Pyramid" in The Kids' Room to help them understand how to make good food choices and have fun along the way!
Grains (bread, cereal, rice and pasta)
6 to 11 servings daily
This is the largest food group and is at the bottom of the pyramid. Servings include one slice of bread, one ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, one pancake, two cookies, 1/2 hamburger roll, bagel or English muffin, one tortilla or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta or cereal, three or four plain crackers, 1/2 large croissant.
Veggies & Fruit
3 to 5 servings daily
Servings include 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked vegetables, 1 cup raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup vegetable juice, 1/2 cup scalloped potatoes, 1/2 cup potato salad or 10 French fries, and 2 to 4 servings of fruit that include 1 piece of fruit or melon wedge, 1/2 cup fruit juice, 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit, and 1/2 cup dried fruit.
Dairy and Meat
2 to 3 servings daily
Servings include a cup of milk or yogurt, 11/2 ounces of natural cheese, 2 ounces processed cheese, 2 cups cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups ice cream or ice milk and 1 cup frozen yogurt. The meat group, which also is 2 to 3 servings a day, includes 2 1/2 ounces cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry or fish. You can count 1/3 cup nuts, 1/2 cup cooked beans, 1 egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter as an ounce of meat.
Other (fats, oils and sweets)
As expected, this is the category at the top of the pyramid that we need the least. Children need butter and sugar and such things but not in the amounts that most people use them.