Food

Food Pyramid For Kids: A Guide To Healthy Eating For Kids 

Are you looking for a healthy guide to plan your kids’ meals? Do you want your kids to follow a balanced diet at a young age? Then this article might have something for you which can help you and your kid on the path of healthy eating. 

We are talking about a food pyramid for kids that can guide children and parents to learn about healthy food habits. Using this food pyramid for kids anyone can create a balanced diet in proper servings needed for our body. 

Hence, a food pyramid for kids is a guide that offers proper information about a healthy balanced diet for kids. 

What Is Food Pyramid For Kids?

A food pyramid for kids is a visual food chart that guides parents and children about a balanced diet. A food pyramid shows the essential food groups that our body needs daily to stay healthy and function properly. Food pyramids for kids shows the number of servings a child needs to consume per food group to have a balanced diet. 

A food pyramid for kids functions as a tool which can guide anyone to plan a balanced meal for their child. A child understands what food they can eat to keep their body healthy while the parents can plan a balanced meal including proper servings from each food group. 

A food pyramid mainly has five food categories, starting from the top, fats, meats, dairy and dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Let’s discuss in detail about food pyramid for kids. 

Five Primary Food Groups In Food Pyramid For Kids

A food pyramid for kids is categorized in five groups of food including serving size of each food group mentioned in the pyramid. Let learn which are the five categories of food that makes a balanced diet. 

Fruits And Vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables contain the essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber included in a balanced diet. This category or group of food is extremely essentials for kids and growing children. A kid when sees a food pyramid for kids they observe how the base of the pyramids contains this category of food. 

Fruits and vegetables are essential for keeping your child’s health by preventing chronic diseases. Kids can have as many fruits as possible and vegetables they like in their meals daily.  

In this category of food there are several different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Kids get to choose from different kinds of fruits and veggies they like to include in their diet. 

Some fruits that you can give your kids are oranges, apples, peaches, pear, plums, pomegranates, strawberries, bananas, grapes, blueberries, papaya, pineapple and several other fruits. 

Some vegetables that you can give your kids are green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, cabbages, tomatoes, carrots, calcium, peas, beans, cucumbers, bitter gourd, broccoli, and several other regional vegetables. 

Whole Grains  

The second most important category of food you must include in your child’s balanced diet from food pyramids for kids is whole grains. Whole grains are nutrient-dense powerhouses that help our body grow and develop. Hence, whole grains are essential for kids and growing children. 

Whole grains help your child develop properly so that they can function properly in their respective age groups. Whole grains are full of minerals, vitamins, and fiber that give your child energy. So whole grains consumption should be promoted among kids from infant age of 6 months old. 

Some of the whole grains you can give your child are brown bread, oats, whole wheat bread, rice, popcorn, bajra, ragi, jowar, and so on. Under refined whole grains you also have flour, chickpea flour, and so on. These can be eaten in very small quantities as they are not as nutrients rich as whole grains. 

You can also add lentils to the category of food in the food pyramid for kids. Lentils are full of proteins, zinc, magnesium, and fibers. Some lentils you can give your kids in soup forms are split skinned green gram, split skinned pigeon peas, read lentils, split skinned Bengal gram, split skinned black gram, mung beans and split green pigeon peas. 

You can boil these whole grains and lentils and smash them as much as you can or make a smooth paste for infants. 

Dairy And Dairy Products 

Dairy and dairy products like milk, cheese, curd, yogurt, paneer and so on are rich in nutrients. Nutrients like calcium that make our bones strong are essential for small kids to growing teenagers. Dairy products are also full of healthy proteins that give energy to our body to function properly. 

In dairy products you have milk, curd, yogurt, cheese, kefir, cottage cheese, and so on. For growing children cheese, milk, curd and other dairy is essential for a healthy body. In the food pyramid for kids although dairy products fall in the third category but a glass or two of milk is compulsory for every child. 

If your child cannot have dairy products from a young age then opt for dairy substitutes to give the calcium, protein and nutrients they need. 

Meat 

Any kind of protein is very important for your health. Be it in meat source or plant-based source. Protein helps your kids grow strong, repair body tissues, and maintain good health. Protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, beans, bacon and ham are essential for kids. 

You can add protein to your child’s diet by adding any kind of meat, eggs and poultry to a meal. You can add fish, turkey, beef, chicken, pork, and eggs to your meal.  

In fish protein you can give your child salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, herring, shrimps, mackerels, oysters, crab, mussels, tilapia, etc. 

Fats 

In fats, you have oils, coconut oil, palm oil, mustard oils, refined oil, ghee, butter, spreads, etc. These saturated fats are also essential for our body but in very limited quantity. These fats are a source of energy that helps our body function. 

Food Pyramid Servings Of Each Food Group For Kids 

Here are all the essential servings based on each of the five essential food groups in the food pyramid for kids.  

Fruits And Vegetables 

• A child of 2 to 3 years old must have a single serving of fruits daily. A child of the same age group must have two and half servings of vegetables daily.  

• A child of 4 to 8 years old must have one and half servings of fruits. A child of the same age group must have four and half servings of vegetables daily.  

• A child of 9 to 13 years old must have two serving of fruits. A child of the same age group must have five servings of vegetables daily. More fruits and vegetables are must for these periods due to the developing age.  

Whole Grains  

• A child of 2 to 8 years old must include three to four servings of whole grains daily in their balanced diet.  

• A child of 9 and above must include four to five servings of whole grains in their balanced diet.  

Dairy And Dairy Products  

• A child of 2 to 3 years old must include one and half servings of dairy and dairy products in their balanced diet.  

• A child of 4 to 8 years old must include one and half servings of dairy and dairy products in their balanced diet.  

• Again, child ages 9 to 11 must include two to half servings of dairy and dairy products in their balanced diet.  

• A growing teen of 12 to 13 years old must include three and half servings of dairy and dairy products in their balanced diet.  

Meat Or Protein-Rich Food  

• For kids ages 1 to 3 years old protein intake should be around 13 grams per day or recommended servicing based of the child’s weight. You can consult your doctor to decide on a serving size for your child’s specific needs.  

• A child of 4 to 8 years of age must have 19 grams of protein per day.  

• A developing child of 9 to 13 years must take 34 grams of protein daily. They can take proteins in any form be it fish, lentils, meat or dairy forms.  

Healthy Fats  

• Fats are crucial for growing children of all ages especially teenagers who need most energy to study and do extracurricular activities.  

• Choosing to eat healthy fats like almonds, seeds, nuts, olive oil, peanut butter, and avocados are great choices. These foods are rich in healthy fats. Fish like mackerel, salmon, and bass are also filled with healthy fats like omega-3 fats.  

• Healthy fats help promote brain growth and function by aiding absorption of minerals and vitamins which would help increase energy level in your child.  

• So, adding moderate healthy fats in your child’s daily diet is beneficial for development ang growth in children.  

Significance Of Food Pyramid For Kids

Food pyramid for kids functions as a tool that guides children, and their parents understand the need of having a balanced meal. You can plan a proportionate meal for your child based on a food pyramid for kids. It provides the five groups of food and their servings essential in our daily meal to have a healthy body.  

A healthy lifestyle starts from healthy eating habits and healthier choices you make for your kids. So, plan your kid’s meals and snacks accordingly. Once you make your young kid eat a balanced meal and teach them the importance of these five groups of foods, they will slowly get used to it.  

So, keep a food pyramid at hand to teach your kids healthy teaching habits. 

Benefits Of Food Pyramid For Kids

 

Here are some of the benefits of food pyramid.  

  • Food pyramid is a guide and handbook for those of you who wish to plan a balanced diet for their kids to have good health.  
  • You also get to choose a specific type of food from each food group as your child likes it. A food pyramid has five food groups but numerous foods within each group you can choose from as kids are generally picky by nature. This helps ensure you are getting the right nutrients from each food group without compromising.  
  • A food pyramid for kids arranges food groups based on kids’ body needs. This helps you determine the proper amount of specific food group you need to give your child in their balanced diet.  
  • Your kids learn to eat in moderation keeping in mind the food pyramid for kids and its required quantities of each food group. You kids don’t overindulge in eating certain food groups.  
  • Improving your kids’ eating habits day by day and creating healthy eating habits in them. 
  • A balanced diet based on a food pyramid for kids helps prevent the chances of getting ill frequently in kids. Again, a balanced diet reduces the chances of getting heart disease at a young age. 
  • A food pyramid is easy to understand with different nutrients needed for our kids’ bodies to function properly. You don’t need to be a nutritionist or doctor to understand a food pyramid for kids and plan a meal accordingly.  
  • A food pyramid for kids constantly reminds you to add all different groups of food to your kids’ meals instead of eating only one type of food. It reminds you about the daily needs of your kids’ bodies and encourages you to stop giving your kids only one group of food daily. 
  • A food pyramid also highlights harsh diets and encourages you to avoid them. For example, fats and sugars are listed at the top of the food pyramid. This signifies how little your kids need this nutrition in their diet for a healthy body.  

Conclusion 

For a child to develop and grow both physically and mentally they need to have a balanced diet. You might ask how a balanced diet can help a child grow mentally? When your child is ill and cannot attend school and other extracurricular activities then they are behind in their work and knowledge.  

Again, when a child is not eating a balanced diet and gets tired or sick easily, the child misses out on activities and studies. This results in less development of one’s brain. So having a proper balanced diet is essential. This is where the food pyramid for kids helps you plan a balanced diet for your kids.

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